Number and case as non‐nounal

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume II

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608324
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732041 | DOI:
Number and case as non‐nounal

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


This chapter raises the question of non‐verbal periphrasis. A distinction is drawn between secondary features that are elective (say, progressive) and inherent (say, gender). The features of verbs that figure in periphrases are elective. Number and case are arguably elective, and they do figure in function word + lexical noun sequences. Unfortunately for the investigation of them as involved in nominal periphrases, they are basically not features of the noun, but of the determiner/pronoun, as far as number is concerned, and of what is called here the functor, realized as an adposition or morphological case. These features are only secondarily associated with nouns. Number is associated with reference, nouns with denotation. And case involves an independent relational category; prototypical nouns are non‐relational.

Keywords: non‐verbal periphrasis; elective features; inherent features; number; case; noun

Chapter.  12779 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.