EXPRESSÃO NOMINAL MASSIVA E CONTÁVEL EM PORTUGUÊS BRASILEIRO
Bergantin, Lucas Bueno
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The objective of this research is to analyse and describe the behavior of nominal expressions in Brazilian Portuguese (BrP) concerning the mass—count distinction. Based on a selection in the literature of psycholinguistic experiment with children and adults, I elaborate a hypothesis to interpret the grammatical categories of bare singular and bare plural in relation with the mass—count distinction. The analysis is delimited to nouns in object position that have both a count and mass interpretations without semantic coercion. According to selected data, the bare singular does not determine the selection of a mass or count interpretation in BrP, receiving an evaluation in both cardinal and non-cardinal scales; on the contrary, the bare plural determines the selection of a count interpretation, receiving an evaluation in cardinal scale. In this sense, within the scope of this research, I propose the treatment of bare singulars and bare plurals based on a lexical underspecification approach, in which the lexical items are not predetermined to be count or mass, but the grammatical processing is responsible to attribute the categories that allows either interpretations. To formalize the phenomenon, I use formal semantics’ theories and principles, whose tools is presented in an objective way, seeking reasons for the functioning of the grammatical and lexical mechanisms that provoke both mass and count interpretations.