Kurt Erbach

In my PhD thesis, “Object Mass Nouns: A Frame Based Analysis”, I motivate the hypothesis that there is a relationship between the number of object mass nouns in a language and the number of morphosyntactic environments sensitive to the countability of nouns in that language. Object mass nouns constitute a means to test theories of the mass/count distinction because they denote discrete objects but grammatically pattern with substance denoting nouns, therefore exhibiting misalignment of conceptual individuation and grammatically mass behavior (Chierchia 2010). My thesis investigates typologically distinct languages—Greek, Hungarian, and Japanese—for object mass nouns as a means of testing the adequacy of the leading theories of the mass/count distinction. This investigation reveals that a disjointness-based approach to the mass/count distinction (Landman 2011, 2016; Sutton & Filip 2016, 2017) allows for the most accurate crosslinguistic predictions. Furthermore, the respective amounts of object mass nouns and morphosyntactic environments sensitive to the countability of nouns in Greek, Hungarian, and Japanese are relatively low when compared to those for English, and this comparison supports the hypothesis that there is a relationship between he number of object mass nouns in a language and the number of morphosyntactic environments sensitive to the countability of nouns in that language.

Publications

  • Erbach, K. (2019). A measure based analysis of plural nouns in Greek. In Espinal, M.T., E. Castroviejo, M. Leonetti, L. McNally, and C. Real-Puigdollers (eds). Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 23, vol 1. 413-431. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès).
  • Erbach, K. and L. Berio. (2019). Readings of Plurals and Common Ground. In E. Pacuit and J. Sikos (eds). At the Intersection of Language, Logic, and Information, Special Volume of Lecture notes in Computer Science, vol 11667. pp 21-41. Springer. Pre-final draft.
  • Erbach, K., P.R. Sutton, and H. Filip. (2019). Bare nouns and the Hungarian mass/count distinction. In: A. Silva, S. Staton, P. Sutton, C. Umbach (eds.), Language, Logic, and Computation. TbiLLC 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11456. pp. 86-107. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Pre-final draft.
  • Erbach, K., P.R. Sutton, H. Filip, and K. Byrdeck. (2019). Object Mass Nouns as Arbiter for the Mass/Count Category. In T. Kiss, H. Husic, and F. Pelletier (eds.), The Semantics of the Count-Mass Distinction. Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.
  • Erbach, K. (2018). Fighting for a share of the covers: Accounting for inaccessible readings of plural predicates. In: Sikos, J. (ed). Proceedings of the ESSLLI 2018 Student Session. pp. 197-208.
  • Erbach, K., P. Sutton, H. Filip, and K. Byrdeck. (2017). Object Mass Nouns in Japanese. In: Cremers, A., T. van Gessel, and F. Roelofsen (eds). Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium. pp. 235-244.
  • Erbach, K. (2014). Coordinate Systems in Gã. ScholarWorks. Missoula: The University of Montana Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library.