Publication details

Against atomicity : Evidence from subatomic quantification

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Year of publication 2021
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In standard theories of pluralities and countability, the mass/count distinction is often formulated in terms of atomicity (e.g., Link 1983, Landman 1991, 2000, Chierchia 1998, 2010, Champollion 2017). Despite significant differences in particular theories, the contrast between count and mass nouns usually boils down to the existence or lack of minimal building blocks in their denotations or, alternatively, to a distinct nature of those building blocks. The approach developed in this paper rejects the view that what counts as one is best represented as an atomic entity. Instead, building on a mereotopological approach to nominal semantics (Grimm 2012, see also Casati & Varzi 1999) I propose that countability is a feature of individuals that constitute non-overlapping and integrated wholes (as opposed to, e.g., scattered entities and arbitrary sums).
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