Mass terms: some philosophical problems

Book Cover
Publisher:
D. Reidel Pub. Co.,
Pub. Date:
[1979]
Language:
English
Description
I. MASS TERMS, COUNT TERMS, AND SORTAL TERMS Central examples of mass terms are easy to come by. 'Water', 'smoke', 'gold', etc. , differ in their syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties from count terms such as 'man', 'star', 'wastebasket', etc. Syntactically, it seems, mass terms do, but singular count terms do not, admit the quantifier phrases 'much', 'an amount of', 'a little', etc. The typical indefinite article for them is 'some' (unstressed)!, and this article cannot be used with singular count terms. Count terms, but not mass terms, use the quantifiers 'each', 'every', 'some', 'few', 'many'; and they use 'a(n)' as the indefinite article. They can, unlike the mass terms, take numerals as prefixes. Mass terms seem not to have a plural. Semantically, philo­ sophers have characterized count terms as denoting (classes of?) indi­ vidual objects, whereas what mass terms denote are cumulative and dissective. (That is, a mass term is supposed to be true of any sum of things (stuff) it is true of, and true of any part of anything of which it is true). Pragmatically, it seems that speakers use count terms when they wish to refer to individual objects, or when they wish to reidentify a particular already introduced into discoursc. Given a "space appropriate" to a count term C, it makes sense to ask how many C's there are in that space.
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Grouped Work ID ab51e92d-70e7-3031-dbc2-b235c7d3ed17
Grouping Title mass terms some philosophical problems
Grouping Author francis jeffry pelletier
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-10 01:06:21AM
Last Indexed 2019-03-24 05:11:01AM

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auth_author2 Pelletier, Francis Jeffry, 1944-
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owning_location_ccu CCU Electronic Resources
primary_isbn 9781402041105
publishDate 1979
record_details external_econtent:ils:.b3026313x|eBook|eBook||English|D. Reidel Pub. Co.,|[1979]|xii, 303 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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series Synthese language library
series_with_volume Synthese language library|6
subject_facet Electronic books, Grammar, Comparative and general -- Mass nouns, Grammar, Comparative and general -- Quantifiers, Language and languages -- Philosophy
title_display Mass terms some philosophical problems
title_full Mass terms [electronic resource] : some philosophical problems / edited by Francis Jeffry Pelletier
title_short Mass terms
title_sub some philosophical problems
topic_facet Grammar, Comparative and general, Language and languages, Mass nouns, Philosophy, Quantifiers