Speaker: Halima Husić (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Title: Individuation and Countability of Event Nominals
Date: Thursday 11 November
Venue: Lipsius 207
Time: 16.15 – 17.30 hrs
Abstract: Derived nominals which carry an eventive meaning have been thoroughly discussed in syntax and semantics with respect to a variety of phenomena including verbal/nominal properties, argument structure, aspectual properties, or polysemy. Considering nominal properties, such as pluralization, the issue shifts to the count/mass distinction and the need to determine whether such event nominals are count or mass. In this regard, several theories have been put forward arguing that aspectual properties or the argument structure drive the countability of such nominals. Thorough corpora studies have shown, however, that the issue is not as clear-cut as assumed. On the contrary, event nominals are subject to great variation. In my thesis I investigated 200 de-predicated nouns in COCA and identified generalizations regarding the distinctive features that drive countability in event nominals and meaning shifts which result in a change of countability as well. In this presentation we will look into different ways of individuating event nominals and how these cases differ from ordinary counting constructions. We will show that the distinction between individuation and countability is essential in understanding how the count/mass distinction is manifested in eventive nominals.
ComSyn started out as discussion group about Comparative Syntax at Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL). It has since grown into a series of lectures about (Comparative) Syntax. Speakers from all over the world are welcome to present their work in an informal setting. ComSyn is the perfect place to present work in progress, do a dry run for a conference, or simply share a syntactic puzzle with fellow linguists. If you have any suggestions, please contact one of the organizers—Maarten Bogaards, Irina Morozova and Stéphane Térosier.
28 Sep | Sjef Barbiers & Irina Morozova (LUCL)
12 Oct | Mieke Slim (MPI)
9 Nov | Luciana Sanchez Mendes (Universidade Federal Fluminense, CNPq, Faperj) and Ana Clara Polakof (Universidad de la República, SNI)
16 Nov | Karen De Clercq (Paris Cité)
7 Dec | Danfeng Wu (Oxford)
14 Dec | Elise Newman (Edinburgh)
21 Dec | Thom Westveer (UvA)
In-person talks are in Lipsius 2.17. Online talks are on Zoom—please join our mailing list for the links.