Turkish plural nouns are number-neutral

experimental data

Agata Renans, George Tsoulas, Raffaella Folli, Nihan Ketrez, Lyn Tieu, Hanna De Vries, Jacopo Romoli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Across languages, plural marking on a noun typically conveys that there is more than one entity in the denotation of the noun. In English, this 'more than one' meaning is generally regarded as an implicature on top of a 'semantically unmarked'/number-neutral literal meaning of the plural noun ([10, 18, 20]; see also [5, 12]). In Turkish, however, it is controversial whether plural nouns should be analysed as number-neutral or whether they should directly denote strict plurality [2, 19, 6]. This debate is important as it can shed light on the meanings number marking can have across languages, thereby constraining cross-linguistically adequate theories of the semantics of number. We tested Turkish speaking adults and 4-6-year-old children on the interpretation of plurals in upward-and downward-entailing contexts, as compared to the 'not all' scalar inference of bazi 'some'.The results of our experiment support a theory of plural nouns which includes a number neutral interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium
EditorsAlexandre Cremers, Thom van Gessel, Floris Roelofsen
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherUniversity of Amsterdam Press
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event21st Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Dec 201722 Dec 2017


Conference21st Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2017

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  • Cite this

    Renans, A., Tsoulas, G., Folli, R., Ketrez, N., Tieu, L., De Vries, H., & Romoli, J. (2017). Turkish plural nouns are number-neutral: experimental data. In A. Cremers, T. van Gessel, & F. Roelofsen (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium (pp. 365-374). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.