De beschrijving van kale predicaatsnomina | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171



Bare nominals in predicate position like in ‘lit. Jan is artist’ have a meaning, the in this case being a profession. These nominals differ from non-bare nominals (with the indefinite article ) like in ‘Jan is an artist’, which can receive two interpretations: a interpretation and a more figurative one, meaning ‘Jan is an artistic person’. This difference can be accounted for by specifying the constructions in which the nominals appear. The meaning is only available if the bare predicate nominal contains a count noun. There is nevertheless a relation with a corresponding non-count mass noun. While the meaning is always objective, the figurative interpretation of non-bare nominals (with ) is subjective. For this interpretation the article is a prerequisite. I argue that Construction Grammar offers the best means to describe these facts and is preferable to a generative approach which divides the nouns in the lexicon in and nouns and uses type shifting rules and operators to derive the bare and non-bare nominals.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bare nominal; capacity; Construction Grammar; figurative use; predicative construction
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