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Lecture IV Nouns and Nominals. 1. Nouns Noun: Designates a kind or type of thing Nominal(Noun Phrase): Designates an instance of the type. (1) a. house:

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture IV Nouns and Nominals. 1. Nouns Noun: Designates a kind or type of thing Nominal(Noun Phrase): Designates an instance of the type. (1) a. house:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture IV Nouns and Nominals

2 1. Nouns Noun: Designates a kind or type of thing Nominal(Noun Phrase): Designates an instance of the type. (1) a. house: a type of entity, countless instances of the type,present and past, real and imaginary actual and potential b. the house: the conveys that out of the countless number of instances,just one has been selected for attention, and that the desig- nated instance is one that both speaker and hearer are able to uniquely identify.

3 Noun phrases (nominals) can exhibit onsiderable intern- al complexity. Four components of the conceptual organzation: Specification: the type may be specified in greater detail. Instantiation: the relation between the type and its instances Quantification: the number or quantity of the designated instance Grounding: the process the speaker locates the desig- nated instance from the perspective of the speech event.(definite and indefinite, specific and nonspecific)

4 The logical relationship: (Grounding (Quantification (Instantiation (specification (Type)))) (2) (the (three ( big (houses)))) (Grounding (Quantification (Specification (Type))))

5 Some basic concepts Grounding The context of the speech event, a process that locates an entity with respect to the ground, it enables the speech-act participants to establish mental contact with the designated entity. (Langacker FCG2: 98) E.g

6 The grounding relation, as exemplified in a definite noun phrase Fig 1 S H I

7 Instantiation It says something about the type to which the instance belongs. E.g. schema-instance relation The concepts[DOG], [CAT], [HORSE], [ANIMAL] occupy the abstract domain of types. A type, however, is instantiated in its special domain of instantiation. The domain of instantia- tion of [HOUSE] is, normally, three-dimensional.

8 The relation between a type(T) and its instance(I) Fig.2 T domain of instantiation I I I I I

9 The semantic structure of a grounded nominal Fig 1 represents a grounded instance but says nothing about the type to which the instance belongs. Fig 2 de- picts the type-instance relation with no indication of the grounding relation. Because of their conceptual overlap, the two representations can be brought together in a va- lence relation; the instance profiled in Fig 1 can be unifi- ed with one of the instances depicted in Fig 2. In this way we achieve a complete representation of a grounded no- minal.

10 The semantic structure of a grounded nominal. Fig 3 T I domain of instantiation S H

11 Specification Specification: Modifiers that characterize the con- cept in greater detail. While specification serves to narrow down the set of possible instances, ground- Ing only occurs through the addition of a determi- ner or quantifier. (3)a. house over there that I live in (4) the house over there

12 Many syntactic theories recognize a category in- termediate between the lexical category noun, symbolized by N, and the phrasal category, sym- bolized by NP. In X-bar theories, this intermedi- ate category is called N-bar, or N. N-bar consists of a noun together with its optional complements and modifiers, but lacks a determiner. This cato- gery is recursive, in that an N can be part of a Larger N, as in Fig 4

13 NP N Det Adj N PP the big dog over there

14 Specification serve to narrow down the set of po- ssible instances, grounding occurs through the addition of a determiner or quantifier. Without such elements, the N-bar continues to designate a type. This is true even if the type is specified in such detail that there is only one conceivable in- stance. The N-bar corresponds to a type specification.

15 Determiners and quantifiers Determiners profile an instance of a type. Fig. 5 Detrminers Definite Indefinite Specific Nonspecific.

16 Quantifiers include items such as many, most, a few, several, one, and the numerals. They give some idea of the number, or quantity, of the pro- filed instance. In virtue of this function, quanti- fiers subsume instantiation. The very fact that a Particular quantity is involved entails that the type has been instantiated.

17 Quantifiers can also subsume a grounding func- tion. The very fact that the speaker singles out an Instance of a certain magnitude entails that the Instance has become the focus of the speakers conscious awareness. By default, quantifiers are indefinite. Quantifiers comprise a heterogenous set of items: absolute quantifiers and relative quantifiers.

18 Absolute quantifiers give an indication of the size or number of the designated instance.They are pure quantifiers: one, three etc, a few, a little, much, many, several, numerous, and unstressed some. Relative quantifiers give a notion of quantity, but at the same time make implicit reference to a pre- supposed reference mass: all, most and stressed some.

19 Universal quantifiers: all, but every is similar: (5) a. All cats are carnivores. b. Every cat is a carnivore. Generics appear to function as universal quanti- Fiers: (6) a. Cats are carnivores b. Dogs make good companies. c. Water boils at 100 Centigrade.

20 But they only refer to all possible instances in the unreal world. (7) a. Cats are carnivores. b. All cats are carnivores. (8) a. Unicorns have one horn. b. All unicorns have one horn.

21 Ungrounded nouns Compounds Predicate nouns (9). a. John is the teacher. b. John is a teacher. (10) a. He is (the) chairman of the committee. b. He became president of America. c. She was elected vice-president. d. They made him headmaster. e. As managing director, he proposes….

22 (11) a. What! John, a teacher! I dont believe it. b. What! John, managing dirctor! Youve got to be joking.

23 Count nouns and mass nouns The conceptual basis individuatedness The distinction between count and mass can be Appropriately captured in terms of internal homogeneity, with three properties: divisability, replicability, inherent boundedness

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