LINGUIST List 9.1495

Mon Oct 26 1998

Qs: Color terms, Mass terms

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  1. matubara, Color terms
  2. Saltarel, Mass terms

Message 1: Color terms

Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 21:37:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: matubara <>
Subject: Color terms

Dear linguists:

 My name is Mariko Matubara and I am a senior student working on my
graduate thesis in Japan. My topic is a cross-linguistic comparative
study of color terminology. I am looking for volunteers in order to
conduct a survey about the color terms in various languages. I would
appreciate it if you could answer a short survey about the color terms
in your language. Please E-mail me at for the
survey form. Your cooperation will be heartily appreciated. I will
post a summary if I receive enough number of responses.
 Thank you very much.
 Mariko Matubara
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Message 2: Mass terms

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 15:08:14 EDT
From: Saltarel <>
Subject: Mass terms

	The semantic distinction between 'mass' and 'count' for nouns,
verbs, and adjectives is evidenced in the syntax of many languages
(cf. Moravcsik 1973, for English). In a limited area of Italo-Romance
dialects in central-southern Italy the semantic distinction is also
represented in the determiner system, where we find a masculine
definite article LE for mass nouns and SE for count nouns:

 mass N					count N 
	le pane "bread			se cane "the dog"
 le ferre "iron (metal)" se ferre "the iron (tool)"
	le russe "red (color)" 	se russe "the red head (man)"
 le spirite "alcohol" se spirite "the ghost"

If you know of other languages which distinguish between mass and
count in their determiner system, I would appreciate any information
or reference about it. I will distribute a summary.

Thank you:

Mario Saltarelli
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