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Show full table of contents Properties of N1

In Section we distinguished the three types of N1s listed in (38), and in this section we will investigate the properties of these types. We will show that N1s of type (38a) are deficient in several respects, whereas N1s of type (38b) behave like regular nouns. N1s of type (38c) show mixed behavior: in some contexts they exhibit deficient behavior, whereas in other contexts they behave just like regular nouns.

Example 38
Types of N1s:
a. purely quantificational: quantifier nouns
b. referential: container, part and collective nouns
c. mixed: measure nouns
[+]  I.  Morphological properties

This subsection discusses the morphological properties of the different types of N1. We will first discuss their ability to undergo pluralization and diminutivization, and then their ability to enter into the process of nominal compounding.

[+]  A.  Pluralization

The primeless examples in (39) show that all N1s can be preceded by the indefinite determiner een'a'. This suggests that we are dealing with count nouns, and we therefore expect pluralization to be possible. The primed examples show that this is indeed possible with most N1s, but that the quantifier noun in (39a') resists the formation of a plural. Furthermore, (39b') shows that the plural marking on the measure noun liter is optional.

Example 39
a. een boel mensen
  a lot [of] people
a'. * vier boel(en) mensen
  four lot(s) [of] people
b. een liter melk
  a liter [of] milk
b'. twee liter(s) melk
  two liter(s) [of] milk
c. een emmer peren
  a bucket [of] pears
c'. vier emmers peren
  four buckets [of] pears
d. een reep chocolade
  a bar [of] chocolate
d'. vier repen chocolade
  four bars [of] chocolate
e. een groep studenten
  a group [of] students
e'. vier groepen studenten
  four groups [of] students

The general pattern in (39) is compatible with the classification in (38): quantifier nouns lack a plural form, whereas the referential nouns do allow plural formation. And, as expected, the measure nouns show mixed behavior: they may or may not take the plural suffix depending on whether they have a quantificational or a referential, package unit reading. Still, there are a number of complications that we will discuss in the following subsections.

[+]  1.  Ambiguous N1s

Some nouns are ambiguous between a purely quantificational reading and a referential reading, and it will not come as a surprise that these can enter the constructions in two forms. The examples in (40) illustrate this for the collective noun paar'pair'. Example (40a) represents the—probably unmarked—quantificational reading: the QC refers to a quantity of eight shoes/books that consists of four sets of two shoes, which may or may not form a pair. Example (40b), of course, also refers to eight shoes, but now it is implied that the shoes make up four pairs; the markedness of (40b') is due to the fact that books normally do not come in pairs.

Example 40
a. vier paar schoenen/boeken
  four pairs [of]  shoes/books
b. vier paren schoenen
  four pairs [of]  shoes
b'. ?? vier paren boeken
  four pairs [of]  books

For completeness’ sake, note that whereas the QC in (40a) refers to exactly eight shoes/books, the QC een paar schoenen/boeken may refer to any small number of books; the cardinality can be equal or larger than 2.

[+]  2.  Measure nouns involved in linear measurement

Measure nouns like liter in (39b') are ambiguous between a purely quantificational and a referential reading. On the quantificational reading the measure noun takes the singular form and the QC in (39b') simply refers to a certain quantity of milk without any implication about the packaging units of the milk; on the referential, package unit reading the measure noun takes the plural form and the QC refers to two separate units of milk of one liter each. In some cases, however, the referential reading seems to be blocked: this is illustrated in (41) for measure nouns involved in linear measurement.

Example 41
a. Er viel twee meter sneeuw.
  there  fellsg  two meter [of] snow
b. *? Er vielen twee meters sneeuw.
  there  fellpl  two meters [of] snow

The infelicity of (41b) is probably due to the fact that the noun phrase twee meter sneeuw does not refer to a fixed quantity of snow given that the quantity depends on the surface area that we are talking about: the noun phrase twee meter is related to the height of the snow, but the length and width of the area covered with snow is left open. When the N2 is such that only one dimension is considered relevant, the use of the measure phrase will give rise to an interpretation involving a certain, more or less fixed, quantity of a substance, and consequently the result improves greatly. This is illustrated in (42): whereas (42a) leaves open the question of how many pieces of rope we are dealing with, the noun phrase in (42b) refers to five pieces of rope of 1 meter each.

Example 42
a. Er was vijf meter touw over.
  there  was five meter [of]  rope  left
b. ? Er waren vijf meters touw over.
  there  were  five meters [of]  rope  left

      The examples in (43) show that pluralization of measure nouns does not necessarily give rise to a referential, package unit interpretation: this is only the case if the measure noun is preceded by a numeral; if a numeral is lacking and the measure noun is given accent, a purely quantificational, in this case “high quantity”, reading is again possible. That the constructions in (43) are purely quantificational is also clear from the fact that the QCs trigger singular agreement on the verb. Observe that on the intended reading, the properties of N2 do not affect acceptability: in contrast to (41b), example (43b) is fully acceptable.

Example 43
a. Hij dronk liters melk.
  he  dranksg.  liters [of]  milk
  'He drank many liters of milk.'
b. Er viel meters sneeuw.
  there  fellsg.  meters [of]  snow
  'there fell many meters of snow'
c. Er lag meters touw.
  there  laysg.  meters [of]  rope
  'Many meters of rope were lying there.'

      The “high quantity” reading is also available with container nouns like emmer'bucket'. However, since example (44a) shows that a QC with this reading triggers plural agreement, it is clear that the container noun must still be considered a regular, referential noun. The part nouns and collective nouns do not allow this “high quantity” reading, which is indicated in (44b&c) by means of a number sign. This difference between the container nouns, on the one hand, and the part and collective nouns, on the other, again suggests that the division between quantificational and referential nouns is not sharp, but gradual.

Example 44
a. Er stonden emmers peren.
  there stood  buckets [of]  pears
  'There stood many buckets of pears.'
b. # Er lagen repen chocola.
  there lay  bars [of]  chocolate
c. # Er liepen groepen studenten.
  there  walked  groups [of]  students

      Finally, note that, unlike cardinal numerals, individuating quantifiers like enkele'some' and vele'many' always trigger the plural suffix on the measure noun. The agreement on the verb can be singular, just as with the numerals in (41). This is shown in (45).

Example 45
a. Hij dronk enkele/vele liters/*liter bier.
  he  drank  some/many  liters/liter [of]  beer
b. Er viel/*?vielen enkele meters sneeuw.
  there  fellsg/pl  some meters [of]  snow
  'There fell many meters of snow.'
[+]  3.  Nouns involved in the measurement of time

Measure nouns involved in measuring time must be plural if preceded by a numeral, as shown by (46a). Nevertheless, we are dealing with a purely quantificational construction here: the QC does not refer to five separate units of vacation of a week each—in fact, there is no implication whatsoever about the temporal units involved.

Example 46
a. We hebben vijf weken/*week vakantie per jaar.
  we  have  five weekpl/sg [of] vacation  per year
b. Vijf weken vakantie per jaar is/??zijn eigenlijk te weinig.
  five weeks [of] vacation per year  is/are  actually  too little

It is not clear to us whether the QC vijf weken vakantie should be treated on a par with QCs like twee liter melk. Apart from the difference in plural marking, the two constructions differ in that in the former the N2 vakantie can be replaced by the adjective vrij'free/off' without any clear difference in meaning, whereas adjectives can never be combined with a measure noun like liter. This fact suggests that we are dealing with a second-order predicate in example (46b). This would also account for the fact that the binominal construction in (46b) triggers singular agreement on the verb despite the fact that N1 is plural: the verb always exhibits singular agreement if we are dealing with second-order predication.

Example 47
Vijf weken vrij per jaar is eigenlijk te weinig.
  five weeks off  per year  is actually  too little
[+]  B.  Diminutive formation

The three types of N1s also differ with respect to diminutive formation. The examples in (48c-d) show that the referential nouns allow it, whereas (48a) shows that quantifier nouns do not. As expected, the measure nouns again show mixed behavior: diminutivization is possible if they are interpreted referentially, but not if they are interpreted quantificationally. That the diminutive is derived from the referential and not the quantificational measure noun is clear from the fact illustrated by (48b') that they must be pluralized if preceded by a cardinal numeral.

Example 48
a. * een boeltje mensen
  a lotdim [of] people
b. een litertje melk
  a literdim [of] milk
b'. twee litertjes/*litertje melk
  two litersdim/literdim [of] milk
c. een emmertje peren
  a bucketdim [of] pears
c'. twee emmertjes peren
  two bucketsdim [of] pears
d. een reepje chocolade
  a bardim [of] chocolate
d'. twee reepjes chocolade
  two barsdim [of] chocolate
e. een groepje studenten
  a groupdim [of] students
e'. twee groepjes studenten
  two groupsdim [of] students

Note that een beetje'a bit' in een beetje water'a bit of water' is only an apparent counterexample to the claim that quantificational N1s do not undergo diminutivization: een beetje is a lexicalized formation, which is clear from the fact that it does not have a counterpart without the diminutive suffix: *een beet water. The plural form ??twee beetjes water also seems degraded (although a number of rather forced cases can be found on the internet).

[+]  C.  Nominal compounds

The data discussed in Subsections A and B show that it is necessary to make a distinction between purely quantificational and referential N1s. Only the latter allow pluralization and diminutive formation. This distinction seems supported by data involving compounding. The denotation of a nominal compound is mainly determined by its second member, which can be considered the head of the compound; the first member only has the function of further specifying the denotation of the second one; cf. Section 1.4. This is clear from the fact that a tafelaansteker'table lighter' is a kind of lighter, not a kind of table. Given this, we predict that only referential nouns can appear as the head/second member of a compound.
      The examples in (49) show that this prediction is indeed correct. The first prediction is that the container, part, and collective nouns can appear as the head of a compound, and the acceptability of (49c-e) shows that this is indeed the case, although we should note that perenemmer is a possible, but non-attested word. The second prediction is that the quantifier nouns cannot occur as the head of a compound given that they do not have a denotation, and (49a) shows that this is again the case. A problem is that we expect the measure nouns to exhibit mixed behavior, whereas they actually pattern with the quantifier nouns. This suggests that the referential reading of measure nouns is rather marked, and only arises under strong pressure from the context.

Example 49
a. * mensenboel
b. * melkliter
c. perenemmer
d. chocoladereep
e. studentengroep

Note that the quantificational force of the container, part, and collective nouns has completely disappeared in the compounds in (49c-e). This also holds for nouns that are normally used as quantifier nouns. For example, in a compound like beestenboel'pig-sty', the head of the compound is not the quantifier noun boel but a noun denoting collections of things that need not necessarily belong together. Similarly, the meaning of the second member of compounds like studentenaantal'number of students' is not related to the quantificational interpretation of aantal, but to its referential interpretation; cf. the discussion of example (4).

[+]  D.  Conclusion

The findings in Subsections A to C, summarized in Table 2, have shown that we a distinction should be made between N1s that are purely quantificational and N1s that are more referential in nature. Quantifier nouns belong to the first kind; container, part and collective nouns all belong to the second type; and measure nouns are ambiguous between the first and the second type.

Table 2: Morphological properties of N 1s
  quantificational mixed referential
  QN MN ConN PartN ColN
plural +/— + + +
diminutive +/— + + +
compounding +/— + + +
referential +/— + + +

The pattern in Table 2 corresponds nicely with our findings in Table 1: that quantifier nouns are purely quantificational is in accordance with the fact that they cannot trigger agreement on the finite verb or a demonstrative; that measure nouns are ambiguous between a purely quantificational and a referential, package unit reading is in accordance with the fact that either they or N2 may trigger agreement; that container, part and collective nouns are referential is consistent with the fact that they block agreement between N2 and the finite verb or the demonstrative. The fact that all N1s have some quantificational force is consistent with the fact that in all cases, N2 can be interpreted as the semantic head of the construction.

[+]  II.  Syntactic properties: determiners and prenominal modifiers

Subsection I has shown that the classification in (38) into quantificational, referential and hybrid N1s is reflected by the morphological behavior of these nouns. This subsection shows that the classification is also reflected by their syntactic properties, especially in the type of determiners and (quantificational) modifiers they may have; the purely quantificational nouns are more restricted in this respect than the referential ones. For example, given that a definite article is used to identify a specific entity that is part of the denotation of the noun, we expect that they can only combine with referential nouns, which have such a denotation, and not with purely quantificational nouns, which lack such a denotation.

[+]  A.  Articles

Example (50) illustrates again that all N1s can be preceded by the indefinite article een. If we are dealing with a quantifier noun, however, the definite article cannot be substituted for the indefinite one. With measure nouns this is possible, although this results in the loss of the purely quantificational reading: het ons kaas refers to a certain piece or quantity of cheese that can be identified by the addressee. The remaining types of N1s can all be preceded by both the definite and the indefinite article. Observe that it is N1 that agrees in gender and number with the article: the N2s in (50) would all select the article de, not het; cf. the discussion of example (16) in Section, sub I.

Example 50
Indefinite/definite articles
a. een boel studenten
  a lot [of] students
a'. * de boel studenten
  the lot [of] students
b. een ons kaas
  an ounce [of] cheese
b'. het ons kaas
  the ounce [of] cheese
c. een kistje sigaren
  a boxdim. [of] cigars
c'. het kistje sigaren
  the boxdim. [of] cigars
d. een stuk zeep
  a piece [of] soap
d'. het stuk zeep
  the piece [of] soap
e. een groepje studenten
  a groupdim [of] students
e'. het groepje studenten
  the groupdim [of] students

      It should be noted, however, that many noun phrases that normally do not allow a definite article can be preceded by it if they are modified: a proper noun like Amsterdam, for example, normally cannot be preceded by the definite article, but if it is modified by, e.g., a relative clause the definite article is licensed: het Amsterdam *(dat ik zo goed ken)'the Amsterdam that I know so well'. The examples in (51) show that quantifier nouns exhibit ambiguous behavior in this respect: some, like boel in (51a), do not allow the definite determiner in these modified contexts either, while others, like paar'couple of' or stoot'lot of' in (51b), are compatible with the determiner in such contexts.

Example 51
a. * de boel studenten (die ik ken)
  the lot [of] students   that  know
b. de paar/stoot boeken *(die ik heb gelezen)
  the couple/lot [of] books     that  have  read

Note, however, that the determiner in (51b) is probably not part of the noun phrase headed by N1, but of the noun phrase headed by N2. A reason for assuming this is that the noun paar is neuter (at least in its use as a collective noun), and should therefore select the definite determiner het, not deas is the case in (51b): het/*de paar schoenen'the pair of shoes'. This suggests that the construction in (51b) is similar to the quantified constructions in (52), where the article is undisputedly selected by the noun.

Example 52
a. de vijfentwintig boeken ??(die ik gisteren heb besteld)
  the twenty-five books      that  yesterday  have  ordered
b. de vele boeken ??(die ik heb gelezen)
  the many books      that  have  read

      The fact that quantifier nouns normally cannot be preceded by a definite article may cast some doubt on the assumption that the element een in constructions with quantifier nouns is a “true” article. The idea that we are dealing with a spurious article should not be dismissed given that there are many contexts in which een clearly does not function as an article; cf. Section 4.2.1 for another example. For instance, een can also be used in examples such as (53) with a plural noun, where it seems to function as a modifier with an “approximative” meaning. It is tempting to relate this use of een to that in een boel mensen in (50a).

Example 53
een vijfentwintig studenten
  twenty-five  students
'approximately/about twenty-five students'

That we are dealing with a “spurious article” when the noun is purely quantificational can be indirectly supported by the fact illustrated in (54a) that German ein is not morphologically marked for case if it precedes a quantifier noun, as it would normally be if it were part of a referential noun phrase; cf. (54b), where the noun Paar is referential and the article ein has the dative ending -em.

Example 54
a. mit ein paar kühlen Tropfen
  with  couple [of]  cool  drops
b. mit einem Paar schwarzen Schuhen
  with  adat  pair [of]  black  shoes

Another reason for assuming that the element een in een boel mensen differs from the other occurrences of een in (50) is that it cannot be replaced by its negative counterpart geen'no'. This is illustrated in (55); note especially the difference between (55a) and (55e), which form a minimal pair (provided we abstract away from the agreement on the finite verb).

Example 55
a. * Er staan helemaal geen boel studenten op straat.
  there  stands  prt  no lot [of] students  in the.street
b. Ik heb helemaal geen ons kaas gezien.
  have  prt  no ounce [of] cheese  seen
c. Ik heb helemaal geen kistje sigaren gestolen.
  have  prt  no box [of] cigars  stolen
  'I didnʼt steel any box of cigars'
d. Ik heb helemaal geen stuk zeep gepakt.
  have  prt  no piece [of] soap  taken
  'I havenʼt taken any piece of soap.'
e. Er staat helemaal geen groep studenten op straat.
  there  stands  prt  no group [of] students  in the.street
  'There is no group of students in the street.'

The data in this subsection suggest that quantifier nouns cannot be preceded by an article. In (50a), the element een is a spurious indefinite article, which is possibly related to the modifier een in examples such as (53). The other types of N1 occur both with the indefinite and the definite article.

[+]  B.  Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns exhibit a pattern similar to the definite article. Example (56a) shows that a quantifier noun like boel never occurs with a demonstrative pronoun, whereas other quantifier nouns, like paar in (56b), are more readily acceptable with demonstrative pronouns (especially the proximate ones). Note that it is not necessary to modify the QC in (56b), which may be due to the fact that the demonstratives themselves function as modifiers in the sense that they imply some partitioning of the set denoted by N2; cf. Section 5.2.3.

Example 56
a. * Deze/Die boel boeken (die ik gelezen heb) liggen daar.
  these/those  lot [of] books   that I read have  lie  there
b. Die/?Deze paar euroʼs (die hij me gaf) maken geen verschil.
  those/these  couple [of] euros   that he me gave  make  no difference
  'Those few euros he gave me make no difference.'

Recall from Section, sub I, that the demonstratives in (56b) do not agree in gender and number with N1 but with N2. This can be readily illustrated by means of the minimal pair in (57). In (57a), the QC refers to two shoes that form a pair: the neuter noun paar is therefore referential and the demonstrative agrees with it. In (57b), the QC refers to a set of two or more shoes: the neuter noun paar is therefore purely quantificational and the demonstrative agrees with N2.

Example 57
a. dit/dat paar schoenen
  this/that  pair [of]  shoes
b. deze/die paar schoenen
  these/those  couple [of]  shoes

      Section, sub I, has already shown that QCs containing a measure noun exhibit the same ambiguity as paar, albeit that the construction in which the demonstrative agrees with N2 is considered marked by some speakers. The relevant examples are repeated in (58a&b).

Example 58
a. dit/dat[+neuter,+sg] pond[+neuter] uien
  this/that  pound [of]  onions
b. % deze/die[-neuter,-sg] pond uien[-neuter,-sg]
  these/those  pound [of]  onions

      The examples in (59) show that the remaining types of N1s can freely occur with demonstrative pronouns. The demonstrative pronouns in (59) must agree with N1; replacing them by deze/die leads to ungrammaticality.

Example 59
a. dit/dat[+neuter] kistje[+neuter] sigaren
  this/that  boxdim [of]  cigars
b. dit/dat[+neuter] stuk[+neuter] zeep
  this/that  piece [of]  soap
c. dit/dat[+neuter] groepje[+neuter] studenten
  this/that  groupdim [of]  students

      The examples in this subsection have shown that demonstrative pronouns can only appear with a subset of the quantifier nouns; if possible, the demonstrative agrees in gender and number with N2. Container, part and collective nouns can readily be combined with demonstrative pronouns, and agree with them in number and gender. Measure nouns, again, show a more hybrid behavior.

[+]  C.  Possessive pronouns

Example (60a) shows that possessive pronouns always seem to give rise to a degraded result with quantifier nouns, regardless of whether a modifier is present or not. The use of a possessor is at least marginally possible with a measure noun like pond in (60b): the measure noun must receive a referential interpretation in this case. Possessive pronouns are easily possible with the referential nouns in (60c-e).

Example 60
a. * mijn paar boeken (die ik gelezen heb)
  my  couple [of] books   that I read have
b. ? Hier ligt mijn pond kaas, en daar het jouwe.
  here  lies  my pound of cheese  and  there  yours
c. mijn kistje sigaren
  my boxdim [of] cigars
d. mijn stuk zeep
  my piece [of] soap
e. zijn groepje studenten
  his groupdim [of] students
[+]  D.  Quantifiers and cardinal numerals

The examples in (61) show that a quantifier noun like boel'lot of' cannot be preceded by a quantifier or numeral. The ungrammaticality of (61a) is not surprising given that the quantifiers sommige'some'/ alle'all' and the numeral vier'four' require a plural noun, whereas the quantifier noun cannot be pluralized; cf. (39). That appealing to this fact is not sufficient to account for the ungrammaticality of (61a) is clear from the ungrammaticality of (61b): the distributive quantifier elk'each' requires a singular noun.

Example 61
a. * sommige/alle/vier boel(en) schoenen
  some/all/four  lot(s) [of]  shoes
b. * elke boel schoenen
  each  lot [of]  shoes

The ungrammaticality of the examples in (61) must therefore be related to the quantificational function of the quantifier nouns. This can be done by appealing to the fact, which will be discussed extensively in Chapter 6, that quantifiers and numerals operate on sets; given that quantifier nouns do not denote sets, the quantifier/numeral cannot perform its function. Note that the quantifier/numeral cannot operate on N2 either since that is precisely the function of the quantifier noun: it is never possible to have two quantifiers or numerals that take scope over the same noun phrase.
      The examples in (62) show that container, part and collective nouns freely co-occur with quantifiers. It should be noted, however, that these nouns have lost their quantificational property in the sense that in these cases the QCs refer to concrete cups, pieces and flocks.

Example 62
a. sommige/alle/vier koppen koffie
  some/all/four  cups [of]  coffee
a'. elke kop koffie
  each  cup [of]  coffee
b. sommige/alle/vier stukken taart
  some/all/four  pieces [of]  cake
b'. elk stuk taart
  each  piece [of]  cake
c. sommige/alle/vier kuddes geiten
  some/all/four  flocks [of]  goats
c'. elke kudde geiten
  each  flock [of]  goats

      As noted previously, some N1s, like paar'pair', can be used both as a purely quantificational and as a referential noun. Given the observations above, we expect that the addition of a quantifier will have a disambiguating effect. This is indeed borne out given that the examples in (63) can only be given a referential interpretation; these QCs refer to some/all/each of the pairs of shoes in the domain of discourse.

Example 63
a. sommige/alle paren schoenen
  some/all  pairs [of]  shoes
b. elk paar schoenen
  each pair [of]  shoes

The examples in (40), repeated here as (64), show that the noun paar can also be preceded by a cardinal numeral, in which case the noun may appear either in its singular or in its plural form. In both cases the QC refers to exactly eight shoes, but the examples differ in the implication that the shoes make up four pairs: this is implied by (64b) but not by (64a). It is tempting to account for this difference by claiming that the noun paar is purely quantificational in (64a) and referential in (64b). However, if this is indeed the case, we have to conclude that there is no general ban on using a cardinal numeral with purely quantificational nouns.

Example 64
a. vier paar schoenen
  four  pair [of]  shoes
b. vier paren schoenen
  four  pairs [of]  shoes

      Example (65) shows that measure nouns can be preceded by a quantifier. The use of an existential/universal quantifier, which triggers the package unit reading, gives rise to a slightly marked result. The distributive quantifier elk does not trigger this reading and gives rise to a perfectly acceptable result.

Example 65
a. ? sommige/alle liters melk
  some/all  liters [of]  milk
b. elke liter melk
  each liter [of]  milk

Most measure nouns preceded by a numeral can appear either in singular or plural form; see Subsection IA, for some exceptions. In the latter case, the quantifier noun is clearly used as a referential noun with a package unit reading: (66b) refers to four discrete quantities of milk of one liter each; in (66a), on the other hand, it refers to one quantity of milk, further specified as a quantity of four liters. This supports the suggestion above (64) that there is no general ban on using cardinal numerals with purely quantificational nouns.

Example 66
a. vier liter melk
  four liter [of]  milk
b. vier liters melk
  four liters [of]  milk

      For completeness’ sake, observe that some N1s are lexically restricted in the sense that they can only be used if a cardinal numeral is present. An example is given in (67). The N1man must appear in its singular form.

Example 67
vier man/*mannen personeel
  four  man/men [of]  personnel
'a staff consisting of four members'
[+]  E.  Attributive adjectives

On the basis of what we have seen so far, we may expect modification of N1 by means of an attributive modifier to be impossible in the case of purely quantificational nouns; attributive modifiers are used to restrict the set denoted by the modified noun, but purely quantificational nouns do not denote any such set. As shown in (68a), this expectation is indeed borne out. The remaining examples in (68) show that modification of the other N1s is possible.

Example 68
a. * een klein paar fouten
  small  couple [of]  mistakes
b. een kleine kilo kaas
  small  kilo [of]  cheese
  'nearly a kilo cheese'
c. een groot glas bier
  big  glass [of]  beer
d. een groot stuk kaas
  big  piece [of]  cheese
e. een grote groep studenten
  big  group [of]  students

      There are, however, various restrictions on the use of the attributive adjectives in constructions of this type. If we are dealing with a measure noun like kilo, the adjective modifying N1 must be one of the following sorts: it can be quantificational, as veel in (69a), have an adverbial meaning indicating approximation, such as klein in (69b), or have a “partitive” meaning, such as half and heel in (69c).

Example 69
a. Er stroomden vele liters wijn.
  there  streamed  many liters [of]  wine
  'Many liters of wine were served.'
b. een kleine liter wijn
  a small liter [of]  wine
  'nearly a liter of wine'
c. een halve/hele liter wijn
  a half/whole liter [of]  wine

Container, part and collective nouns exhibit similar restrictions: the examples in (70) to (72) show that quantificational, size and “partitive” adjectives are possible, whereas adjectives denoting other properties give rise to marked results.

Example 70
a. talrijke glazen bier
  numerous glasses [of] beer
a'. ?? een versierd glas bier
  a decorated glass [of] beer
b. een grote kist sinaasappelen
  a big box [of] oranges
b'. ?? een houten kist sinaasappelen
  a wooden box [of] oranges
Example 71
a. een halve reep chocola
  a half bar [of] chocolate
a'. ? een gestolen reep chocola
  a stolen bar [of] chocolate
b. een klein stuk krijt
  a small piece [of] chalk
b'. ? een gebroken stuk krijt
  a broken piece [of] chalk
Example 72
a. vele groepen studenten
  many groups [of] students
a'. ? een verspreide groep studenten
  a dispersed group [of] students
b. een enorme vlucht kraanvogels
  an enormous flight [of] cranes
b'. ? een opgeschrikte vlucht kraanvogels
  a frightened flight [of] cranes

Recall from Section, sub IIB, that an attributive adjective preceding N1 can be used to modify N2. Thus, all types of attributive adjectives may precede these N1s provided that they can be construed with N2: an example such as een smakelijk glas bier'a tasty glass of beer' is acceptable with the attributive adjective expressing a property of the N2 bier'beer'. An interesting case, about which we have little to say, is geef me een nieuw glas bier'give me a new glass of beer': in this example the adjective nieuw'new' is construed with N1, but it does not attribute a property to the glass in question; it is rather interpreted as “another glass of beer”.

[+]  F.  Summary

Table 3, which summarizes the findings of the previous subsections, shows that quantifier nouns can entertain far fewer syntagmatic relations than container, part and collective nouns. The latter can be preceded by all sorts of determiners, quantifiers and numerals, and do not exhibit special restrictions concerning attributive modification. The former, on the other hand, exhibit all kinds of restrictions: the element een preceding quantifier nouns may not be an indefinite article but must be something else, and definite determiners, quantifiers, numerals, possessive pronouns, and attributive modifiers do not occur at all; demonstrative pronouns may appear with some but not all quantifier nouns. Measure nouns again show a more mixed behavior: the notation —/+ indicates that the element in question can be used if the noun has a referential, but not if it has a quantificational interpretation. The findings in Table 3 are consistent with the classification given in (38), which groups the five noun types into the three supercategories in the top row.

Table 3: Determiners and quantificational modifiers of N 1
  quantificational mixed referential
  QN MN ConN PartN ColN
indefinite article + + + +
definite article —/+ + + +
demonstrative —/+ —/+ + + +
possessive —/+ + + +
quantifier —/+ + + +
cardinal numeral + + + +
attributive modifier + + + +
[+]  G.  A note on recursive QCs

A final piece of evidence in favor of the classification in (38) comes from recursive QCs, that is, QCs that embed some other QC. The examples given so far always contain two nouns, but it is possible to have more complex cases in which a QC is embedded in a larger QC, which results in sequences of three or more nouns. Given the fact that the second part of a QC must denote a set, it is predicted that the embedded QC cannot be purely quantificational. The examples in (73) suggest that this expectation is indeed borne out. In these examples, N1 is a quantifier noun and it can be followed by any QC as long as the N1 of this QC is not a quantifier noun itself.

Example 73
a. * een hoop aantal mensen
  a lot [of]  number [of]  people
b. een aantal kilo/kiloʼs kaas
  a number [of]  kilo/kilos [of]  cheese
c. een aantal dozen lucifers
  a number [of]  boxes [of]  matches
d. een aantal repen chocola
  a number [of]  bars [of]  chocolate
e. een aantal groepen studenten
  a number [of]  groups [of]  students

      A problem for the claim that quantifier nouns cannot be used as the N1 of an embedded QC is that the measure noun kilo in (73b) may appear either in its singular or in its plural form; since we argued above that the measure noun is purely quantification in the former case, it seems that QCs headed by a purely quantificational N1 can be embedded within a larger QC after all. However, an alternative analysis seems possible. Consider the examples in (74a&b). We have seen that these examples differ in that (74a) simply refers to four kilos of cheese without any implication concerning the package units, whereas (74b) implies that we are dealing with four separate package units of one kilo each. This suggests that the structures of the two examples differ as indicated in the primed examples: in (74a) the numeral vier can be considered part of a complex quantifier vier kilo, whereas in (74b) it modifies the QC kiloʼs kaas.

Example 74
a. vier kilo kaas
  four kilo [of]  cheese
b. vier kiloʼs kaas
  four kilos [of]  cheese
a'. [[vier kilo] kaas]
b'. [vier [kiloʼs kaas]]

It seems that a similar analysis can be given to the examples in (73b), repeated below as (75): in (75a), the complex quantifier een aantal kilo functions as N1 with kaas functioning as N2; in (75b), on the other hand, aantal functions as N1 and kiloʼs kaas is an embedded QC.

Example 75
a. een aantal kilo kaas
  a number [of]  kilo [of]  cheese
b. een aantal kiloʼs kaas
  a number [of]  kilos [of]  cheese
a'. [[een aantal kilo] kaas]
b'. [een aantal [kiloʼs kaas]]

Independent evidence in favor of the analyses in the primed examples can be found in the examples in (76), which involve quantitative er. The contrast between the examples can be accounted for by the fact that the elided part corresponds to a single constituent in (76b), but not in (76a).

Example 76
a. ?? Jan heeft [[vier kilo] [kaas]] en ik heb er [vijf [e]].
  Jan  has    four kilo [of]   cheese  and  have  er  five
b. Jan heeft [vier [kiloʼs kaas]] en ik heb er [vijf [e]].
  Jan  has   four kilos [of]  cheese  and  have  er  five

The other examples in (73) are ambiguous in the same way. We will show this for container nouns. Consider the examples in (77). In (77a) the QC just indicates an amount of sugar, and we are therefore dealing with a complex quantifier vier/een paar zakken'four/a couple of bags', as indicated in (77a'). In (77b), on the other hand, we are dealing with a number of bags that contain sugar, and the phrase zakken suiker is therefore a QC embedded in a larger QC, as indicated in (77b').

Example 77
a. Er zitten vier/een paar zakken suiker in de marmelade.
  there  sits  four/a couple [of]  sacks [of] sugar  in the marmalade
  'The marmalade contains four/a couple of bags of sugar.'
a'. [[vier/een paar zakken] suiker]
b. Er staan vier/een paar zakken suiker op tafel.
  there  stand  four/a couple [of]  bags [of] sugar  on the.table
  'Four/a couple of bags of sugar stand on the table.'
b'. [vier/een paar [zakken suiker]]

From this we can conclude that (73b) does not provide evidence against the claim that QCs headed by a purely quantificational N1 cannot be embedded within a larger QC. The apparent counterexample een aantal kilo suiker can be analyzed as involving a complex quantifier and therefore need not be considered a recursive QC. Note that the fact that (73a) does not allow an interpretation involving a complex quantifier is consistent with the fact that quantifier nouns cannot be preceded by a numeral either: * vier hoop/hopen mensen'*four lots of people'.
      In (78) we give examples of recursive QCs, in which N1 is a measure noun. We find the same contrast as in (73): whereas container, part and collective nouns can be used as the N1 of an embedded QC, quantifier nouns cannot. The sign “$” indicates that the examples in (73c&e) are weird due to our knowledge of the world: boxes of matches normally do not come in units of a kilo, and it is not common to add up collections of entities until they have a certain weight. The main difference between the examples in (73) and (78) concerns the measure nouns: a measure noun cannot be followed by another measure noun in the singular. This supports our earlier claim that a QC headed by a purely quantificational N1 cannot be embedded in a larger QC: the unacceptability of (78b) is due to the fact that there is no complex quantifier *een kilo ons. Example (78b'), on the other hand, seems acceptable despite being marked due to the fact that it is difficult to conceptualize and the intended meaning can be more readily expressed by means of the phrase tien onsjes kaas'the ounces of cheese'.

Example 78
a. * een kilo hoop kaas
  kilo [of]  lot [of]  cheese
b. * een kilo ons kaas
  kilo [of]  ounce [of]  cheese
b'. ? een kilo onsjes kaas
  kilo [of]  ounces [of]  cheese
c. $ een kilo doosjes lucifers
  kilo [of]  boxes [of]  matches
d. een kilo plakjes kaas
  kilo [of]  slices [of]  cheese
e. $ een kilo kolonies mieren
  kilo [of]  colonies [of]  ants

      In (79) to (81), we give similar examples for container, part and collective nouns. The examples in (79) show that container nouns behave just like measure nouns. Example (79e) may again be weird for reasons concerning our knowledge of the world, but seems otherwise completely well-formed.

Example 79
a. * een doos hoop kaas
  box [of]  lot [of]  cheese
b. * een doos kilo kaas
  box [of]  kilo [of]  cheese
b'. ? een doos kiloʼs kaas
  box [of]  kilos [of]  cheese
c. een doos pakjes lucifers
  box [of]  boxes [of]  matches
d. een schaal plakjes kaas
  dish [of]  slices [of]  cheese
e. $ een vrachtwagen kolonies mieren
  truck [of]  colonies [of]  ants

The part nouns in (80) cannot readily be used as the N1 of a recursive QC. This is, of course, due to the fact that they can only be followed by a non-count noun while the referential N1sheading the embedded QCs are count nouns.

Example 80
a. * een stuk aantal chocola
  piece [of]  number [of]  chocolate
b. * een stuk kilo chocola
  piece [of]  kilo [of]  chocolate
b'. * een stuk kiloʼs chocola
  piece [of]  kilos [of]  chocolate
c. * een stuk doos chocola
  piece [of]  box [of]  chocolate
d. *? een stuk reep chocola
  piece [of]  bar [of]  chocolate
e. * een stuk groep eenden
  piece [of]  group [of]  ducks

The examples in (81) show that the collective nouns behave just like the measure and container nouns.

Example 81
a. * een verzameling boel thee
  collection [of]  lot [of]  tea
b. * een verzameling ons thee
  collection [of]  ounce [of]  tea
b'. een verzameling onsjes thee
  collection [of]  ounces [of]  tea
c. een verzameling zakjes suiker
  collection [of]  bags [of]  sugar
d. een verzameling repen chocola
  collection [of]  bars [of]  chocolate
e. een verzameling series postzegels
  collection [of]  series [of]  stamps
[+]  III.  Some semantic properties

This subsection discusses some of the semantic properties of the different types of N1s, focusing on their quantificational meaning. We will see that quantifier nouns are quite similar to cardinal numerals in various respects.

[+]  A.  The quantificational force of N1s

In the previous subsections it has repeatedly been claimed that all N1s are quantificational in the sense that they indicate a certain amount or quantity of the denotation of N2. In this respect, they behave like cardinal numerals or quantifying adjectives like veel'many/much'. As is shown in (82), the latter elements can be questioned by means of the wh-word hoeveel'how many/much'. If N1s indeed have quantifier-like properties comparable to cardinal numerals or quantifying adjectives, we expect them to yield felicitous answers to the question in (82a) as well. Example (82b') shows that this indeed holds for quantifier nouns.

Example 82
a. Hoeveel boeken heb je gelezen?
  how.many books  have  you  read
b. drie/veel
b'. een boel/paar
  a lot/couple

In (83), it is shown that the same thing holds for the measure noun liter'liter' and the container noun glas'glass'. Note that the N1s can undergo pluralization and diminutivization, and can be preceded by a cardinal numeral. This clearly shows that we are dealing with referential nouns.

Example 83
a. Hoeveel bier heb je gedronken?
  how.much beer  have  you  drunk
  'How much beer did you drink?'
b. Een/één liter/litertje.
  a/one  liter/literdim 
b'. Een/één glas/glaasje.
  a/one  glass/glassdim
c. Twee liter/?liters/litertjes.
  two liter/liters/litersdim
c'. twee glazen/glaasjes.
  two  glasses/glassesdim

Similarly, part and collective nouns in (84) and (85) can be used as answers to questions involving hoeveel, although there seems to be an additional restriction: if the part noun plak'slice' or the collective noun groep'group' is preceded by the indefinite article een'a', as in (84b) and (85b), the size of the slice/group must be indicated by means of diminutivization or addition of an attributive adjective like dik'big' or groot'big'; this is not needed if these nouns are preceded by a numeral, as in (84c) and (85c).

Example 84
a. Hoeveel cake heb je gegeten?
  how.much cake  have  you  eaten
  'How much cake did you eat?'
b. Een plakje/*?(dikke) plak.
  slicedim./big  slice
c. Eén plak/twee plakken.
  one  slice/two  slices
Example 85
a. Hoeveel toeristen heb je rondgeleid?
  how.many tourists  have  you  prt.-guided
b. een groepje/??(grote) groep
  groupdim/big  group
c. Eén groep/twee groepen.
  one group/two groups
[+]  B.  Weak versus strong quantification constructions

QCs can be either weak or strong noun phrases. On the weak reading, exemplified in the primeless examples in (86), these noun phrases get a nonspecific indefinite interpretation, that is, they simply refer to a set of new discourse entities. On the strong reading, exemplified in the primed examples, these noun phrases get a partitive interpretation, that is, they refer to a subset of a larger set of entities already given in the domain of discourse. The primed and primeless examples in (86a&d) show that whereas the indefinite article is always possible on the weak reading of QCs, it sometimes gives rise to a degraded result on the strong reading.

Example 86
a. Er zijn een aantal studenten verdwenen.
  there  are  a number [of]  students  disappeared
  'A number of students have disappeared.'
a'. Een aantal studenten zijn verdwenen.
  a number [of]  students  are  disappeared
  'A number of the students have disappeared.'
b. Er is twee kilo vlees verdwenen.
  there  is two kilo [of]  meat  disappeared
  'Two kilo of meat has disappeared.'
b'. Twee kilo vlees is verdwenen.
  two kilo [of]  meat  is disappeared
  'Two kilo of the meat has disappeared.'
c. Er zijn twee stukken/dozen chocola verdwenen.
  there  are  two pieces/boxes [of]  chocolate  disappeared
  'Two pieces/boxes of chocolate have disappeared.'
c'. Twee stukken/dozen chocola zijn verdwenen.
  two pieces/boxes [of]  chocolate  are  disappeared
  'Two pieces/boxes of the chocolate have disappeared.'
d. Er is één/een kudde schapen geslacht.
  there  is one/a flock [of]  sheep  slaughtered
  'A flock of sheep has been slaughtered.'
d'. Eén/*Een kudde schapen is geslacht.
  one/a flock [of]  sheep  is  slaughtered
  'One flock of the sheep has been slaughtered.'
[+]  C.  Definite and indefinite N1s

All N1s indicate a certain amount or quantity. The difference between quantifier nouns and the other types of N1s is that quantifier nouns indicate an indefinite amount or quantity, whereas the other types indicate an often conventionally or contextually determined definite amount or quantity. The difference is brought out clearly in constructions with the preposition per'per'. This preposition can be followed by a cardinal numeral like vier'four' but not by a quantifier like veel'many/much', which indicates some indefinite amount or quantity.

Example 87
a. per vier
  per four
b. * per veel
  per many/much

The examples in (88) show that the same difference can be found between quantifier nouns like boel and hoop, which indicate an indefinite amount of quantities, and the other N1s, which indicate a (conventionally or contextually determined) amount or quantity.

Example 88
a. * per boel/hoop
  per lot/lot
d. per plak
  per slice
b. per kilo
  per kilo
e. per dozijn
  per dozen
c. per kop
  per cup

The result is often marked if per is followed by a plural noun, although acceptability may vary depending on the context and on the ease of conceptualization; an example such as (89c) gives rise to a perfectly acceptable result in the following example found on the internet: Deze speculaas weegt ca. 125 gram per plak en wordt per twee plakken verkocht'This spiced biscuit weighs about 125 grams and is sold in sets of two pieces'. The fact that (89a) is fully acceptable with the singular form of kilo shows that a phrase like twee kilo does not function as a plural noun phrase; it simply refers to a definite quantity. The marked status of the plural form kiloʼs shows that the noun phrase twee kiloʼs'two kilos' is plural: it refers to two discrete entities of one kilo each.

Example 89
a. per twee kilo/*kiloʼs
  per two kilosg/pl
c. ?? per twee plakken
  per two slices
b. ?? per twee koppen
  per two cups
d. *? per twee koppels
  per two couples
[+]  IV.  Some similarities between N1s and cardinal numerals

Subsection III has shown that N1s and cardinal numerals share a number of semantic properties. Therefore, it seems useful to compare the two types of element in other respects as well. This subsection shows that they both license so-called quantitative er and exhibit similar behavior under modification and coordination.

[+]  A.  Quantitative er

If N1s are quantificational, they may be expected to co-occur with quantitative er. The primeless examples in (90) show, however, that this expectation is borne out for the quantifier and the measure nouns only. Note that the measure noun in (90b) must be followed by the sequence of + numeral, which is probably due to the fact that this makes the quantifier less definite. Given the requirement that the phonetically empty noun is +count, it does not come as a surprise that measure nouns like liter give rise to a degraded result due to the fact that they normally combine with non-count N2s. Given that part nouns also combine with non-count N2s, we might in principle give a similar account for the unacceptability of (90d), but the unacceptability of (90c&e) shows that there is more involved than simply a count/non-count distinction: the ungrammaticality of (90c-e) is clearly related to the referential status of the N1s.

Example 90
a. Ik heb er nog [een paar/boel [e]].
  have  er  still   a couple/lot
  'I have still got a couple of them.'
b. Ik heb er nog [een kilo *(of twee) [e]].
  have  er  still   a kilo    or two
  'I have still got about two kilos of it.'
b'. * Ik heb er nog [een liter *(of twee) [e]].
  have  er  still   a liter     or two
c. * Ik heb er nog [een doos (of twee) [e]].
  have  er  still   a box   or two
d. * Ik heb er nog [een reep (of twee) [e]].
  have  er  still   a bar or two
e. * Ik heb er nog [een kudde (of twee) [e]].
  have  er  still   a herd   or two

Note that the intended contentions of the ungrammatical examples can be expressed by means of the examples in (91), in which N2 is simply left implicit. This is impossible with quantifier nouns like paar, which is typically preceded by the unstressed indefinite article een'a'; the noun paar in (90a) can only be interpreted as a collective noun, which is typically preceded by a numeral in this context.

Example 91
a. Ik heb nog één/*?een paar.
  have  still  one/a couple
b. Ik heb nog twee liter(s).
  have  still  two liter
c. Ik heb nog twee dozen.
  have  still  two boxes
d. Ik heb nog twee repen.
  have  still  two bars
e. Ik heb nog twee kuddes.
  have  still  two herds

      Example (92a) shows that QCs headed by the quantifier noun aantal may trigger either singular or plural agreement on the finite verb (cf. Section, sub I), and the same thing is shown for the measure noun kilo in (92b). The primed counterparts with quantitative er, on the other hand, are compatible with plural agreement only, which shows that in these constructions the verb agrees with the phonetically empty N2 that we postulated for these constructions. We added example (92c) to show that in constructions without quantitative er agreement is always triggered by N1.

Example 92
a. Daar lopen/loopt nog een aantal studenten.
  there  walkpl/sg  still  a couple [of] students
a'. Daar lopen/*loopt er nog [een aantal [e]].
  there  walkpl/sg  er  still  a couple
b. Daar liggen/ligt nog een kilo of twee appels.
  there  liepl/sg  still  a kilo or two [of] apples
b'. Daar liggen/*ligt er nog [een kilo of twee [e]].
  there  liepl/sg  er still  a kilo or two
c. Daar ligt/*liggen nog een kilo of twee.
  there  liepl/sg  still  a kilo or two

      The primed examples in (93) show that N1 differs from N2 in that it cannot be replaced by a nominal gap licensed by quantitative er: this holds both for the quantifier noun aantal in (93a'), and for referential nouns like the part noun stuk'piece' in (93b'). The two types of N1 exhibit divergent behavior when it comes to replacing the phrase N1 + N2: the doubly-primed examples show that this is easily possible if N1 is a referential noun but not if it is a quantifier noun. This different behavior need not be related to the semantic distinction between the two classes, but may simply be due to the fact that the quantifier noun aantal cannot be preceded by a numeral/weak quantifier; the indefinite article een'a' does not license quantitative er.

Example 93
a. Ik heb nog een aantal mededelingen.
  have  yet  a number [of]  announcements
a'. * Ik heb er nog [een [e]mededelingen].
a''. * Ik heb er nog [een [e]].
b. Ik heb nog twee stukken chocolade.
  have  still  two pieces [of]  chocolate
b'. * Ik heb er nog [twee [e]chocola].
b''. Ik heb er nog [twee [e]].
[+]  B.  Modification

Cardinal numerals can be modified by variety of modifiers; cf. Section In this subsection, we will be concerned with the modifiers in (94): the modifier minstens'at least' in (94a) indicates that the cardinal number provides a lower bound, whereas hoogstens'at most' in (94b) indicates that it provides an upper bound. The modifiers in (94c) have an approximate meaning. The primed examples show that these modifiers cannot be used with quantifiers like veel'many' or weinig'few'.

Example 94
a. minstens tien glazen
  at.least ten glasses
a'. * minstens veel glazen
  at.least many glasses
b. hoogstens tien glazen
  at.most three glasses
b'. * hoogstens veel glazen
  at.most many glasses
c. bijna/ongeveer/precies tien glazen
  nearly/about/precisely ten glasses
c'. * bijna/ongeveer/precies veel glazen
  nearly/about/precisely many glasses

The examples in (95) show that most N1s can be preceded by the modifiers in (94). The only exception are the quantifier nouns, which is not surprising given that they indicate an indefinite amount/quantity, just like the quantifier veel in the primed examples in (94); cf. Subsection IIIC. The examples in (95e&e') show that modification of collective nouns is only possible if the collection consists of a default number of entities; if this is not the case (as with a flock or a group), the resulting construction is unacceptable.

Example 95
a. * minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een boel/paar studenten
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a lot couple [of]  students
b. minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een kilo vuurwerk
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a kilo [of]  fireworks
c. minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een emmer appels
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a bucket [of]  apples
d. minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een plak koek
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a slice [of]  cake
e. minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een team voetballers
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a team [of]  footballers
e'. * minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies een kudde schapen
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  a flock [of]  sheep

The fact that the modifiers in (95) cannot immediately precede N1, but must precede een, suggests that it is the full phrase een N1 that acts as a quantifier. This will be clear from the fact that in examples such as (96a) the modifier must be adjacent to the modified numeral. Finally, it can be noted that in cases in which N1 is preceded by a numeral, it is the numeral and not N1 that is modified. This accounts for the fact that, in contrast to (95e'), (96b) is acceptable.

Example 96
a. <*bijna> de <bijna> tien studenten
  nearly  the  ten students
b. minstens/hoogstens/bijna/ongeveer/precies tien kuddes schapen
  at.least/at.most/nearly/about/precisely  ten flocks [of]  sheep
[+]  C.  Scope and coordination

The examples in (97) show that cardinal numerals and quantifiers may take scope over nominal phrases of different sizes: in the primeless examples, their scope is restricted to one conjunct, whereas in the primed examples they may have both conjuncts in their scope.

Example 97
a. [[vier mannen] en [vier vrouwen]]
  four men  and   four/many women
a'. [vier [mannen en vrouwen]]
  four men and women
b. [[veel mannen] en [veel vrouwen]]
  four men  and   four/many women
b'. [veel [mannen en vrouwen]]
  many men and women

The examples differ in the scope of the attributive modifier/numeral: in the primeless examples the numeral/quantifier has scope only over the noun immediately following it, whereas in the primed examples it has scope over both nouns. This difference is clearest with the numeral vier'four' in the (a)-examples: (97a) refers to a set of people with cardinality 8, whereas the phrase in (97b') refers to a set of people with cardinality 4. The difference is less clear with the quantifier veel'may' in the (b)-examples, due to the fact that (97b) implies (97b'). However, the same thing does not hold in the other direction: in a situation with 90 women and 4 men, (97b') might be appropriate whereas (97b) is not.
      The quantifier noun hoop has the same property as the quantifier veel: whereas (98a) implies (98b), the implication does not hold the other way round. This shows that in (98b) the quantifier noun must also be assumed to take scope over the conjoined phrase dieven en inbrekers.

Example 98
a. [[een hoop dieven] en [een hoop inbrekers]]
  a lot [of] thieves  and   a lot [of] burglars
b. [een hoop [dieven en inbrekers]]
  a lot [of] thieves and burglars

      Measure nouns, on the other hand, act like cardinal numerals: the full noun phrase in (99a) refers to a total quantity of two kilos of potatoes and vegetables, whereas in (99a') it refers to a total amount of just one kilo. more or less the same thing holds for the container noun glas'glass' in (99b&b'): (99b) refers to two glasses, one filled with gin and one with tonic, whereas (99b') refers to a single glass filled with a mixture of gin and tonic. The collective nouns also behave in this way, but this will go unillustrated here. Example (99c) show, finally, that part nouns like stuk'piece' cannot take scope over both conjuncts: this is due to the fact that QC with these nouns must refer to a “homogeneous” entity.

Example 99
a. [[een kilo aardappelen] en [een kilo groente]]
  a kilo [of] potatoes  and  a kilo [of] vegetables
a'. [een kilo [aardappelen en groente]]
  a kilo [of] potatoes and vegetables
b. [[een glas [gin]] en [een glas [tonic]]]
  a glass [of] gin  and   a glass [of] tonic
b'. [een glas [gin en tonic]]
  a glass [of] gin and tonic
c. een stuk koek en *(een stuk) chocola
  a piece [of] biscuit  and   a piece [of]  chocolate
[+]  D.  Conclusion

This subsection has compared the three types of N1s with numerals and quantifiers. Quantifier nouns have been shown to pattern with quantifiers. Container, part and collective nouns, on the other hand, rather pattern with cardinal numerals, notwithstanding the fact that the latter, but not the former, license quantitative er. Measure nouns again exhibit ambiguous behavior.

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