Topic 13 – Expression of the quantity.

1. INTRODUCTION.. 3

2. NOUN CLASSES: COUNT, NONCOUNT AND PROPER NOUNS. 3

John. 3

3. DUAL CLASS. 3

4. CONVERSION.. 4

5. PARTITIVE CONSTRUCTIONS (of). 4

5.1. Quality. 4

5.2. Quantity. 5

5.2.1. Noncount nouns. 5

5.2.2. Plural count nouns. 5

5.2.3. Singular count nouns. 6

6. Specifically English noncount noun. 6

7. DETERMINERS AND QUANTIFIERS. 6

7.1. Central 6

COUNT.. 6

SINGULAR.. 6

DEFINITE.. 6

7.2. Predeterminers. 7

7.2.1. All, both, half. 7

7.2.2. Whole. 7

7.2.3. Multipliers (double, twice…) and fractions. 8

7.3. Postdeterminers. 8

7.3.1. Cardinal numbers. 8

7.3.2. Ordinals and general ordinals. 8

7.3.3. Closed-class quantifiers. 8

7.3.4. A few, a little. 9

7.3.5. Open-class quantifiers. 9

8. QUANTIFIERS: pronouns. 10

9. BIBLIOGRAPHY.. 11


1. INTRODUCTION

The expression of quantity in a language is inherent to the nouns and the NP. They main way to show quantity is by means of the plural form of the countable nouns. However, there are other ways, such as group nouns like army, tribe

2. NOUN CLASSES: COUNT, NONCOUNT AND PROPER NOUNS

Nouns can belong to different classes: nouns can be seen to fit into different groups according to their behavior in combination with certain grammatical elements:

John

book

furniture

brick

No det

The

A/n

Some

plural

The nouns in the first column are proper nouns, whereas the others are common ones. Here we must distinguish between count, noncount and dual.

3. DUAL CLASS

Dual class nouns can be count or noncount depending on the context_

Would you like a cake?

Sorry, I don’t like cake.

Sometimes, the fact of a noun belonging to a group may affect its meaning, as in (paper):

The chair is made of wood

The wood of England

Sometimes we have different words for the same meaning, but one is count and the other is noncount:

Ox, cow: BEEF

Meal: FOOD

Permit: PERMISSION

Calf: VEAL

Job: WORK

Laugh: LAUGHTER

Sheep: MUTTON

Vehicle: TRAFFIC

Machine: MACHINERY

Pig: PORK

Poem: POETRY

Leaf: FOLIAGE

Suitcase: LUGGAGE

This variation may also be seen in the use of quantifiers (much/many):

She had many difficulties (count)

She had much difficulty (noncount)

4. CONVERSION

Nouns may also be shifted from one class to another by means of conversion, and so we can have:

What cheeses have you got today? (kinds of)

Well, we have Cheddar, Gorgonzola….

Similarly, with a noun like ‘coffee’, which is normally noncount:

Do you want tea or ‘coffee’?

Can I have a ‘coffee’, please? (a cup of coffee)

5. PARTITIVE CONSTRUCTIONS (of)

Both count and noncount nouns can enter partitive constructions, i.e., constructions denoting a part of a whole because of its quality or its quantity

5.1. Quality

In order to express quality we use a species noun: sort, type, species, class, variety…With this, you set a special class aside because of its quality.

If premodification is needed, it’s usually the species noun the premodified:

٭ a kind of delicious bread / a delicious kind of bread.

You can also express quality partition through conversion (reclassification).

5.2. Quantity

5.2.1. Noncount nouns

We use Unit nouns in order to separate apart a quantity of a unit: piece, bit, item.

We can also achieve quantity partition through reclassification: two (lumps of) sugars.

The commonest unit noun is piece, and it can be used both with concrete and abstract nouns:

A piece of cake

A piece of advice

For small amounts we usually use bit, whereas for abstract nouns we usually use item.

In addition to this, there are some lexicalised partitives such as the following:

An atom of truth

A block of ice

A sheet of paper

A bar of chocolate

A chop of water

A speck of dusk

A blade of grass

A loaf of bread

5.2.2. Plural count nouns

With plural count nouns we use partitives such as:

A crowd of people

A flock of birds

A heard of cattle

A bunch of keys

A packet of cigarettes

A series of lectures

Sometimes with group nouns which express a relationship among its members (audience, club, family) you may use the verb in singular or in plural.

5.2.3. Singular count nouns

Partition can also be expressed in reference to singular count nouns, e.g:

A verse of a poem

A page of a book

A branch of a tree

A piece of a loaf

We can also show fractional partition with partitives such as: the whole of, the reminder of, all of

6. Specifically English noncount noun.

There’s tendency for concrete nouns to be count and for abstract nouns to be noncount, but there is no necessary connection between the classes of nouns and the entities to which they refer. :

Some of the nouns which are noncount in English and tend to be count in other languages are the following:

Information, news, advice, anger, chaos, courage, equipment, homework, moonlight, photography, research, scenery, sunshine, behaviour, chess, dancing, fun, hospitality, furniture (concrete)…’

7. DETERMINERS AND QUANTIFIERS

Determiners are elements which serve to link nouns to the linguistic or situational context.

7.1. Central

The most common and typical central determiners are the articles (the definite and indefinite).

COUNT

NONCOUNT

SINGULAR
DEFINITE

INDEFINITE

The book

A book

The furniture

Furniture

PLURAL

DEFINITE

INDEFINITE

The books

Books

The form of the articles depends on the initial sound of the following word.

Other central determiners are:

1. The demonstratives

2. Possessive adjectives: Some, any no, every, each, either, neither, enough.

3. wh- determiners

7.2. Predeterminers

They can occur before certain central determiners, most of them indicate quantity.

7.2.1. All, both, half

They occur before central determiners:

All the day

All these people

All my life

However, as they are quantifiers themselves, quantifiers shouldn’t follow them (every, (n)either, each, some, any, no enough).

All three can also be used as independent pronouns, functioning as subject:

All/both/half passesed their exams

And when they are functioning as pronouns, they can take partitive of-phrases, which are optional with nouns and obligatory with pronouns:

All (of) the students

All of them

7.2.2. Whole

Whole and all are used with temporal nouns:

All (the) day

The whole day

They can also be used with other divisible nouns such as family, story, way…

When they are used with proper nouns and other nouns they don’t take the definite article:

All (of) London/next month

The whole of London/next month

7.2.3. Multipliers (double, twice…) and fractions

They are for example:

Twice, two times, double, thrice (old form)

Three times, treble

The multipliers can occur with ‘a, every, each, per…’ to indicate distribution:

Once a day, twice every week, three times each year.

The fractions can also be followed by the partitive construction: 1/3 (of) the time

7.3. Postdeterminers

7.3.1. Cardinal numbers

In many contexts, one may be regarded as a stressed form of the indefinite article and may sometimes replace it: I would like a/one photocopy of this article.

In this way, the indefinite article can never occur with ‘one’, but the definite article can:

*A one bock

The one (only) bock

7.3.2. Ordinals and general ordinals

As general ordinals we can point out: next, last, past, (an)other, additional,…’.

Ordinals occur with count nouns and usually precede any cardinal number in the noun phrase: the first two days, another three weeks.

But these items don’t really indicate quantity.

7.3.3. Closed-class quantifiers

Many, (a) few, several co-occur only with plural count nouns:

There were too many mistakes in your essay, only a few, very few

Much’ and ‘(a) little’ co-occur only with noncount nouns:

She hasn’t got ‘much’ money

There are restrictions in the use of ‘much’ with singular: it is typically used in a non-assertive sentence. In an assertive sentence, usually ‘a lot of’ or a similar colloquial post determiner is used’:

We lave plenty of time, a lot of, lots of

7.3.4. A few, a little

When a/an does not precede, ‘few’ and ‘little’ are stressed.

He wrote a few ‘books, (some, several!)

He wrote ‘few ‘books (not enough)

Few, little, much, many’ are gradable, and also lave comparative and superlative forms:

Few/fewer/fewest dollars

Little/less/least money

Many/more/most dollars

Much/more/most money

There is a tendency to use ‘less’ (instead of fewer) and least (instead of fewest) also with count nouns:

You’ve made ‘less’ mistakes than last time.

Being gradable, ‘many, much, few, little’ can be modified by intensifying adverbs, ‘too much, ‘very few, etc...’

7.3.5. Open-class quantifiers

Some of these can co-occur equally with noncount and plural count nouns.

1. Plus count or noncount nouns

· Plenty of

· A lot of

· Lots of

2. Plus noncount nouns:

· A great deal of

· Large quantity

· Good deal

· big amount

3. Plus plural count nouns:

· A great number of

· A large number of

· A good number of

The whole expression functions as a determiner.

8. QUANTIFIERS: pronouns

Some quantifiers are pronouns: all, some, none

Specifying the meaning of some

Many, a lot of, a large number

Few, a small number

A few, not many

——–

Much, a lot, a great deal,

Little,

A little, not much

SCALE OF AMOUNT

9. BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Huddleston, R. (1984) Introduction to the Grammar of English. C.U.P.

2. Quirk, R. et al. (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman.

Publicado: marzo 13, 2019 por Laura Gonzalez

Etiquetas: tema 13 inglés secundaria