Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)),
Apr 25, 2017,
The category Number and in particular plural Number has received a lot of attention in the literature. In this talk, I will re-visit the question of whether plurals behave alike across languages. The focus will be on languages that have distinct Number systems (i.e. they differ in terms of the interpretation of the plural and the availability of general number).
I will introduce two distinct views on plurality and make particular assumptions about its morpho-syntactic representation. I will then discuss phenomena that show the non-uniform behavior of plurals across languages; these relate to semantic vs. morphological markedness. I will evaluate various theoretical approaches to plurality partially on the basis of experimental data. Finally, I will examine how the morpho-syntactic analysis of plurality can be used to understand the role of plural in nominalizations.
The empirical domain will include data from English, German, Greek, Hungarian, and Turkish.