Bare Nouns in Danish with Special Reference to the Object Position

Henrik Hoeg Müller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Based on a discussion of correlations between syntactic position, prosodic cues, aspect and generic vs. non-generic interpretations, this paper substantiates that Danish Bare Plural count nouns (BPs) have a wider distribution than Bare Singular count nouns (BSS). BPs, unlike BSS, can occur in subject position, function as both generic and existential arguments, and appear with all aspectual verb classes. However, BPs and BSS expressing a non-generic, modificational meaning concur in object position of activity verbs and stative verbs with a possession relation implicature. These V+BP and V+BS structures, it is suggested, form a progressive continuum of three different subtypes of pseudo-incorporation (PI), namely (i) PI of BPs (low integration as in spise æbler 'eat apples'), (ii) PI of type 1 BSS (medium integration as in male hus 'paint house'), and (iii) PI of type 2 BSS (maximum integration as in spille violin 'play violin').
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)37-72
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Anaphoric reference
  • Bare nouns
  • Number neutrality
  • Predication and predicate types
  • Prosody
  • Pseudo-incorporation
  • Scope
  • Telicity
  • Word order

Cite this