Ignacio (ignacio) wrote in linguaphiles,

FoUNdations of cognitive grammar

A pivotal claim of the analysis being pursued is that every nominal profiles a single instance of some type, which is generally provided by the head noun together with its number specification. The role of a quantifier is therefore not to specify the number of instances (which is always just one) but rather to indicate the size of the profiled instance. For a plural, of course, the size of the instance will be given by the number of its component entities, but collectively these entities constitute just one instance of the plural-noun type. It should also be remembered that grounding represents a distinct parameter that is superimposed on the structures of present concern at a higher level of conceptual organization. As a consequence, the assertion that a nominal such as no dog, any dog, or every dog designates a single instance of the dog category is perfectly coherent. For example, No dog likes cabbage does incorporate the conception of a single canine; however, the effect of the grounding predication no is to deny the existence (in a particular mental world) of a cabbage-liking relationship in which an instance of dog participates. -- R. W. Langacker

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