CUNY Syntax Supper: Friederike Moltmann (CNRS)
FEB 05, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
February 05, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Proper Names, Sortals, and the Mass-‐Count Distinction
Philosophers have discussed the question whether reference with a proper name requires a sortal and even whether proper names have sortal content. In this talk, focusing on German, I will take a closer a look at the linguistic structure of proper names for different sorts of entities, including those for locations, times, churches, temples, lakes, and mountains. I will show that proper names for different sorts of entities distinguish themselves by the lexical or syntactic presence or absence of a sortal in a way that reflects both the mass-count distinction and different classifier systems, as they are found across languages. This has consequences for the syntax and semantics of proper names as well as the status of the mass-count distinction as such.