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w02c_Def mass Ns in O position: can have an article

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 have an article


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

  1. occur with an article
  2. (for languages without articles but with classifiers, noun classes, case, adpositional endings, etc ) exhibit structural alternation with noun phrases containing:
    1. an indefinite mass noun, and/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, etc)
  2. The sentence is affirmative, NOT negative, interrogative, etc (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

No known cases of 'yes'™, yet.

1.

English is 'no' for this property: definite mass nouns in object position must have an article (i). They cannot be bare (ii).

    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!
    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!

2.

Basque is 'no'™ for this property: definite mass nouns in object position must have an article.

i.

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

They cannot be bare.

ii.

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

3.

Hebrew is 'no'™ for this property: definite mass nouns in object position must have an article.

i.

  • axalti et ha-basar
    I.ate ACC the-meat
    " I ate the meat"

Bare mass nouns in object position are never definite.

ii.

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

4.

Russian is 'no' for this property: definite mass nouns in object position do not have an article. 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 "
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: tí mɛ í malêp mâ, mɛ ń- tí wɛ́ mahɔ́ŋ
  Gloss: give.IMP.2pl me AUG 6.water 6.DEM I FUT1-give you 6.cheese
  Translation: Speaker A and speaker B are having dinner. There is water and cheese on the table.Give me the water, I will pass you the cheese’ Contect: Speaker A says: Pass me _____ water! I will pass you the cheese.
  Comment: In this context, water can be bare, or have an augment (the segmental part can be absent, but the tone must remain) and a demonstrative. It is puzzling that this is only possible for the leftmost object: i.e. cheese cannot be augmented and carry a demonstrative. What factors play a role remains to be explored.
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
   Basque No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
  Words: Speaker A and speaker B are back from the supermarket. Speaker A says: ceng fong (go) di ngaunaai jap bingsoeng
  Gloss: please put (that) some milk in fridge
  Translation: Please, put the milk in the fridge!
  Comment: di ‘some’ is not a classifier.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
+ Croatian No Daniela Culinovic
  Words: Context: I took cheese and wine from the fridge. Pojela sam sir ali nisam popila vino.
  Gloss: eat.PST.PTCP.FEM have.PRS.1SG(that.ACC) cheese.ACC but not.PRS.1SG drink.PST.PTCP.FEM wine.ACC
  Comment: Mass object with a genitive case would have partitive interpretation in this context: Pojela sam sira.GEN (I ate some of the cheese),ali nisam popila vina.GEN (some of the wine).
  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
+ 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 the 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 water!
  Contributor: the property authors
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Finnish Yes Anders Holmberg
   French No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
+ French (Ivorian) Yes Akpoué Josué
  Words: Pardon, mets lait la dans (le) frigo/ mets le lait la dans le frigo
  Comment: The prenominal French article is optional.
  Contributor: Akpoué Josué
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   German No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: Val-e *(to) krasi sto psiji-o.
  Gloss: put-3.SG.IMP DEF.SG.ACC wine.SG.ACC in.DEF.SG.ACC fridge-SG.ACC
  Translation: Put the wine in the fridge.
  Comment: The example is ungrammatical without the definite aricle (unless an indefinite reading is intended)
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) Not Yet Set 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: Chay yakuta yalichimupay
  Gloss: THAT WATER.acc PASS.causative.TO-ME.honorific.imp
  Translation: Pass me the water!
  Comment: Ok if you can't reach it.
  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
+ KiLega Yes Kasangati Kinyalolo
  Words: n.á.nú.le mámo m`ázi
  Gloss: I.drank.PAST 6. t- o water
  Translation: I drank the water (lit. that water)
  Comment: A demonstrative is preferred here.
  Contributor: Kasangati Kinyalolo
  Words: n.á.nú.le m`ázi m.óngó
  Gloss: I.drank.PAST water 6.prev mentioned
  Translation: I drank the water in question
  Contributor: Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
+ Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
  Words: ?Mbelimmɛ, tisim kuom, n na tis fu daam
  Gloss: please give-me water, 1sg FUT give 2sg beer
  Translation: Please pass me water, I will pass you beer
  Comment: The data is acceptable under an indefinite interpretation
  Contributor: Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo Latin has no articles, but a demonstrative is possible
  Words: Domine da mihi hanc aquam
  Gloss: Master:VOC give:IMP.2SG PERS.PR.1SG:DAT this:ACC water:ACC
  Translation: 'My lord, give me this water'
  Comment: (Iohannes 4.15) - Biblia Sacra Vulgata, 4th cent. CE.
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman A comment from Paul (2000): Zribi-Hertz and Mbolatianavalona (1999:186) claim that the definite determiner ny is barred from the object position (unless required to license a modifier). They propose that there is a null determiner that is in complementary distribution with ny. I have never worked with a speaker with this restriction...."
   Mandarin No 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 Willem Koopman
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
+ Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
  Words: Nochama, ra a- ma -bere (ako) mu-i-furiji.
  Gloss: Please, put AUG- C6 -milk a.DEM LOC- C9 -fridge
  Translation: Please, put the milk in the fridge.
  Comment: The demonstrative ‘ that ’ is not compulsory. However, some Oluwanga speakers might use it to show definiteness. It is unclear if w02c should be set to yes or no. I choose yes.
  Contributor: Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al Yes Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman
+ Sicilian No 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
  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
   Spanish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: so kumpratə lattə e vinə. So bivutə lu lattə ma so laʃatə lu vinə.
  Gloss: I.am bought milk and wine. I.am drank the milk but I.am left the wine.
  Translation: I bought milk and wine. I drank the milk but I left the wine.
  Contributor: 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) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vata Yes Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
   Wolof No Cristina Guardiano
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen