Numerals and the theory of number
Luisa Marti
August 2017
 

I begin by discussing empirical and theoretical shortcomings of Bale, Gagnon and Khanjian’s (2011a) account of grammatical number in the numeral+noun construction in Turkish, Western Armenian and English. I then show that Scontras’ (2014) account of the data, while a substantial improvement, can be improved further by deriving his ad hoc semantics for the Turkish and Western Armenian singular feature from Harbour’s (2011, 2014) [±minimal]. Following Martí (2017a, b), this requires rethinking the role of Sauerland’s (2003) plural feature in Scontras’ account. I propose a Scontras-based system that accounts for the data with a uniform semantics for numerals, an empirically justified semantics for Turkish or Western Armenian nouns, and an adequate understanding of exclusive and inclusive plurality within Harbour’s theory. The number marking on nouns in this construction is viewed as the principled interplay of the spell out of number features, their place, and that of numerals, in the syntactic structure of noun phrases, and their compositional semantics. The account uncovers a new domain where the effects of [±minimal] can be detected (cf. Harbour 2011), and demonstrates that a Sauerland-style view of plurality is not necessary in the account of the data.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003626
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: manuscript
keywords: numeral semantics, noun semantics, numeral+noun construction, number features, semantics, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v2 [August 2017]
v1 [August 2017]
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