LINGUIST List 11.1954

Sat Sep 16 2000

Sum: Phrasal quantification

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Torodd Kinn, Phrasal quantification

Message 1: Phrasal quantification

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 08:54:06 +0100
From: Torodd Kinn <>
Subject: Phrasal quantification

For Query: Linguist 11.1879

Dear linguists,

On Thursday 7 September I posted the following question:

"I am looking for works on phrasal quantification.
English examples are "three bottles of wine" and "a lot of
people". I am particularly interested in those Germanic
languages where usually no preposition is used (the
Scandinavian ones, German, Dutch ...), but also English. In
German and Norwegian we find phrases like:

	drei Flaschen Wein / tre flasker vin
	eine Menge Menschen / ei mengd menneske

It is well known that both the first and the second noun
exhibit head properties, and an analysis based on
grammatical ambiguity has been proposed by Lars-Olof
Delsing in a principles-and-parameters framework.

I would be grateful for references to other analyses of
these constructions, especially DIACHRONIC, but also
synchronic ones. I'm working in cognitive linguistics
myself, but approaches of all persuasions are welcome."

The work by Delsing referred to in the question is this

Lars-Olof Delsing (1993): The Internal Structure of Noun
Phrases in the Scandinavian Languages. Dept. of
Scandinavian Languages, Univ. of Lund.

I received kind answers from the following:

Hank, <>
Volkmar Engerer, <>
Serge Sharoff, <>
Frank Joosten, <>
Johanna Wood, <>
Riet Vos, <>
Bruce D. Despain, <>
Patricia Deevy, <>
Pawel Rutkowski, <>

Below follows a list of books and articles that they
referred to:

Steve Paul Abney (1987): The English Noun Phrase in its
Sentential Aspect. Doctoral Dissertation, MIT.

Adrian Akmajian and Adrienne Lehrer (1976) "NP-Like
Quantifiers and the Problem of Determining the Head of an
NP" in Linguistic Analysis 2.4: 395-413.

C. Barker (1992): "Group terms in English: representing
groups as atoms" in Journal of Semantics 9.1: 69-93.

Patricia Deevy (1998): a Ph.D. dissertation, University of

Peter Eisenberg (1994): Grundriss der deutschen Grammatik,
Stuttgart, Weimar. (pages 254ff - a short discussion of

J. Gu�ron (1979): "On the Structure of "Pseudo-Partitive"
NPs" in Descriptive and Applied Linguistics: Bulletin of
the ICU Summer Institute in Linguistics 12: 21-48.

M.A.K. Halliday (1985): Introduction to Functional Grammar,
London: Edward Arnold. (1st edition; 2nd edition: 1994 -
chapter 6.2, a short discussion of English)

Helen de Hoop (1998): "Partitivity" in Glot International

Elisabeth Katz (1982): "Zur Distribution von Kompositum und
Nominalgruppe im Deutschen. Ein Beitrag zur Dimension der
Apprehension" in: Hansjakob Seiler and Christian Lehmann
(eds.). Apprehension. Das sprachliche Erfassen von
Gegenst�nden. Teil I: Bereich und Ordnung der Ph�nomene.
(Language Universals Series 1/I.) T�bingen, Gunter Narr.

Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm (forthc.): "'A Piece of the Cake'
and 'a Cup of Tea': Partitive and Pseudo-Partitive Nominal
Constructions in the Circum-Baltic Languages" in �sten Dahl
and Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm (eds.) (forthc.), The
Circum-Baltic Languages: Their Typology and Contacts.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Roger Schwarzschild (1996): Pluralities. Boston: Kluwer
Academic Publishers.

Hansjakob Seiler (1986): Apprehension. Language, object,
and order. Part III: The universal dimension of
Apprehension. (Language Universals Series 1/III.) T�bingen,
Gunter Narr.

Elisabeth Selkirk (1977): "Some Remarks on Noun Phrase
Structure" in T. Wasow, A. Akmajian, and P.Culicover
(eds.): Formal Syntax. New York: Academic Press.

Riet Vos (1999): A Grammar of Partitive Constructions.
(TILDIL Dissertation Series 1999-1) Tilburg, 1999.

A grammar of English by Bruce D. Despain can be found at

Torodd Kinn
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