Login

w05b_Indef pl count Ns in O position: must have an article

Definition
Untitled Document

    Indefinite plural count nouns in object position

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

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


Indefinite plural count nouns in object position must have an article


This property is set to 'yes' if an unmodified, indefinite, morphologically plural count noun in object position must:

  1. occur with an article (e.g. 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 count noun, or
    2. a definite plural noun

Elicitation contexts

1) Yesterday I bought _____ books (first mention of books, plural, non-specific, non-generic)
2) Yesterday I met _____ students (first mention of students, plural, non-specific, non-generic)
3) Yesterday I saw _____ dogs in my garden (first mention of dogs, plural, non-specific, non-generic)

Additional instructions

  1. The indefinite plural count 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. plural nouns used as generics (I like dogs)
    2. plural nouns of arts and sciences (I love mathematics)
    3. pluralia tantum (I wear glasses)
    4. abstract nouns (John finds love everywhere)
    5. collective nouns (Italy changed government last week, I saw people at the party)
  4. If there is more than one object position in your language, test this property for each position

Examples

1.

French is 'yes' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position must have the partitive article des (= the preposition de + the definite article les; [ note ]).

.

i.a

  • J'ai lu des livres
    I have read of.the.PL book.PL
    " I read books "

i.b

  • J'ai rencontré des enseignants
    I have met of.the.PL teacher.PL
    " I met teachers "

Bare plural nouns are not allowed in object position.

ii.a

  • * J'ai lu livres
    I have read book.PL
    Intended: " I read books "

ii.b

  • * J'ai rencontré enseignants
    I have met teacher.PL
    Intended: " I met teachers "

2.

Basque is 'yes' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position must have an article.

i.

  • irakasleak topatu nituen
    teacher.A.PL found 1.PL.AUX.PAST
    " I met teachers " (it can also mean I met the teachers)

They cannot be bare.

ii.

  • * irakaslek topatu nituen
    teacher.PL found 1.PL.AUX.PAST
    Intended: " I met teachers "

3.

Wolof is 'yes' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position must have an article.

i.

  • jàng na-a a-y tééré
    read FIN-1S indef.PL book
    " I read books "

They cannot be bare (cf. also Tamba, Torrence and Zimmermann 2013).

ii.

  • * jàng na-a tééré
    read FIN-1S book
    Intended: " I read books "

4.

English is 'no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare.

  1. I met dogs
  2. I read books
  3. I met teachers

5.

Modern Greek is 'no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare.

  • diávasa vivlía
    read.1SG book.PL.ACC
    " I read books "

6.

Hindi is 'no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare.

  • m$acircîne kitaabê padhii (the d has a dot below. Html code: U+1E0D)
    I.ERG book.PL read.PST.FEM
    " I read books "

7.

Hungarian is 'no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare.

i.

  • olvastam könyveket
    read.1SG book.PL.ACC
    " I read books "

ii.

  • láttam kutyákat
    see.PST.1SG dog.PLACC
    " I saw dogs "

8.

Hebrew is 'no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare.

i.

  • karati sfarim
    I.read book.PL
    " I read books "

ii.

  • raiti klavim
    I.saw dog.PL
    " I saw dogs "

9.

Russian is '€˜no' for this property: indefinite plural count nouns in object position can be bare. A plural count noun with accusative case is compatible to both an indefinite and a definite interpretation, thus counting as bare.

i.

  • Ja vstretila sobak
    I meet.PST.FEM.SG dog.ACC.PL
    " I met (some) dogs " (can also mean I met the dogs)

ii.

  • Ja Cital(a) knigi
    I read.PST.FEM.SG book.ACC.PL
    " I read (some) books " (can also mean I read the books)

iii.

  • Ja vstretil uCiteljej
    I meet.PST.MASC.SG teacher.ACC.PL
    " I met (some) teachers " (can also mean I met the teachers)

Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Akan-twi No AUGUSTINA OWUSU
   Ancient Greek No Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Basque Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
+ Croatian No Daniela Culinovic
  Words: Jucer sam srela studente.
  Gloss: Yesterday have.PRS.1SG meet.PST.PTCP.FEM student.ACC.PL
  Translation: Yesterday I met some/the students.
  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:  I met students all afternoon long
  Contributor: the property authors
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   French Yes 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: Ajora-sa vivli-a.
  Gloss: buy-1.SG.PST.PERF book-PL.ACC
  Translation: I bought books.
  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) No Massimo Gargiulo
   Hindi No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Hungarian No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   imbabura quichua No Pam Munro
+ Italian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ho visto cani
  Gloss: have.1S seen dogs
  Translation: I saw dogs
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ho visto dei cani
  Gloss: have.1S seen of.the dogs
  Translation: I saw (some) dogs
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) Yes Giovanni Roversi
   Kannada (Bengaluru-Mysore) No Amrit Amritavalli
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
   Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) No Chiara Gianollo
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
   Mandarin No Cristina Guardiano
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   nda'nda' No Bertille Baron
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
+ Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
  Words: Mi ka wosika-zi
  Gloss: 1.sg write letter-PL
  Translation: I wrote letters.
  Contributor: Jason Kandybowicz
   Old English No Willem Koopman
   Old French No Heather Burnett
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al No Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman
+ Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: vìtti piccjwòtti ppi stràta
  Gloss: saw.1S boys on street
  Translation: I saw boys on the street
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Spanish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Teramano Yes Iara Mantenuto
  Words: so vistə li gallinə a pizzikirsə
  Gloss: I.am seen the hens to pecking.each.other
  Translation: I saw the chickens pecking each other
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
  Words: *so vistə gallinə a pizzikirsə
  Gloss: I.am seen hens to pecking.each.other
  Translation: I saw chickens pecking each other
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
+ Wolof Yes Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
  Words: jàng na-a a-y tééré
  Gloss: read FIN-1S indef-PL book
  Translation: I read books
  Comment: Indefinite plural count nouns in object position always occur with an indefinite plural marker (cf. also Tamba, Torrence and Zimmermann 2013).
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen