Login

w02a_Def mass Ns in O position: can be bare

Definition
Untitled Document

    Definite mass nouns in object position

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

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


Definite mass nouns in object position can be bare


This property is set to '€˜yes'€™ if an unmodified, definite, mass noun in object position can be bare.


A bare noun phrase, for the purposes of this set of properties,

  1. lacks an article
  2. (for languages without articles but with classifiers, noun classes, case, adpositional endings, etc) exhibits no structural alternation with noun phrases containing:
    1. an indefinite mass noun, or
    2. a definite singular or plural count noun

Elicitation context

Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says:

Please, put _____ milk in the fridge!


Good answer in English: please, put the milk in the fridge (the milk is definite)

Infelicitous answer in English: please, put some milk in the fridge (some milk is indefinite)

Infelicitous answer in English: please, put milk in the fridge (milk is indefinite)

[ More contexts ]

Additional instructions

  1. The mass noun must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements, ...)
  2. The sentence is affirmative, NOT negative, interrogative, ... (if you notice any difference between affirmative and negative/interrogative contexts, please comment, or contact us)
  3. 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
  4. 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: definite mass nouns in object position can be bare (i.b). The contrast between (i.a) and (i.b) shows that a mass noun with accusative case is compatible with both an indefinite (i.a) and an definite interpretation (i.b), thus counting as '€˜bare'€™.

i.a.

  • Ja dostala vino i syr iz xolodil'nika
    I take.out.PST.SG.FEM wine.ACC and cheese from fridge
    " I took wine and cheese from the fridge."

i.b.

  • Ja doela syr no ne smogla dopit' vino
    I eat.PST cheese.ACC but NEG could drink.up.INF wine.ACC
    " I ate the cheese but I wasn'€™t able to drink the wine "

2.

English is '€˜no'€™ for this property: definite mass nouns in object position can not be bare (i). The definite article '€˜the'€™ is obligatory (ii).

    1. Context: Speaker A and speaker B are having dinner. There is water and cheese on the table. Speaker A says: *Pass me water!
    2. Context: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: *Put milk in the fridge!
    1. Context: Speaker A and speaker B are having dinner. There is water and cheese on the table. Speaker A says: Pass me the water!
    2. Context: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: Put the milk in the fridge!

3.

Basque is '€˜no'€™ for this property: definite mass nouns in object position can not be bare.

i.

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

The €˜article€™ (a) is obligatory.

ii.

  • ardo-a edan dut
    wine-A drink AUX
    " I drank wine " (it can also mean '˜I drank the wine'™)

4.

Hebrew is '€˜no'€™ for this property: definite mass nouns in object position can not be bare.

i.

  • axalti basar
    I.ate meat
    " I ate meat" (cannot mean I ate the meat)

The definite article (ha)€™ is obligatory.

ii.

  • axalti et ha-basar
    I.ate ACC the-meat
    " I ate the meat"
Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Akan-twi No AUGUSTINA OWUSU
   Amharic No Hilda Koopman
   Ancient Greek No Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
+ Basaa Yes Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Johánɛs a- ń- sál móó í wɔm wéé
  Gloss: 1. John1. 1.SM-PRS-work/produce 6.oil LOC 3.farm 3.his
  Translation: ‘The wind spread sand on my veranda’
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
   Basque No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: ceng fong ngaunaai jap bingsoeng
  Gloss: please put milk in fridge
  Translation: Please, put the milk in the fridge!
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw Yes Pam Munro
+ Croatian Yes Daniela Culinovic
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says:Molim te, stavi mlijeko u frizider.
  Gloss:  please.IMP.2SG you.CL.DAT put milk.ACC in fridge.ACC.SG
  Translation: Please put the milk in the fridge.
  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: a. *Ik heb kaas maar eventjes in de ijskast gelegd/ / b.Ik heb maar eventjes kaas in de ijskast gelegd
  Gloss: I have cheese PART PART in the fridge put/ I have PART PART cheese in the fridge put/
  Translation: intended: I have put the cheese in the fridge
  Comment: Definite mass nouns in object must have a definite article.
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
+ English No the property authors
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are having dinner. There is water and cheese on the table. Speaker A says: *Pass me water!
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are having dinner. There is water and cheese on the table. Speaker A says: Pass me the water!
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: *Put milk in the fridge!
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: Put the milk in the fridge!
  Contributor: the property authors
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Finnish No Anders Holmberg
   French No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   French (Ivorian) No Akpoué Josué
   Garifuna Yes Pam Munro
   German No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: jah briggiþ kaurn in bansta seinamma
  Gloss: and he brings.3.SG.PRS wheat in garner his
  Translation: And he will gather the wheat into his garner (Lk 3,17)
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: *Val-e krasi sto psiji-o.
  Gloss: put-3.SG.IMP wine.SG.ACC in.DEF.SG.ACC fridge-SG.ACC
  Translation: Put the wine in the fridge.
  Comment: The example is grammatical under an indefinite interpretation of 'wine'.
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
+ Greek (Homer) Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words:  κρητῆρι δὲ οἶνον μίσγον
  Gloss: bowl.DAT.SG CNJ wine.ACC mix.IPF.3PL
  Translation: and (they) mixed the wine in the bowl
  Comment: Hom. Il. 3.269. Critical edition and translation: Homer. The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Pontic) No Cristina Guardiano and Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Guébie Yes Hannah Sande
   Hebrew No Assif Am-David
   Hebrew (Biblical) Yes Massimo Gargiulo
   Hungarian No Anna Szabolcsi
+ imbabura quichua Yes Pam Munro
  Words: Yakuta yalichimupay
  Gloss: WATER.acc PASS.causative.TO-ME.honorific.imp
  Translation: Pass me the water!
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
+ Italian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: Ho comprato vino e acqua. * Ho bevuto acqua ma ho lasciato vino
  Gloss: have.1S bought wine and water. Have.1S drunk water but I left wine
  Translation: Intended: I bought wine and water. I drank the water but I left the wine.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: Ho comprato vino e acqua. Ho bevuto l' acqua ma ho lasciato il vino
  Gloss: have.1S bought wine and water. Have.1S drunk the water but I left the wine
  Translation: I bought wine and water. I drank the water but I left the wine.
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
+ Kannada (Bengaluru-Mysore) No Amrit Amritavalli
  Words: *naanu niiru kuDiyuttiini
  Gloss: I water drink
  Translation: intended: I drank the water.
  Contributor: Amrit Amritavalli
   Kashaya Yes John Gluckman
+ KiLega Yes Kasangati Kinyalolo
  Words: n.á.nú.le m`ázi
  Gloss: I.drank.PAST 6.water
  Translation: I drank (the) water
  Comment: A demonstrative is preferred here, or a ku mà'zi (some of the water) to make the partitive meaning clear.
  Contributor: Kasangati Kinyalolo
+ Korean Yes Shin-Sook Kim
  Words: wuyu-lul nayngcangko-ey neh-ela!
  Gloss: milk-ACC fridge-in put-IMP
  Translation: Put the milk in the fridge!
  Contributor: Shin-Sook Kim
   Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo
  Words: tu servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc
  Gloss: PERS.PR.2SG.NOM keep:PRFV.2SG good:ACC wine:ACC until now
  Translation: 'But you have kept the good wine until now'
  Comment: (Johannes 2:10) modified mass noun - wine (and contrast between good and cheap) is mentioned in previous context - Biblia Sacra Vulgata, 4th cent. CE.
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
  Words: et vinum erat ante eum et levavi vinum et dedi regi
  Gloss: and wine:NOM be:IPFV:3SG before PR:ACC and lift:PFV.1SG wine:ACC and give:PFV.1SG king:DAT
  Translation: 'wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king'
  Comment: (Nehem. 2.1) - Biblia Sacra Vulgata, 4th cent. CE.
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
   Mandarin Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
+ nda'nda' Yes Bertille Baron
  Words: súsú jɛ̀ mə̀lík tìp frìgò
  Gloss:  please put milk in fridge
  Translation: 'Please, put the milk in the fridge.’
  Contributor: Bertille Baron
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
+ Nupe Yes Jason Kandybowicz
  Words: Musa gi nyagici
  Gloss: Musa eat food
  Translation: Musa ate the food
  Contributor: Jason Kandybowicz
   Old English No Willem Koopman
   Old Saxon No George Walkden I haven't found any examples of this, but they may exist (they do in Old English, and there are no studies of the nominal domain in Old Saxon).
+ Oluwanga (Eji) Yes Ceciliane Odangah
  Words: Nochama, busia i-chuvi
  Gloss: Please, pass C9 -salt
  Translation: Please pass the salt
  Contributor: Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
+ Russian Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
  Words: Ja doela syr no ne smogla dopit' vino
  Gloss: I eat.PST cheese.ACC but NEG could drink.up.INF wine.ACC
  Translation: I ate the cheese but I wasn't able to drink the wine
  Comment: see property def
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec Yes George Aaron Broadwell
+ Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: m'akkattài vìnu e jàkkwa. *Mi vìppi vìnu ma lassài jàkkwa
  Gloss: to.me bought.1S wine and water. To.me drank.1S wine but left.1S water
  Translation: Intended: I bought wine and water. I drank the wine but I left the water
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: m'akkattài vìnu e jàkkwa. Mi vìppi u vìnu ma lassài l'àkkwa
  Gloss: to.me bought.1S wine and water. To.me drank.1S the wine but left.1S the water
  Translation: I bought wine and water. I drank the wine but I left the water
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Spanish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: So kumpratə lattə e vinə. *So bivutə lattə ma so laʃatə vinə.
  Gloss: I.am bought milk and wine. I.am drank milk but I.am left wine.
  Translation: I bought milk and wine. I drank the milk but I left the wine.
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vata Yes Hilda Koopman
+ Vietnamese Yes Jimmy Nguyen
  Words: Bỏ trứng vào tủ lạnh đi.
  Gloss: Put egg in refridgerator REQUESTIVE
  Translation: Please put the eggs in the fridge.
  Contributor: Jimmy Nguyen
   Wolof No Cristina Guardiano
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen