Accession Number : AD0666410

Title :   THE DUALITY OF COLLECTIVE NOUNS.

Descriptive Note : Technical memo.,

Corporate Author : SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s) : Celce,Marianne

Report Date : 01 MAR 1968

Pagination or Media Count : 13

Abstract : Instead of dismissing the existence of collective nouns in English on syntactic grounds, the article proposes that collective nouns comprise a contextual or discourse category of nouns exhibiting duality of number. This duality stems from a choice, open to the writer or speaker, of using a collective noun as either a singular or plural noun--except for a few restrictions. The process of selecting one grammatical number rather than the other is more or less a semantic problem; however, since this choice manifests itself formally either within or across the boundaries of a main clause or sentence, it has syntactic or contextual (anaphoric) consequences and is therefore describable in grammatical terms. The three main types of collective nouns observed (i.e., particularizing, unique, and generic) are discussed individually. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*ENGLISH LANGUAGE, SEMANTICS), (*VOCABULARY, *SEMANTICS), SYNTAX, GRAMMARS

Subject Categories : Linguistics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE