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Bare nouns in Danish with special reference to the object position

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2017

Henrik Høeg Müller*
Purreskovvej 49,, 5874 Hesselager,
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Based on a discussion of correlations between syntactic position, prosodic cues, aspect and generic vs. non-generic interpretations, this paper substantiates that Danish Bare Plural count nouns (BPs) have a wider distribution than Bare Singular count nouns (BSs). BPs, unlike BSs, can occur in subject position, function as both generic and existential arguments, and appear with all aspectual verb classes. However, BPs and BSs expressing a non-generic, modificational meaning concur in object position of activity verbs and stative verbs with a possession relation implicature. These V+BP and V+BS structures, it is suggested, form a progressive continuum of three different subtypes of pseudo-incorporation (PI), namely (i) PI of BPs (low integration as in spise æbler ‘eat apples’), (ii) PI of type 1 BSs (medium integration as in male hus ‘paint house’), and (iii) PI of type 2 BSs (maximum integration as in spille violin ‘play violin’).

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Copyright © Nordic Association of Linguistics 2017 

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