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Types of Numerical Nouns
Melita Stavrou and Arhonto Terzi
429-437 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In light of Kayne's (2005) discussion of the properties of cardinals and related numerical expressions, the authors propose a classification of numerical nouns in Greek. These are nouns formed from cardinal numerals via suffixation of two overt nominalizing suffixes. The first suffix they identify attaches to cardinals and derives a numerical noun with three different interpretations: the Set, the High Number, and the Cardinal. In those nouns with the Set interpretation the authors detect a number of properties known from classifiers and measure phrases, and associate them with the structure of a pseudopartitive construction. The second interpretation is ambiguous: under the first reading, the numerical noun functions as a numerical head with the Set interpretation. Under the second reading, the numerical noun exhibits the behavior of quantifiers (and cardinals) in simple DPs. For the nouns with the third interpretation, the authors assume the structure of ordinary complex cardinals. The second suffix that derives numerical nouns conveys an approximative reading, and the noun so derived is always preceded by a negative indefinite determiner. The authors propose that these numerical nouns also participate in the pseudopartitive construction, which in this case contains an Approximative Phrase.

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00