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w01c_Indef mass Ns in O position: can have an article

Definition
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    Indefinite mass nouns in object position

    To code for all possibilities, and for ease of the task, there are three property definitions for indefinite mass nouns in object position:

    can be 'bare', must have an 'article', can have an 'article'


Indefinite mass nouns in object position can have an article


This property is set to 'yes' if an unmodified, indefinite, mass noun in object position can (but does not have to):

  1. occur with an article (e.g. an indefinite or a partitive article, i.e. English of+art, French de+art, Italian di+art, etc)
  2. (for languages without articles but with classifiers, noun classes, case, adpositional endings, etc) exhibit structural alternation with noun phrases containing:
    1. an indefinite singular or plural count noun, or
    2. a definite mass noun

Elicitation context

I drink ______ water every day


[ More contexts]

Additional instructions

  1. This property applies to mass nouns (I drank beer), NOT to mass nouns used as count nouns (I drank a beer/two beers/three beers: this can only mean a glass of beer, a type of beer, a bottle of beer)
  2. The mass noun must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements, etc)
  3. The sentence is affirmative, NOT negative, interrogative, etc (if you notice any difference between affirmative and negative/interrogative contexts, please comment, or contact us)
  4. The following classes of nouns should NOT be considered when checking this property:
    1. abstract nouns (John finds love everywhere)
    2. collective nouns (Italy changed government last week, I saw people at the party)
    3. singular nouns of chemical elements or other physical entities (I put oxygen in the tank)
    4. singular nouns of arts and sciences (I love chemistry)
    5. home
  5. If there is more than one object position in your language, test this property for each position

Examples

1.

Russian is 'yes' for this property: indefinite mass nouns can have partitive case (PRT), which counts as an article (i.a, ii.a), or the accusative case, which counts as bare (i.b, ii.b).

i.a.

  • Ja s.jel mjasa
    I.NOM eat.PFV-SG.MASC.PST meat.PRT.SG
    " I ate some meat "

i.b.

  • Ja s.jel mjaso
    I.NOM eat.PFV-SG.MASC.PST meat.ACC.SG
    " I ate meat (all of it) "

Comment: Partitive is ungrammatical with imperfective jel

ii.a.

  • Ja nalila sebe chaju
    I.NOM pfv.POUR.FEM.SG.PST self.DAT tea.PRT.SG
    " I poured myself (some) tea "

ii.b.

  • Ja nalila sebe chaj-0
    I.NOM pfv.POUR.FEM.SG.PST self.DAT tea-ACC.SG
    " I poured myself tea "

2.

Italian is 'yes' for this property: indefinite mass nouns in object position can have an article (the preposition di followed by the definite article = partitive article; i) or be bare (ii).

i.a.

  • Mario ha bevuto della birra alla festa
    Mario has drunk of.the beer at.the party
    " Mario drank beer at the party "

i.b.

  • Gianni sta mangiando del formaggio
    Gianni is eating of.the cheese
    " Gianni is eating cheese "

ii.a.

  • Mario ha bevuto birra alla festa
    Mario has drunk beer at.the party
    " Mario drank beer at the party "

ii.b.

  • Gianni sta mangiando formaggio
    Gianni is eating cheese
    " Gianni is eating cheese "

3.

English is 'no' for this property: indefinite mass nouns in object position can be bare (i.a, ii.a, iii.a) or occur with the quantifier some (i.b, ii.b, iii.b). Some is not an article.

    1. I bought wine
    2. I bought some wine
    3. *I bought of the wine
    4. *I bought wine.GEN
    1. The wind blew sand on my terrace
    2. The wind blew some sand on my terrace
    3. *The wind blew of the sand on my terrace
    4. *The wind blew sand.GEN on my terrace
    1. John drank milk for breakfast
    2. John drank some milk for breakfast
    3. *John drank of the milk for breakfast
    4. *John drank milk.GEN for breakfast


    4.

    Hebrew is '€˜no' for this property: indefinite mass nouns in object position do not have any article.

    • axalti basar
      I.ate meat
      " I ate meat"

    5.

    French is '€˜no' for this property: indefinite mass nouns in object position must have an article (= the preposition de + the definite article).

    i.a.

    • * Jean buvait bière
      wine drink AUX
      " Jean drank beer "

    i.b.

    • Jean buvait de la bière
      Jean drank of the beer
      " Jean drank beer "

    6.

    Basque is 'no' for this property: indefinite mass nouns in object position must have the article (a).

    i.a.

    • * ardo edan dut
      wine drink AUX
      " I drank wine "

    i.b.

    • ardo-a edan dut
      wine-A drink AUX
      " I drank wine " (it can also mean I drank the wine)
Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
+ Akan-twi Yes AUGUSTINA OWUSU
  Words: Me num –m nsuo bi.
  Gloss: 1SG drink –Pst water BI
  Translation: I drank some water
  Comment: Bi has wide scope with respect to negation, intensional predicates and other nominal quantifiers. But it has narrow scope with respect to the conditional. Bi can combine with both plural and singular nouns and also with numerals.
  Contributor: AUGUSTINA OWUSU
  Words: Kofi a- n- num -m nsuo bi nanso ɔ- num
  Gloss: Kofi Perf. Neg-drink –Pst water BI but 3Sg- drank Voltic
  Translation: ‘There is some water Kofi did not drink but he drank Voltic’ (cannot mean Kofif did not drink any water.
  Comment: Bi> Neg, *Neg>bi. Bi has wide scope in respect to negation, intensional predicates and other nominal quantifiers. But it has narrow scope with respect to the conditional. Bi can combine with both plural and singular nouns and also with numerals.
  Contributor: AUGUSTINA OWUSU
   Ancient Greek No Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Bambara No Hilda Koopman
+ Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Johánɛs a- bí- nyɔ́ mílîk bikɛkɛla
  Gloss: 1.John 1.SM-PST2-drink 4.milk 8.morning
  Translation: 'John drank milk for breakfast'
  Comment: NB: In this context, there is no exact translation for the source text
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Mɛ ń- dʒɛ́ ndék nlámb
  Gloss: I PRS-eat some 3.meat
  Translation: I eat some/a little meat’
  Comment: In most cases in Basa’a, any item in the so-called Immediately After Verb (IAV) position is assigned a high tone on the first syllable.
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
   Basque No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Calabrian (Northern) Yes Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
+ Catalan No Victoria Mateu The value of the property is not completely clear. Mass nouns may be preceded by 'de' (without a definite article), but the sentence must also contain the partitive clitic "en", in which case, affirmative sentences with unmodified nouns are at least ??. When the noun is modified or topicalized or when the sentence is negative or interrogative the form with en+de becomes OK.
  Words: ??En va beure de cervesa
  Gloss: CL-part PST-3SG drink of beer
  Translation: He/she drank beer
  Comment: The sentence becomes OK when it's in negative 'No en va beure de cervesa' (He/she didn't drink beer) or interrogative 'Que en va beure de cervesa?' (Did he drink beer?)
  Contributor: Victoria Mateu
  Words: De cervesa en beu molta.
  Gloss: of beer CL-part drink-PRS-3SG a-lot
  Translation: Beer, he drinks a lot.
  Comment: Sentences where the object is topicalized and/or modified are also OK with en+de
  Contributor: Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
+ Croatian Yes Daniela Culinovic
  Words: Vjetar je dopuhao pijesak na moju terasu./ Vjetar je dopuhao pijeska na moju terasu.
  Gloss: wind.NOM.SG have.PRS.3SG blow.PST.PTCP.MASC sand.ACC at my.ACC terace.ACC.SG/wind.NOM.SG have.PRS.3SG blow.PST.PTCP.MASC sand.GEN at my.ACC terace.ACC.SG
  Translation: The wind blew some/the sand onto my terrace./The wind blew some wind to my terrace.
  Comment:  Mass objects can appear in genitive case as well in which case genitive case disambiguates the object as being indefinite.
  Contributor: Daniela Culinovic
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dida Lakota (diéko) No Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
+ Dutch No Hilda Koopman
  Words: *Ik heb van (de) kaas gekocht/ Ik heb wat kaas gekocht
  Gloss: *I have of (the) cheese bought/ I have what cheese bought
  Translation: I bought some cheese
  Comment: The unstressed indeterminate wh-word "wat", "what" can combine with mass nouns; wat does not qualify as an indefinite article.
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
  Words: *Ik heb vandaag van de kaas en wijn gekocht/ Ik heb vandaag wat kaas en wijn gekocht
  Gloss: *I have today of the cheese and wine bought/ I have today what cheese and wine bought
  Translation: I bought some cheese and wine today
  Comment: The indeterminate unstressed wh-word "wat" (what) is not an indefinite or a partitive article.
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
  Words: ??Ik heb iets kaas gekocht:
  Gloss: I have IETS cheese bought.
  Comment: iets (something) is not quite good with (mass) nouns for me in past tense sentences (but seems fine in downward entailing contexts). ng .
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
+ English No the property authors
  Words: I bought wine
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: The wind blew sand on my terrace
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: *I bought of the wine
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: *The wind blew of the sand on my terrace
  Contributor: the property authors
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   French No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   French (Ivorian) No Akpoué Josué
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   German No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Gothic No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: *Pin-o ena krasi.
  Gloss: drink-1SG.PRS INDF.SG.ACC wine.ACC
  Translation: I drink wine.
  Comment: A. The example is grammatical under the meaning 'I drink a glass of wine.' B. The following example with the preposition apo 'from' used for partitives is grammatical under the specified meaning. Pin-o apo to krasi. drink-1SG.PRS from DEF.SG.ACC wine.ACC 'I drink some of the wine.'
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Pontic) No Cristina Guardiano and Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Guébie No Hannah Sande
   Hebrew No Assif Am-David
+ Hebrew (Biblical) Yes Massimo Gargiulo
  Words: wayyeshet min-hayyayin
  Gloss: and he drank.CONJ IPFV of.PREP the.ART wine.NOUN
  Translation: and he drank of the wine
  Comment: min is not a proper article, but a preposition with the meaning of "from" and a partitive value
  Contributor: Massimo Gargiulo
+ Hungarian No Anna Szabolcsi
  Words: Minden nap ittam valamennyi vizet.
  Gloss: every day drink-PAST.1SG some-amount water-ACC
  Translation: I drank some water every day.
  Comment: I wouldn't call "valamennyi" an article.
  Contributor: Anna Szabolcsi
   imbabura quichua No Pam Munro
+ Italian Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ho bevuto acqua
  Gloss: have.1S drunk water
  Translation: I drank water
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ho bevuto dell'acqua
  Gloss: have.1S drunk of.the water
  Translation: I drank (some) water
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) Yes Adam Ledgeway In earliest texts we find partitive with 'de' (generally without article), also quantifiers like 'cierto, certa, ...'.
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
+ Kannada (Bengaluru-Mysore) No Amrit Amritavalli
  Comment: *I drank water.Gen. A quantifier "svalpa" a little would be used. Some is usually taken to be 'kelavu' and restricted to count Ns. a
  Contributor: Amrit Amritavalli
   Kashaya No John Gluckman
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
   Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) No Chiara Gianollo still only rare and isolated examples during the stage considered here
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
   Mandarin Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   nda'nda' No Bertille Baron
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Old English No Cristina Guardiano
   Old Norse No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Old Saxon Yes George Walkden Genitive case is a possibility here.
  Words: thoh hi thurh minnea godes manno huilicumu uuilleandi fargeƀe uuatares drinkan
  Gloss: though he through love God.GEN men.GEN each.DAT willing forgive.SBJV water.GEN drink.INF
  Translation: though he, through God's love, willingly forgives each man for drinking water
  Comment: (Heliand 1964-1965)
  Contributor: George Walkden
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia Particle 'din' ('from/of in')
+ Russian Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
  Words: Ja s.jel mjasa
  Gloss: I.NOM eat.PFV-SG.MASC.PST meat.PRT.SG
  Translation: I ate some meat
  Comment: From the property definitions: indefinite mass nouns can have partitive case (PRT), which counts as an article .
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman tricky: could be yes, depending on how to classify bare "incorporated"mass nouns, an option which is somewhat restricted/ not freely available.
+ Sicilian Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ki ti vivìsti? Mi vìppi vìnu
  Gloss: what to.you drank2.S? To.me drank.1S wine
  Translation: What did you drink? I drank wine
  Comment: Bare indefinite mass nouns are hardly accepted in object position: only as an answer to a Wh-question or in negative/interrogative contexts
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: mi vìppi na pwòku ri vìnu / mi vìppi u vìnu
  Gloss: to.me drank.1S a little of wine / to.me drank.1S the wine
  Translation: I drank (some) wine // I drank the wine
  Comment: "na pwòku ri" (literally a little of) is normally used before indefinite mass and plural nouns. Its meaning is identical to the Italian partitive article (di+definite article). The article u, a, i, omophonous to the definite article but with no definite meaning, can be also used.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Spanish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: k-i kumpratə? - so kumpratə vinə e lattə
  Gloss: what-you.are bought? - I.am bought wine and milk
  Translation: what did you buy? - I bought wine and milk
  Comment: EXAMPLE PROVIDED BY IARA MANTENUTO. In a coordinated construction it is possible to have bare nouns without articles.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: k-i cumpratə? - So kumpratə lu vinə
  Gloss: what-have.you bought? - I.have bought the wine
  Translation: what did you buy? - I bought wine
  Comment: EXAMPLE PROVIDED BY IARA MANTENUTO.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
+ Wolof No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
  Words: Jënd-na-a ∅/*a-b/*b-enn ceeb
  Gloss: buy-FIN-1SG DET/NDEF-CL/CL-some rice
  Translation: I bought rice
  Comment: Tamba, Torrence, Zimmermann 2013: 904, ex 34
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen