Saturday, 3 October 2015

Misconstruing Synonymy + Collocation As Relational Meronymy

Martin (1992: 307):
The second type [of collective item] cannot function as a Pre-Numerative: *a cattle of cows and calves or *a furniture of chairs and sofas are nonsense.  These items do nevertheless assemble a potentially heterogenous [sic] collection of individuals into a single group.  They function "cohesively" in examples like Ben put the cutlery, glasses and plates into the sink and washed up the dishes.  This set includes cattle, clergy, furniture, dishes, cutlery, beverages, parts of speech, shrubbery, collection, constellation, galaxy, solar system, compilation, assembly, company, conference, stable, troupe, orchestra, band, conglomeration, portfolio.

Blogger Comments:

[1] At least 12 of the 22 examples can function as Numeratives; these are all extended Numeratives of the type aggregate (collective measure).

[2] The lexical cohesion between dishes and plates is synonymy, and the lexical cohesion between dishes and each of cutlery and glasses is collocation.  Martin would appear to think that 'dishes' refers to an assembly of cutlery, glasses and plates.

[3] This "collective item" is actually a nominal group that includes an extended Numerative: facet (partitive + type) — in contradistinction to aggregates, which are collective + measure.

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