Reference to subkinds

This is my PhD research, supervised by Fred Landman.

The subkind reading of nouns

I review the subkind reading of nouns, also known as the taxonomic reading. I discuss the scope of the instance-subkind ambiguity, the relation between the readings, grammatical features, denotation and place in analyses.

The availability of the subkind reading

I address the research question: What is the principle for the availability of the subkind reading?

Inclusion in the subkind relation

I account for cases where the subkind relation tolerates exceptions, e.g. Oaks are a kind of tree is true although some oaks are bushes, and Dogs are a kind of pet is true although some dogs are strays.

The subkind reading of nouns and binominal kind

I compare two subkind-denoting nominals: Nouns with the subkind reading and nouns combined with binominal kind.

Bare NPs and the kind-instance ambiguity

I give a negative answer to the research question: Is episodic reference to instances by bare NPs mediated by kind-reference?

The instance-level use of subkind-denoting NPs

I address the research question: What is the nature of the instance-level use of subkind-denoting NPs?

  1. This sapling (🌱) is a kind of tree.
  2. Fred is every kind of doctor.
  3. This kind of animal is sitting on my lawn.


Object mass nouns and subkind-countability (with Kurt Erbach)

Certain object mass nouns can be used for counting subkinds. The implications of this are being explored in joint research with Kurt Erbach.

Numeral modification of plural mass nouns

I am researching the mixed judgements towards cases like two cattle and two groceries ‘two grocery items’.

Reference to kinds

Mass definite generics

I am researching how modification licenses mass definite generics in English.

Direct kind predication in the direct object

I am researching the degradation of kind-referring bare plurals in the direct object position.

Possessives and partitives

Possessives relations and maximality

I am researching the conditions under which a possessive must denote the maximal entity that fits its descriptive content.

  • Schoenfeld, Aviv. To appear. Possessive relations and maximality. Proceedings of the fifty-seventh annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.
Partitives and word order

I am pursuing the analysis that two of John’s good friends and two good friends of John’s are related via movement.