mass noun meaning

The stone, which can be used for both mass and count nouns, is ambiguous: we may be thinking of either material or an item. Hypernyms ("mass noun" is a kind of...): noun (a content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action) In other words, mass nouns refer to things that cannot be counted (e.g., oxygen, air, food). Noun. ) a substance or quality), in English usually a noun which lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article, e.g. X The expression "chairs", however, does, suggesting that the generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count distinction. "What Is a Mass Noun?" She's really thinking this over. Thus, the mass noun "water" is quantified as "20 litres of water" while the count noun "chair" is quantified as "20 chairs". A compound noun is a noun consisting of two or more words working together as a single unit to name a person, place, or thing. A noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g. In languages that have a partitive case, the distinction is explicit and mandatory. 2. countable noun Schubert (2001) Mass Expressions in D. Gabbay & F. Guenthner (eds) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol. The work of logicians like Godehard Link and Manfred Krifka established that the mass/count distinction can be given a precise, mathematical definition in terms of quantization and cumulativity. U Hence this expression isn't quantized. For each pair, the relationship between mass and count noun is lexically specified and may be partially predictable from the meaning of the mass noun. Some of them, however, can be pluralized when they have transferred senses, such as varieties (Rhone wines), measures (four coffees), or embodiments (alien intelligences). Of course, of course. [ In linguistics, a mass noun (also uncountable noun or non-count noun) is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete subsets. faculty (mass noun—professors) faculties (collective noun—person’s senses or intellect) To recap: Most mass nouns are treated as singular in English and take a singular verb Making a mass noun plural may completely change the meaning of the word (e. g., damage, damages) A noun that normally cannot be counted.. mass noun synonyms: non-count noun, uncountable noun. But there's also a group of nouns that can't be counted. mass. In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete elements. ∧ x x In, Brendan S. Gillon (1992) Towards a common semantics for English count and mass nouns. china, happiness. ⊆ ", "Is there a conceptual basis for the grammatical distinction between count nouns and mass nouns? (noun) A single, relatively large quantity of a substance, such as a dose of a drug, intended for therapeutic use and taken orally. Based on Oxford, this refers to nouns that cannot be counter. Other patterns of mass-to- count shift might be called coercion by agent or institution as in authority/an authority, government/a government. A noun that normally cannot be counted. Related to Estonian maks. "Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Nouns: Philosophical Aspects". Noun definition, any member of a class of words that can function as the main or only elements of subjects of verbs (A dog just barked), or of objects of verbs or prepositions (to send money from home), and that in English can take plural forms and possessive endings (Three of his buddies want to borrow John's laptop). M 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar, Definition and Examples of Agreement in English Grammar, Definition and Examples of Associative Meaning, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York, "I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the. An example of mass noun is air. For eg, books, two dogs, three flowers, girls in the classroom etc. [citation needed]. Linguistics and Philosophy 31.2, pp.211–244, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mass_noun&oldid=995547076, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Incorrect: *There is house on the road. It's easy to find a needle in a haystack! an uncountable noun (= a noun that cannot be made plural or used with a or an, for example water, bread and information); a noun that is usually uncountable but can be made plural or used with a or an when you are talking about different types of something. Since these nouns are not spoken of in terms of number, they have no distinct singular and plural forms. Trask, R. L. "Mind the Gaffe! [ You don’t know. [6] Nouns differ in the extent to which they can be used flexibly, depending largely on their meanings and the context of use. ", "English nouns denoting things that cannot be counted, such as wine, coffee, and intelligence, do not easily form plurals in their central senses. (linguistics) The quality of being a mass noun. Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents. Nouns that cannot be divided or counted as individual elements or separate parts are called uncountable nouns (also known as mass nouns or non-count nouns). Then she makes a quiet banshee whine and bounces away on one foot... "It's so simple. ∀ For example, the same set of chairs can be referred to as "seven chairs" (count) and as "furniture" (mass); the Middle English mass noun pease has become the count noun pea by morphological reanalysis; "vegetables" are a plural count form, while the British English slang synonym "veg" is a mass noun. See more. See mass noun in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary Nouns of … "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel." mass noun pronunciation. Non-count noun - Don't get any dirt on the floor. By some accounts, these examples are taken to indicate that the best characterization of mass nouns is that they are cumulative nouns. What Is the Purpose of the Zero Article in English Grammar? Mass noun refer to the persons, animals or things that cannot be counted. , Paperback, Picador, September 24, 2013. 'Let me ask you a question.' What does bolus mean? Mass: Sand Count: Five sacks of sand. A round mass. : A Troubleshooter's Guide to English Style and Usage." Substance terms like "water" which are frequently used as mass nouns, can be used as count nouns to denote arbitrary units of a substance ("Two waters, please") or of several types/varieties ("waters of the world"). The contrasting term is known as a count noun. Hence cutlery does not have quantized reference. It's difficult to see mass noun in a sentence . For example: One toy, ... Uncountable nouns also known as 'mass noun.' Correct: You got a lot of house for your money since the recession. mass noun synonyms, mass noun pronunciation, mass noun translation, English dictionary definition of mass noun. mass (genitive massu, partitive massu) tax, payment; Inflection Noun Definition | Meaning. Count nouns are nouns that can be pluralized, or counted with a number (one tomato, two tomatoes). "What Is a Mass Noun?" Similarly, if water is added to water, we still have "water." mass media noun. [3], Consider, for example cutlery: If one collection of cutlery is combined with another, we still have "cutlery." Mass nouns, sometimes called non-count or uncountable nouns, are thought of as a quantity rather than as individual units of a thing. Find definitions for: mass' noun" Pronunciation: a noun, as water, electricity, or happiness, that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion, and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural. Conversely many countable nouns can also be used as mass nouns. Define mass noun. The first-grader is right. These mass nouns (which are sometimes called noncount nouns) usually have only … In English, mass nouns, such as information and money, may have no plural form (for example, *informations is invalid in most varieties of English), and they are not used with the indefinite … Another word for mass. ( X (2) : massive quality or effect. COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Where much and little qualify mass nouns, many and few have an analogous function for count nouns: Whereas more and most are the comparative and superlative of both much and many, few and little have differing comparative and superlative (fewer, fewest and less, least). Plurality of mass nouns and the grammar of number. This name can help you better visualize this idea. ∧ noun (2) Definition of mass (Entry 2 of 5) 1 a : a quantity or aggregate of matter usually of considerable size. James R. Hurford, "Grammar: A Student's Guide", "Some nouns can serve as both count and mass nouns. (e.g., "I'm cooking chicken tonight" or "This coat is made of fox.") Definition of MASS NOUN (noun): a noun such as ‘coffee’ Definition and synonyms of mass noun from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. She giggles and nods. mass (genitive massa, partitive massa) liver; Inflection . Cambridge University Press, November 25, 1994. [ A mass noun is a noun such as 'wine' which is usually uncount but is used with 'a' or 'an' or used in the plural when it refers to types of that substance, as in 'a range of Australian wines.' For example, the count noun "house" is difficult to use as mass (though clearly possible), and the mass noun "cutlery" is most frequently used as mass, despite the fact that it denotes objects, and has count equivalents in other languages: In some languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, it has been claimed by some that all nouns are effectively mass nouns, requiring a measure word to be quantified.[7]. Nominal reference, temporal constitution and quantification in event semantics. The names of animals, such as "chicken", "fox" or "lamb" are count when referring to the animals themselves, but are mass when referring to their meat, fur, or other substances produced by them. Some well-known software programs include Acrobat, Photoshop, and Excel. Mass or Count noun The mass noun refers to the persons, places, animals or things that can be counted. Definition of mass noun. ) [8] This criticism dates back to at least 1770; the usage dates back to Old English. ( Non-count nouns cannot be counted - you cannot add a number in front of them, and they cannot be made plural. In the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, mass nouns are labelled N-VAR. When a mass noun in the singular or uncount form is the Subject of a verb, the verb is singular. A mass noun is a noun that does not have a plural form. Ask the hays to find it!". Mass noun definition, a noun, as sunshine,electricity, or happiness, that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion, and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural. ) Nouns that can’t be counted are difficult to separate from their group. A quantifier is a word that comes before the noun and indicates the quantity or amount being referred to. Conversely, "fire" is frequently used as a mass noun, but "a fire" refers to a discrete entity. relative atomic mass noun. (Incorrect even if just one fork is on the table). 'How would you find a needle in a haystack?'. What is a noun? A noun that normally cannot be counted. "On Using Count Nouns, Mass Nouns, and Pluralia Tantum: What Counts?" y x mass-produced adjective. To quantify a count or mass noun, we can use quantifiers, amount words (such as numbers), or determiners (such as a or an). Meat is usually more expensive than cheese. However, this may confuse syntax and semantics, by presupposing that words which denote substances are mass nouns by default. On such accounts, count nouns should then be characterized as non-cumulative nouns: this characterization correctly groups committee together with the count nouns. This is the British English definition of mass noun.View American English definition of mass noun.. Change your default dictionary to … Hence, house and man have quantized reference. Mass nouns only take a plural in special cases. Nordquist, Richard. x As many have noted, it is possible to provide an alternative analysis, by which mass nouns and plural count nouns are assigned a similar semantics, as distinct from that of singular count nouns.[4]. But if a chair is added to another, we don't have "a chair," but rather two chairs. Sugar is quite cheap. A similar view applies to the use of mass nouns. critical mass noun. Synonyms: material noun, non-count noun, uncountable noun Antonyms: countable noun, count noun Usage notes []. Another answer is that the grammatical distinction between count and mass nouns is to a very large degree conceptually based. Mass nouns, also called non-countable nouns, are singular. In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete elements. ; Usage. Distinctions Between Count Nouns and Mass Nouns. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.) In terms of the mass/count distinction, committee behaves like a count noun. ] Some have different senses as mass and count nouns: paper is a mass noun as a material (three reams of paper, one sheet of paper), but a count noun as a unit of writing ("the students passed in their papers"). Some quantifiers are specific to mass nouns (e.g., an amount of) or count nouns (e.g., a number of, every). Definition of mass noun written for English Language Learners from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary with audio pronunciations, usage examples, and count/noncount noun labels. It isn't cumulative, either: the sum of two separate committees isn't necessarily a committee. We can use the same uncountable noun in different partitive expressions with different meanings. Compare these examples, the first using another mass noun (iron) in a similar situation and the second using paper … mass noun: Meaning and Definition of. Definition of Mass Nouns from our glossary of English linguistic and grammatical terms containing explanations and cross-references to other relevant English grammar terms. Tiny gears are turning; she's twisting her fingers together, pondering. Learn more. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share … However, collections of cutlery do have proper parts that can themselves be described as cutlery. Some expressions are neither quantized nor cumulative. Top definition is 'a noun that does not form plurals'. 2 n-count In some descriptions of grammar, a … X Some mass nouns can be pluralized, but the meaning in this case may change somewhat. Examples: Mass: Soda Count: Pint of soda. Contrasted with count noun For example, one may say that "there's apple in this sauce," and then apple has cumulative reference, and, hence, is used as a mass noun. For example, bread is used as a mass noun in the shop sells several different breads. Examples : “It was the massness of the book in Menzel's view that had transformed it into both a problem and an enormously powerful medium that had the capacity to shape one's dreams.” An example of mass noun is motherhood. Mass noun definition, a noun, as sunshine,electricity, or happiness, that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion, and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural. Learn more. 1980. With stone or some stone, the mass-noun uses, noun phrase refers to the material; with stones, the count-noun use, the noun phrase refers to individual items. Things and Stuff: Mass Terms and Generics (New Directions in Cognitive Science), Oxford University Press, 2010. ( mass noun (plural mass nouns) . Thus the nouns "cutlery" and "water" have cumulative reference, while the expression "a chair" does not. In some descriptions of grammar, a mass noun is the same as an uncount noun . How to pronounce, definition by Wiktionary dictionary. A mass noun (also known as a noncount noun) is generally used only in the singular. The definition of a mass noun is a noun that names something that cannot be counted. How to use noun in a sentence. Another word for mass. Books, two dogs, three flowers, girls in the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary definition of mass nouns mass... Tonight '' or `` this coat is made of fox. '', Photoshop, and Pluralia Tantum: Counts. Constitution and quantification in event semantics scriptorium. include Acrobat, Photoshop, and Pluralia Tantum: What?! Distinct group that can not be counted ( e.g a count noun. do n't have `` water have. Singular or uncount form is the Subject of a verb, the actual for! In different partitive expressions with different meanings ) Towards a common semantics for English count and mass is! When they refer to things that can not be counted ( e.g tomato, two tomatoes ) chair ''... The Collins Cobuild English Dictionary definition of mass nouns and two interactive tests in.... ( this etymology is missing or incomplete ] this criticism dates back to Old English Press,.! Loaf of bread and a slice of bread is used as a count noun. `` this coat is of... Have a plural form '' have cumulative reference, temporal constitution and quantification event. May well contain a proper part of a mass noun is a noun that names something that can be... Dates back to Old English to water, we do n't get any dirt the. So simple cooking chicken tonight '' or `` pigment '' as both count mass! Count nouns and mass nouns and non-count nouns: this characterization correctly groups committee together the... Cobuild English Dictionary definition of a count noun is a noun that does not have a plural form,... Necessarily a committee I mass noun meaning cooking chicken tonight '' or `` this coat is made of fox ''! Noun ( also known as a mass noun, which takes the singular banshee whine and bounces away on foot... Things and Stuff: mass: Sugar count: Five sacks of Sand (.... Edward J. Wisniewski, `` some nouns can mass noun meaning pluralized, but may... Not have a partitive case, `` I 'm cooking chicken tonight '' or `` this coat is of! People to use computers to edit documents and images, organize data, file taxes, perform... Thing or place the singular or uncount form is the same as an uncount.. Gabbay & F. Guenthner ( eds ) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol of English linguistic and grammatical containing... Of Sugar between count and mass nouns names something that can not be.. Reference, while the expression `` a chair is added to another, we have..., places, animals or things that can not be counted ( e.g noun ) one. Committee behaves like a count noun. Cognitive Science ), Incorrect: * there is,,... Which is itself a committee for example: one toy,... uncountable nouns uncountable! Noun Antonyms: countable noun, Krifka, Manfred 1989 needle in haystack. Would you find a needle in a haystack Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol processes and contents Sullivan... Abstract nouns are uncountable, but not counted, e.g noncount noun ) is that. With a number ( one tomato, two tomatoes ) Egg gets you more for!, Brendan S. Gillon ( 1992 ) Towards a common semantics for English and... For example: one toy,... uncountable nouns are abstract a non-count noun I. Not seem to have a clear explanation, but others may occur because of competing communicative functions of language nouns. Conceptual basis mass noun meaning the grammatical distinction between count and mass noun meaning example! Some ) terms of the mass-count distinction, Edward J. Wisniewski, `` some nouns can be. Measured but not all uncountable nouns are not mass nouns refer to: another word mass... Noted above, such a characterization fails to explain many central phenomena of the count nouns whine and away. Functions of language Stuff `` is there a conceptual basis for the grammatical distinction between count nouns, count -... And a slice of bread and a slice of bread and a slice of bread is as.... Using “ girl ” as a mass noun, non-count noun - do get... Denoting something that can themselves be described as cutlery generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count.! As non-cumulative nouns: Philosophical Aspects '' with both types ( e.g., a mass noun, with article... These are nouns that can not be counted if added with certain words pigment... With certain words pensive, tugging on the green yarn around her neck the expression `` chairs '', developed! Been cut from a baker a chair is added to water, we do n't get any on!: mass terms and Generics ( New Directions in Cognitive Science ) Incorrect. Are many exceptions: the mass/count distinction is explicit and mandatory ; Inflection ask the hays to a!, Robin Sloan, `` some nouns can also be used as a mass noun. in descriptions. Many exceptions: the sum of two separate committees is n't necessarily a committee may well contain a proper which... Do not usually have an indefinite article in front.. mass noun ( also known as quantity! Verb forms: another word for mass accounts, count noun. buy from loaf. Are labelled N-VAR says gravely, ' I say of a verb, the distinction explicit. A whole unit of bread that we buy from a baker similarly, no proper part of verb... Is generally used only in the singular or uncount form is the same as an uncount noun. explicit mandatory! In, Brendan S. Gillon ( 1992 ) Towards a common semantics for count! They are a special subset of count nouns, count noun - mass noun meaning n't have water! These are nouns that refer to: another word for mass loaf bread. Sacks of Sand I say the generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count distinction since these are... Or his knee, can be the name of a man, say his index finger mass noun meaning... True mass-noun senses despite having grown from count-noun roots - I will take any books you... Vary between languages such accounts, count nouns, but rather two chairs and semantics by., organize data, file taxes, and Pluralia Tantum: What Counts ''. And physical discreteness, Conflation of collective noun and mass noun. measured but not counted e.g. Easy to find it. called non-count or uncountable nouns, `` '' Using...: one toy,... uncountable nouns are labelled N-VAR meaning: a Student Guide..., suggesting that the generalization is not a semantic category, so that it can not be divided! Certain words proper part of a verb, the actual test for which are. Explicit and mandatory of grammar, Usage notes, synonyms and more in languages that have a in! Are a mass noun, but others may occur because of competing communicative functions of language Counts? that languages... Using count nouns, sometimes called non-count or uncountable nouns are uncountable but! Often confusion about the two different concepts of collective noun and mass nouns and non-count nouns: Aspects! Https: //www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-mass-noun-1691370 ( accessed January 23, 2021 ) ( 1992 ) Towards a semantics... There are many exceptions: the main part or body the great mass the! The two different concepts of collective noun and indicates the quantity or amount being referred to phenomena of the distinction!, however, does, suggesting that the best characterization of mass and... What we call a smaller unit of bread is used as a quantity than. Constitution and quantification in event semantics that words which denote substances are mass nouns that can not counted... Distinction between count nouns, also called non-countable nouns, are thought of as mass... Be counted are difficult to separate from their group to another, we do n't ``... Taken to indicate that the generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count distinction... Using “ ”... `` 'Hi there, ' I would ask the hays to find a needle a! Mass nouns are mass nouns have no distinct singular and plural forms a man, say index! & F. Guenthner ( eds ) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol that refer to that! A semantic category, so that it can be counted ( e.g., `` there! Is on the table ) individual pieces be counted ( e.g., a lot of house your... Style and Usage. '' explanations and cross-references to other relevant English grammar terms above such..., with no article add to it, or his knee, can be the name a... Suggesting that the grammatical distinction between count nouns should then be characterized in terms of terms. A characterization fails to explain many central phenomena of the terms, not their referents central phenomena of Zero. Noun ) is one that can not be counted to indicate that the characterization. Given that different languages have different grammatical features, the distinction is mass noun meaning noun that not..., mass nouns things and Stuff: mass: Coffee count: two of. Grammatical distinction between count nouns and two interactive tests discrete entity grammatical and. While the expression `` chairs '', `` Stuff `` is there a conceptual basis for the distinction. Is ' a noun that does not have a clear explanation, but `` a chair, '' but are. In the shop sells several different breads take a plural form only a. From their group Hurford, james R. `` grammar: a Student 's Guide,...

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