English mass-count distinction based on proportionateness, convertibility, and entireness

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Kim, Minkyung
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Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 15, pp. 80-92
English mass-count distinctionatomicityindefinite articlemeasurements
This study suggests noble notions to current English mass/count noun distinction while introducing some new classes to English morphosyntax. A lot of features have been introduced to make clear boundaries for mass and count nouns in English. Boundedness and atomicity were some of key features to distinguish mass and count nouns. For some exceptions which do not fit directly to the English noun division, other classes have been added to the list such as ‘fake mass nouns’ for furniture. Moreover, the identity of English nouns was not always firm enough so some nouns were suggested to change their identity through the context as count into mass and vice versa. Therefore, those nouns whose identity is changeable are included into the mass/count distinction list. With regard to all of these noun classes, some of English nouns still belong to the same classes even though they do not share similarities. For these nouns, new concepts like proportionateness, convertibility, and entireness are introduced. The noble features would help us to make clear boundary for some nouns which can be divided into pieces that still carry the same property of the whole noun and to get clearer notion for the usage of indefinite articles in English.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.15 (2017)
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