We are happy to announce a talk by Luisa Martí (Queen Mary, University of London) next Thursday at the Semantics Colloquium. Please find an abstract below.
Title: The numeral+noun construction: typology and semantics
Room: IG 4.301
Date: February 13th
Time: 4pm – 6pm
On the theoretical side, I show, building on previous work of mine, that putting together two theories, that of the typology of nominal number in Harbour (2014), and that of the syntax and semantics of numerals in Scontras (2014), leads to a number of predictions regarding how nouns will be marked for number when in the company of numerals (as in, e.g., English three apples, where apples is marked for plural) across languages.
I consider two arguments for this proposal. The first argument is one of theoretical economy: in my proposal, one and the same set of tools accounts for both the number marking on the noun and the semantics of the construction. This is more economical than accounting for the semantics of the construction separately from its morphology.
The second argument takes us to the empirical side of the talk, and it involves confirming (or disconfirming) the predictions made by the proposal. This work is ongoing, but I briefly discuss a number of languages where some of these predictions are confirmed.