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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

LingLunch | Melisa Rinaldi (QMUL)

24 January 2018

Time: 1:30 - 2:30pm
Venue: Laws 1.02

For our first LingLunch this spring, PhD student Melisa Rinaldi will be presenting.

Bare Singulars

In this talk, I will discuss my research on bare singular nouns. I will start by briefly mentioning some findings/generalizations regarding bare singulars in argumental position from a cross-linguistic perspective. Most of the talk, however, will be devoted to predicate nominals in Spanish and French.  These languages have the interesting property that nominal predication can occur both with and without the indefinite article. This, however, is not an optional choice. Taking Roy’s (2013) work as a starting point for analysis, I will show that Spanish calls for a more fine-grained distinction. I argue that there are two indefinite articles in predicative position, one in #P that corresponds to Roy’s defining interpretation, and an evaluative one, which heads a DegP. I will argue against the view that capacity and kind nominals are stored as different categories in the lexicon (cf. LeBruyn 2011). In my analysis, any noun can be used bare, provided that the property ascription interpretation is available. Copular sentences in Spanish also bring about the issue of multiple copulas. I will comment on two puzzles that have been mostly ignored up to now – the ESTAR DE + N construction and the fact that ESTAR can take nominal complements. 


LeBruyn, Bert. (2010). Indefinite Articles and Beyond. Utrecht: LOT Publications.

Roy, Isabelle. (2013). Nonverbal Predication – Copular Sentences at the Syntax-Semantics Interface. Oxford: OUP.


For more information, please contact events organiser Shivonne Gates (