Linguistik-Klassifikation: Lexikologie/Etymologie / Lexicology/Etymology
Numeral-Klassifikatoren und die Distribution von Nomen : konzeptuelle, semantische und syntaktische Aspekte
- I give a unified account of numeral classifiers as lexical items that are reduced to the function of individuation in cardinal counting constructions with transnumeral nouns. I argue that individuation is a lexical-semantic phenomenon that triggers a focus shift from a whole set to its individual elements, but does not affect the conceptual representation. The semantic reduction of numeral classifiers to individuation functions is, on the one hand, reflected by a morpho-syntactic reduction; numeral classifiers do not project to full NPs, but occur as headadjuncts in QPs. On the other hand, it leads to a loss of conceptual features. As a result, nouns that are used as numeral classifiers are conceptually divorced from their NP counterparts. They integrate the nominal concept not as part of their interpretation, but via agreement features that govern the distribution of nouns in classifierconstructions. I show that the selection of conceptual features relevant for the distribution of numeral classifiers and nouns is lexically, not conceptually governed, supporting a model that distinguishes lexical-semantic and conceptual aspects in the generation of meaning.