Printer Friendly

A cognitive comparison of nouns--English v Polish.

1. Introduction

Nouns within the category of COUNT-ABILITY occur in singular form indicated by (SG) and in morphologically marked plural form (PL), also in dual number (DU). Nouns representing the category of NON-COUNT-ABILITY designate uncountable referents, they are signified by (U) in this text. The non-count nouns can be reformulated as countable in partitive expressions (PART), such as a piece of advice, among which are collective nouns (COL), for example, a school in a school of cod. The focus falls on the following nouns: fish (SG fish; PL fish or fishes, DU fish; COL a school/draught offish), cod (SG and PL cod, DU cod; COL a school/draught of cod), sheep (SG and PL sheep, DU sheep; COL a flock of sheep), aircraft (SG, PL aircraft, DU aircraft; COL a wing of aircraft), cattle (PL, U, COL a drove/herd/spread of cattle), police (PL, COL. an army of police), bread (SG, U, COL a loafslice of bread col.), butter (SG, U, COL. a bar/block/cone/fleck/knob/pack/packet/ parcels/scrap/slab/tub of butter), luggage (SG, U, PART/COL an item of luggage), furniture (SG, U, PART/COL an item/element of furniture), news (SG, U, PART/COL an item/round of news), information (SG, U, PART/COL an item of information), advice (SG, U, PART/COL an item of advice), money (SG, U, COL a hoard of money).

The nouns listed above are presented in contrast to their Polish translational equivalents with a view of two approaches to nouns in cognitive linguistics: by Langacker (1987) and Tamy (2000). The usage of English nouns is often not consistent with the usage in terms of singularity or plurality of their Polish translation equivalents. In case of NUMBER NOTIONS, the transfer of the number of the objects referred to by the Polish translational equivalent nouns fosters errors in English expressions in relation to counting entities which cannot be counted in linguistic realizations. Typical mistakes concern using uncountable English nouns with nominal -s inflection marking plurality, or multiple instantiation of object, with determinatives such as cardinal numbers, subject-pronominal concord, and subject-verb concord. For example, based on observed transference from Polish, students often translate the Polish expression rady sq as '* (1) advices are'. Therefore, this study argues that Polish speakers of English should be introduced to a cognitive interpretation of the category of count-ability contrasted with the category of non-count-ability related to the selected English nouns juxtaposed and contrasted with their Polish translational equivalents. Such exercises would without a doubt bring to light the problem of strong transferability of number from Polish into English. Langacker (1987) and Talmy (2000) offer approaches to grammar within cognitive linguistics, which link nouns, and other grammatical categories, to conceptual interpretations through schematic notions. This study presupposes that a deep cognitive insight into how schematic categories account for nouns grammatically has the potential to foster proper usage of said nouns in utterances created by Polish speakers of English. The insight is to be supported by authentic contextual meaning of a given word, as presented in the British National Corpus (BNC).

Contrasting the selected English nouns in extracts of text with their Polish translational equivalents, concord errors and errors in using proper determinatives in the English expressions created by Polish speakers are likely to occur. The aforementioned errors are known as linguistic interference or language transference. The latter has been studied widely from the perspective of psychology (Jarvis 2012), cognitive linguistic approaches to translation (Tabakowska 2013), applied linguistics (Gass & Selinker 1992; Arabski 2006; Odlin 2009; 2010; Gabrys-Barker 2012), and theoretical linguistics (Bullock & Toribio 2009). Formal and functional perspectives on contrast in number between English and Polish nouns have also been published by Polish linguists (Fisiak et al. 1978; Krzeszowski 1990; Willim & Manczak-Wohlfeld 1997: 107-114). Goddard and Wierzbicka (2004: 153) referred to cultural scripts, existing "at levels of generality", relating to "different aspects of thinking, speaking, and behaviour" in various cultures. They exist because "the different ways of speaking of different societies are linked with and make sense in terms of different local cultural values, or at least, different cultural priorities as far as values are concerned". Countable nouns are presented as count nouns in subject literature, and uncountable nouns are viewed as mass nouns (see Jespersen 1924 for mass words), whose category membership "depends partly on the inherent properties of their referents and partly on cultural usage" (Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2004: 1069). Hence, contrasts occur in perceiving entities expressed by nouns across languages.

The framework of Langacker's (1987) cognitive grammar and semantics of grammar have been used in analytical and contrastive discussions of mass and count nouns in English and Polish. Wierzbicka (1988) studies several types of referential entities in English and Polish which are expressed with count nouns v mass nouns, the former are typically SINGULARIA TANTUMS, such as agrest 'gooseberry', the latter are PLURALIA-TANTUM nouns, such as truskawki 'strawberries'. Wierzbicka's (1988) semantics of grammar addresses count and mass nouns naming those nouns which refer to multiple, co-occurring, homogenous constituents, AGGREGATES, such as Polish words for berry-like fruits, which are strawberries 'truskawki', raspberries 'maliny', currents 'porzeczki', and the like, understood as plural and thus are expressed by plural count nouns in Polish.

The examples of berry-like fruits indicate that nouns of the same type can differ in terms of count-ability, as with the Polish singular term agrest v plural porzeczki. Dabrowska (1997: 10) mentioned contrast between specific instances of Polish singular v English plural nouns, such as "Polish fasola (a mass noun) and English beans [...]". Twardzisz (1998:259) applied Langacker's approach to nouns in relation to names of fish in Polish, such as pstrqg 'trout', whose singular form refers to plural number, for example, jeziora peine pstrqga 'lakes full of trout'. Drozdz (2014) used the perspective of cognitive grammar in comparing different construals of nouns, Glaz (2014) and Swiqtek (2014), respectively, analyzed the English definite article with the framework of cognitive linguistics. Perceiving pstrqg in Polish culture and trout in English culture either as count or mass noun depends on "various hypothetical machines, or rules of construal, for dealing with the occurrences of one and the same noun in different contexts" (Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2004: 1067). Pelletier (1975) proposes the UNIVERSAL GRINDER, which "can chop any object into a homogeneous mass", as with the Polish noun fasola, Bunt (1985: 11) introduces the UNIVERSAL SORTER, which licenses expressions like a good mineral water (see conceptual melding and unit excerpting in Talmy 2000: 56), Jackendoff (1991: 24) contributes the UNIVERSAL PACKAGER accounting for utterances like the title Two Coffees One Black One with Sugar Please (for universal grinder, sorter, and packager see Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2004). Although the subjects of CONSTRUALS of nouns and language transference have been exploited in literature, according to my knowledge, no research has been published to date on the topic of interference between English and Polish in terms of a cognitive perception of count-ability and non-count-ability of nouns. Typical Polish expression of thought is most likely to affect, interfere with and thus undermine the linguistic performance of native Poles speaking or writing in English.

The English nouns studied in contrast with their Polish equivalents in the present text have been selected randomly from numerous nouns which are considered either collective mass nouns in subject literature, such as loaves of bread or tubs of butter, or collective count nouns, such as flocks of sheep. They name aggregates of homogenous constituents, such as luggage, or heterogenous elements, such as furniture. See Bolinger (1992) for an explicit analysis of the category FURNITURE. See Wierzbicka (1988) and Koptjevskaja-Tamm (2004: 1069) for discussion of "heterogeneous classes of objects" like furniture v homogeneous substances like water, and "names of substances with a minimal unit" like the Polish term fasola and English sand, as "singularia-tantum mass nouns". This text only signals the potential areas of conceptual factors, grasped by Talmy's study of nouns, triggering the transfer of Polish thought and use resulting in erroneous English utterances with uncountable nouns.

2. Selected English nouns contrasted in terms of number with Polish equivalents

The English nouns discussed in this text contrast in use with equivalent nouns in the Polish language. The Polish translational equivalent morphological forms of fish 'ryba', cod 'dorsz', sheep 'owca', aircraft 'samolot, statek kosmiczny', bread 'chleb', butter 'maslo', luggage 'bagaz', furniture 'mebel', money 'pieniqdz', news 'wiadomosc', information 'informacja', and advice 'rada', are countable in context of usage. Moreover, the Polish translational equivalent nouns for police 'policja' and cattle 'bydlo' are only in singular concord, unlike the English police and cattle occurring in plural agreement with other elements in context of use. To highlight the differences in number, and thus facilitate retention, the selected English nouns are analyzed in four groups with common features concerning their morphological forms regarding 'singularity' and 'plurality'.

The first group contains such nouns as cod, sheep, aircraft, called base plurals, which do not take the inflectional -s ending when used as plural in discourse. Their Polish equivalents are morphologically marked for the plural number with different endings dorsze (2) 'cod', owce 'sheep', samoloty or statki kosmiczne 'aircraft'. The base plural noun fish has the -s ending, morphologically marking the plural number of denoted instances in specific situations, in relation to types of fish or species, or when used in certain translations of The Bible into English, for example, in The Holy Bible: King James Version, Kindle Edition 1015. Polish, however, licenses the form dorsz SG 'cod', like pstrqg 'trout, both in the same conceptual shell (see Schmidt 2000). The noun dorsz SG can be used in plural meaning with the "universal grinder" operating in, for example, duzo dorsza w sklepach 'a lot of cod in shops', in contrast with duzo dorszy /dorsza w sklepie 'a lot of cods/cod in a shop'. The plural dorszy (in the genitive case, GEN) has a higher frequency of occurrence in Polish than the singular form dorsza GEN, and thus fosters errors in the plural in the English word *cods. Similarly, the noun owca SG 'sheep', in plural form owce 'sheep PL', leads to the plural noun *sheeps, which is incorrect with -s, and the noun statek kosmiczny SG, 'aircraft', in plural statki kosmiczne 'aircraft', encourages the erroneous use of -s in *aircrafts. The Polish dorsze PL 'cod', owce PL 'sheep', statki kosmiczne PL 'aircraft' tend to influence the English *cods, * sheeps, and *aircrafts in English utterances expressed by native Poles.

The second group includes nouns like luggage and furniture, which are semantically UNBOUNDED, and consequently, they are used in singular agreement and singular form. They denote aggregates of heterogeneous entities, bounded in partitive constructions, for example, a piece of luggage, an item of furniture. Polish equivalents of these nouns are singular or morphologically marked for plural, depending on the context of use: jeden bagaz jest 'a piece of luggage is' in contrast with dwa bagaze sq 'two pieces of luggage are', jeden mebel jest 'a piece of furniture is' compared with dwa meble sq 'two pieces of furniture are'. Collective nouns express "groups" of mass or objects (see Talmy 2000). The words luggage and furniture, respectively, designate objects, which can be used individually when bounded as a suitcase or a chair respectively. In Polish, bagaz 'luggage' and mebel 'furniture' denote discrete entities, consequently, bagaz SG, bagaze PL and mebel SG, meble PL are countable nouns. In the English language, the categories luggage and furniture appear schematic in relation to suitcase and chair respectively. Their Polish equivalents express countable objects, therefore, realizations as dwa bagaze 'two *luggages', trzy meble 'three *furnitures', provoke transference of numerals and plurality into English expressions with luggage and furniture.

The nouns news, advice used as counsel, information, bread, butter, and money make the third group. They are in singular agreement with other clausal elements, verbs and pronouns. Their Polish translational equivalents are either in singular or plural agreements. In the latter use, the Polish translational equivalents of the words in this group are morphologically marked for plural: jedna wiadomosc 'a/one piece of news' or 'a piece of information' v dwie wiadomosci 'two pieces of news' v wiadomosci 'the news', jeden chleb 'a/one loaf of bread', jedno maslo 'a/one tub of butter', jeden pieniqdz 'a/one coin' or 'a/one banknote'. The English nouns in this group occur in partitive constructions with of, the noun money can be used as singular with the collective noun a hoard, in the expression a hoard of money. The Polish nouns wiadomosc 'news', rada 'advice, informacja 'information, chleb 'bread', and maslo 'butter' can be used with endings marking plurality, determined by numerals, for example: dwie wiadomosci '*two newses', trzy rady '*three advices', cztery informacje '*four informations', picc chlebow '*five breads', and szesc masel '*six butters'. All of the literal translations into English are erroneous for two reasons: first, cardinal numerals are used as determiners, second, the -s ending for plural number is added to the English nouns. The Polish noun pieniqdz 'money' is usually used in plural, for example pieniqdze sq '*moneys are', but the expression jeden pieniqdz '*one money', most frequently, denotes money as a schematic entity in clauses like "[...] jeden pieniqdz (3) bez wspolnej polityki gospodarczej nie ma sensu" (4) (Lit. '*one money without common economical policy is senseless'), or a realization/"instantiation", which is a coin, as in "dobywajqc z kieszeni jeden pieniqdz z tych, ktore dostal od [...]", (Lit. 'taking *one money out of his pocket, from *these which he received from [...]), cited from Powiesci ludu spisane z podan przez Karola Balinskiego, 'Folk stories written down by Karol Balinski', chosen and published by Wojcicki in Warsaw in 1842. The contemporary usage of jeden pieniqdz is most frequent in texts on economy or politics, where jeden pieniqdz is a schematic category. The instantiation as a coin is obsolete, with a high frequency of occurrence in fables.

The nouns cattle and police are discussed together as group four. They are used in plural agreement within a clause. The lexical item cattle can be preceded by collective nouns, such as a drove, a spread, a herd, in partitive constructions, for example, a herd of cattle. The Polish translational equivalent nouns bydlo 'cattle' and policja 'police', respectively, are used in singular concord with accompanying verbs and pronouns, which is drawn from an intuitive scrutiny of subject-verb constructions with bydlo and policja by a native speaker of Polish, and can be verified by subject literature (see, for example, Piasecka 2013 about the semantic and pragmatic potential of the noun bydlo, which is plysemous, i.e. with different senses).

Polish usage generally guides the train of thought of Polish speakers of English, and thus consequently causes interference in English expressions. The English nouns listed above in four groups were selected as typical examples of mistakes usually made by Polish learners of English, even among upper-intermediate and advanced users of English. Based on the selected nouns, which pose typical areas of mistakes in relation to subject-verb concord and subject-pronominal concord, this text attempts to sensitize non-native speakers of English to English nouns as a system in the language, reflecting human concepts arising from the situations experienced in space.

3. Theoretical assumptions: Langacker's and Talmy's respective views of nouns

In [section]3.1, the common features of Langacker's (1987) and Talmy's (2000) respective interpretations of nouns as schematic categories are presented in two separate views of grammar within cognitive linguistics. In [section]3.2, a brief description of how cognitive grammar (1987) and the concept structuring systems (2000) approach the traditional category of NOUN in two individual cognitive analyses. In Conclusions, Talmy's view of nouns, in [section]3.2.3, shows intersections among schematic categories observed while juxtaposing selected English and Polish nouns.

3.1 Schematic categories in grammar from two pioneering perspectives

The interpretations of nouns presented by Langacker (1987) and Talmy (2000) substitute such terms for nouns as common, concrete, abstract, countable or count nouns, uncountable or mass nouns, which relate to syntactic or lexical categories, with schematic categories describing nouns in conceptual terms as designating matter in space, realized as region or quantity. Langacker defines nouns as words designating or profiling region in space, which is "a set of interconnected entities" (1987: 198). The term entity covers "anything we might conceive of or refer to for analytical purposes: things, relations, points on scale, sensations, interconnections, values, etc.". Countable nouns are associated with bounded region, which comprises interconnected entities with "some limit" (ibid., see also Jackendoff 1991; Rijkhoff 2002: 50-59). According to Langacker (1987: 198), "the profiling of the interconnected entities is collective: the region as a whole (the full set of entities) functions as the designatum and constitutes one instance of the [THING] category". Talmy (2000: 42) perceives nouns as "the kind of quantity that exists in space [...] in respectively continuous or discrete form". While uncountable nouns, are associated with CONTINUOUS quantity and designate mass, countable nouns relate to DISCRETE quantity and refer to objects. As far as the distinction between concrete and abstract nouns is concerned, Talmy proposes the parameter of palpability, which is "a gradient parameter that pertains to the degree of palpability with which some entity is experienced in consciousness, from fully concrete to the fully abstract". Talmy (2000: 141-156) distinguishes four levels that can be "designated along this gradient: the (fully) concrete level, the semiconcrete level, the semiabstract level, and the (fully) abstract level". The levels of parameters correspond to 13 types of "cognitive phenomena such as earlier or later stages of processing" with specific features.

In both interpretations, Langacker's and Talmy's respectively, countable nouns denote entities which are understood as coherent conceptual GESTALTS (see Talmy 2000: 181). The basis for associating the referents of nouns with configurations observed in space, real and abstract, is bodily interaction of humans with different entities, physical and abstract, i.e. "our embodied experience" (Johnson 1987/1990: xiv). Cognitive linguists (see Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Johnson 1987; Langacker 1987, 2008; Talmy 2000; constructionists (5)), argue that the bodily experience delivers the concepts externalized by language. Cognitive approaches to grammar are based on studying different units of language as schematic constructions, and semantics and grammar continuum, following Langacker's pioneering theory.

Langacker (1987 and elsewhere) and Talmy (2000) are individual developers of grammars within the framework of cognitive linguistics, cognitive grammar by Langacker and the concept structuring systems by Talmy. Langacker connects the noun to the notion of SYMBOLIC UNIT. Talmy (2000: 21) argues that language has two subsystems: GRAMMATICAL and LEXICAL, which "have distinct semantic functions, ones that are indispensable and complementary". While the term lexical refers to the OPEN CLASS of morphemes, the term grammatical is connected with the CLOSED CLASS of morphemes. Roots of nouns and LEXICAL COMPLEXES, like idioms, are open class elements. According to Talmy (2000: 2324), GRAMMATICAL COMPLEXES, such as "grammatical constructions, syntactic structures, and complement structures", are "included among closed classes". Langacker shows grammatical constructions as symbolic ones, even single morphemes are constructions.

3.2.1 A view of noun as a symbolic unit in Langacker's cognitive grammar

The symbolic unit is "the construct deployed in cognitive grammar for the representation of both lexical and grammatical structure" (Langacker 1987: 57). According to Langacker (1987: 58, 82), a symbolic unit is a form-meaning pairing with three meaningful structures: phonological, semantic, and symbolic. The scholar (1987: 183-189) argues that nouns, i.e. NOMINAL PREDICATIONS, as well as verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, i.e. RELATIONAL PREDICATIONS, can be defined semantically as symbolic units, "each with a semantic and a phonological pole". The former pole "determines the categorization". The linguist states that a noun "is a symbolic structure whose semantic pole instantiates the schema [THING] [...]", in other words, "a noun designates a thing". According to Langacker (1987: 189), "a thing is properly characterized as a region in some domain, i.e. every nominal predication designates a region", bounded or unbounded, which relates to whether nouns are conceived as countable or uncountable.

An uncountable noun names an UNBOUNDED REGION and a countable noun designates a BOUNDED REGION "in a primary domain", i.e. in three-dimensional space for physical objects, two-dimensional space for "nouns like circle, point, line, and triangle" (Langacker 1987: 190-196), and in the domain of time for bounded regions named by moment, instant, and period. Moreover, colour terms, which are used as nouns, "designate particular regions in color space; most are defined relative to the hue dimension primarily (red, yellow, blue, etc), but a few are confined largely or solely to the brightness dimension (black, white, gray)". Langacker argues that other nominal concepts are placed in the matrix "formed by coordinating basic domains", for example, a beep is "bounded in both pitch and time [...]". Finally, abstract domains "presuppose (and thus incorporate) more basic domains. Bounding in an abstract domain is therefore compatible with bounding in an incorporated basic domain, though the former may be primary and the latter derivative". Nouns designating collections of individual entities, such as swarm, archipelago, and forest, also involve the processes of conceptual bounding or conceptual closure, i.e. imposing "a boundary in structuring a conceived situation [...]". Space is "a primary domain for these nouns".

Nevertheless, Langacker (1987: 197) associates collective nouns like team, family, or class, with spatial and also quasi-spatial bounding, since we "recognize a set of individuals as a team even if they are scattered all over a playing field and intermingled with members of the opposition [...] spatial relations are less important than co-operative activity towards a common objective". The scholar claims that "[...] an appropriate schematic characterization of the [THING] category is capable of accommodating both count and mass nouns, as well as nouns whose content is highly abstract (eg deverbal nominalizations)". Langacker (2008: 129) acknowledges that while the names for physical objects, such as diamond, book, cup, are typical for count nouns, the names of physical substances, such as gold, meat, water, are typical for mass nouns. Moreover, "count nouns also label creatures (cat), parts of larger wholes (tail), and geographical regions (county), as well as entities that are either nebulous (cloud) or abstract (idea)". As far as mass nouns are concerned, they "designate entities whose substantial nature is rather tenuous (air, electricity) or which are wholly nonphysical (nonsense, righteousness)". Consequently, following Langacker's analysis, English countable and uncountable nouns can be understood by forming concepts of the designated referents or regions in some domain, which means that they are conceptualized. Talmy (2000) also studies nouns through conceptual constructs, as schematic categories or conceptual categories.

3.2.2 A view of noun in Talmy's approach to grammar

Talmy (2000: 21) argues that the grammatical elements which occur in languages, "taken together, specify a crucial set of concepts". In Talmy's approach to language, "this set of grammatically specified notions collectively constitutes the fundamental conceptual structuring system of language". Within the four main concept structuring systems, the system of language referred to as CONFIGURATIONAL accounts for nouns and verbs alike. While nouns name quantities within space, verbs designate quantities conceptualized in relation to time. Both categories are interpreted according to the same features. In a brief sketch, the configurational system accounts for how the quantity called matter is configured in space, as "a single object or mass of material" (Talmy 2000: 191), and how the quantity named action is configured in time. Talmy (2000: 47-68) identifies four main schematic categories for the configurational system: the category of (1) DISPOSITION OF QUANTITY, the category of (2) DEGREE OF EXTENSION, the category of (3) PATTERN OF DISTRIBUTION, which intersect with one another, also the categories of (4) AXIALITY and (5) SCENE PARTITIONING. Categories from (2) to (5) are not addressed in the present text, therefore, they are not focused upon in this section. The category of disposition of quantity involves "an intersection of four categories of attributes"--"domain, plexity, state of boundedness, and state of dividedness"--which "pertain to a quantity simultaneously", together constituting "a complex of attributes that may be termed a quantity of disposition".

As far as plexity in relation to matter is concerned, the quantity in question is perceived in agreement with "the traditional linguistic category of 'number' with its component notions 'singular' and 'plural'." Semantically, plexity relates to one element in space (uniplex) or to more than one (multiplex). Not only count nouns specify multiplexity, also mass nouns like furniture. Nevertheless, the intrinsically multiplex, internally discrete matter realized as furniture, refers to unbounded region in space. Hence, intersections of the schematic categories occur. The following examples show the category of plexity encoded in a base plural noun and in a mass noun. For instance, uniplex matter is realized by the three phrases a peaceful fish, a single female cod, and a sheep in (1a-c), also by the partitive construction a piece of with the noun phrase hand luggage in (3 a) and furniture in (3 b). The latter example displays unit excerpting in connection with the matter designated by furniture.

Plexity relating to multiplex matter is lexicalized by the noun phrases highlighted by bold print (6) in (2a-h) and in (3c-f). "Meaning is found in texts and patterns in texts make meanings observable" (Mahlberg 2005: 36). In agreement with this observation, see the following example sentences regarding the studied nouns conceived as uniplex and multiplex quantity in space in context of use accessed via the BNC:

(1) Nouns encoding referents triggering uniplex quantity in space:

a. fish as species--The latter is a peaceful fish, whereas elongatus is a real killer. (C97 944) (7)

b. cod as a discrete "generic" entity--A single female cod can produce six million eggs in one spawning. (F9F 60)

c. sheep a discrete "specific" entity--A sheep walked down the road seeming big in the swirling grey white. (FP3 833)

(2) Nouns having multiplex structure by being countable (with numerals: two, three, etc.):

a. fish as discrete referents with the numeral three--The only three fish I am left with are a Majestic Witch, which also has a white mark around the mouth, a Black Wedge, which is not feeding, and the Moon Angel, that is still in good health. (FBN 2123)

b. fish or fishes as species--From the 340 million year old oil shales round Wardie Bay he collected specimens of ray-finned (paleoniscoid) fishes which were once as common as cod is now. (HSA 434)

c. cod as discrete referents triggered by the coordinated numerals one or two--Boats took one or two cod from deeper water but generally poor. (A6R 1339)

d. sheep as discrete referents with the numeral two, and by being conceptually recovered in the reciprocal pronouns each other--If on the other hand, the two sheep are of similar size they can assess each other only by fighting. (CJ3 1909)

e. cattle as discrete referents with the numeral two--He said he told him the story and he said if you could just get back to to Greentoft, he says, I would give you the best two cattle out of my byre. (HEA 75)

f. aircraft as discrete referents with the numeral three--The aircraft were in two flights of three aircraft. (CLU 1666)

g. police as discrete referents with the numeral three--The three police stood watching them. (CR6 3615)

h. The three police officers were grim-faced and intent. (G0N 1474)

(3) Nouns having uniplex or multiplex structure in partitive constructions, due to the

cognitive process of unit excerpting:

a. luggage as a discrete referent, of bounded structure with the partitive one piece, the lexical item luggage triggers a luggage bag--Take only one piece of hand luggage to minimise security-check time. (EDG 2107)

b. furniture as discrete referents, of bounded structure with the partitive a piece of--Bring a piece of furniture you wish to restore [...]. (C9X 992)

c. information as discrete referents through unit excerpting with the partitive items, preceded by the numeral four, bounded when conveyed by number, title, address, date--The title page shows a minimum of four items of information--number, title, address, date. (FEU 1327)

d. news as discrete referents through unit excerpting with the partitive pieces, preceded by the numeral two--Before then the office came alive with two pieces of news--Sniffy Wilson had been captured and Marilyn Duxbody had been charged under the Obscene Publications Act. (GWG 2421)

e. bread as discrete referents through unit excerpting with the partitive construction loaves, preceded by the numeral nine--He counted nine loaves of bread on the highest shelf and a dozen tins of meat stacked on the dresser. (ACW 1783)

f. butter as discrete referents evoked by the partitive . flecks, preceded by the pronoun a few--Add the bay leaf and a few flecks of butter and bake for about 15 minutes. (H06 3020)

While all example sentences in (1) have the studied nouns with the indefinite article, the sentences in (2) contain nouns expressing multiplex discrete quantity in space. Those which occur with the verb in plural agreement (2a,b,d,f) trigger multiplex bounded quantity through the plural verb and the numeral, those which are only with a numeral (2c,e,g) evoke multiplex bounded quantity with the number. The sentence in (2g) has the noun phrase the three police filling out the position of the subject. Using either policemen or policewomen, instead of police, would be inappropriate in relation to representatives of both genders involved in the commented situation. The word police is neutral in this respect. So is the expression police officers, as in (2h). The nouns in (3) have multiplex bounded regions expressed by the collective nouns items, loaves and flecks, and by the plural partitive element pieces.

The category of state of boundedness relates to bounded matter and unbounded matter, and "corresponds to the traditional linguistic distinction between 'mass' and 'count' " nouns. In semantic terms, unbounded quantity is perceived as "continuing on indefinitely with no necessary characteristic of finiteness intrinsic to it. When a quantity is understood as bounded, it is conceived to be demarcated as an individuated unit entity" (Talmy 2000: 50). For example, the grammatically massed nouns which become semantically bounded through partitive constructions, such as bread with the collective noun loaf in a loaf of bread, are submitted to a "cognitive operation of bounding, or portion excerpting, as triggered by a piece of bread, which is realized in this sentence: If you break a glass, use a piece of bread to sponge the area where the pieces shattered (8). The unlimited volume designated by the given mass noun is bounded when the noun is used in partitive constructions, as in the examples in (3) above. Bounding entails dividing the expressed referent in cognitive operations, but it is not the same as dividedness.

The category of state of dividedness relates to a specific internal segmentation of the given quantity: "composite or (internally) discrete", if it has "breaks, or interruptions, through its composition" (Talmy 2000: 55). For example, internally discrete matter is realized by the noun furniture, but internally continuous matter is expressed by the noun water, which cannot be segmented into pieces. Nonetheless, processes of DISCRETIZING and MELDING alter the conception of the quantity involved in the analysis. According to Talmy (2000: 56), the former operation occurs when
   [...] the originally continuous referent would become
   conceptualized as a particulate aggregation. Conversely, a
   grammatical form for a discrete-type lexical item would trigger an
   operation of melding, whereby the separate elements of the original
   referent would be conceptualized as having fused together into a
   continuum.


While the quantity expressed by the noun water undergoes discretizing in 90, 921.8 drops of water in a gallon (9), the expression the mass of the people, used in the mass of the people voted against the government's policy (10), illustrates the process of melding. Talmy (2000: 56) states that SPONTANEOUS MELDING is observed when "no grammatical form" like mass unites the individual elements, which, among others, relates to the noun furniture.

3.2.3 Intersections among schematic categories in juxtaposing English and Polish nouns

The categories of disposition of quantity intersect with one another. For instance, the English noun furniture designates multiplex unbounded and internally discrete matter. The Polish plural noun meble 'furniture/*furnitures' has a singular form mebel 'a piece of furniture'. Hence, the Polish single form mebel 'furniture' expresses uniplex bounded and discrete matter and thus triggers transference of the native usage into the noun furniture, i.e. conceptualizing this noun as countable. Other nouns which are brought to the readers' attention for the same reason are: fish, cod, sheep, aircraft, cattle, police, bread, butter, luggage, news, information, advice meaning counsel, and money. Talmy (2000: 59) schematizes intersections of categories, based on which the following examples are compiled: multiplex unbounded discrete, e.g. furniture, and continuous, e.g. information; multiplex bounded discrete, e.g. sheep, and continuous, e.g. sea. Parallels between the nouns listed above and others which share their characteristics in terms of Talmy's configurational system can be outlined through analogical schematic analyses. Section 4 attempts to delve into schematic intersections of the selected nouns analysed as categories within Talmy's configurational system and as Langacker's schematic categories designating bounded or unbounded region. Nouns are cognitively processed.

According to cognitive linguists, words are points of access to vast repositories of non-linguistic encyclopedic knowledge, which is highly structured and consists of what Evans (2013: 23) calls cognitive models. This study uses the BNC as a means to diminish transference of Polish thought process into numerous utterances constructed in English by Polish students.

4. Practical implications

In [section]4.1, a collection of English nouns that are recommended for practice via the BNC are presented in Tables 1 through 3. Table 1 shows the studied nouns with focus on boundednes of the designated reference entities, which unites certain aspects of Langacker's (1987) view of nouns and Talmy's (2000) conceptually based analysis of nouns. Table 2 demonstrates English nouns as schematic categories of the configurational system in Talmy's approach to grammar. Table 3 shows Polish translational equivalent nouns of the studied English examples as schematic categories referring to the analysis shown in Table 2. In [section]4.2, the studied English nouns are grouped according to schematic categories of the configurational system in Talmy's approach to grammar, interpreted in terms of plurality and singularity contrasted with their Polish translational equivalents. In [section]4.3, the research findings are demonstrated through the numbers of correct uses contrasted with erroneous choices made by 83 undergraduate students at the beginning of their course in the English language and literature. The results were obtained from the selected answers out of the multiple possible replies, correct and wrong ones, in the particular slots of the administered questionnaire. The research led to recommendations for studying different uses of "problematic" words and expressions, in this case the analyzed nouns, by scrutinizing examples of use in discourse, accessible through the BNC (for details on the contemporary corpora see http://corpus.byu.edu/) (Accessed 2015-04-18). The recommendations are illustrated with several examples suggesting how one can apply elements of Talmy's grammar to studying examples of use of selected words and expressions.

4.1 The studied English nouns contrasted with Polish translational equivalents by means of schematic categories

Taking into consideration Langacker's (1987) and Talmy's (2000) respective views of nouns, Table 1 addresses the former approach, Table 2 focuses on the latter interpretation. Both tables attempt to present the selected English nouns as schematic categories. Table 1 only lists the nouns which belong to the given schematic category, called bounded or unbounded region. Table 2 also enumerates the selected nouns within the particular category, named multiplex matter, bounded or unbounded matter, discrete or continuous matter. Table 3 has a contrastive semantic interpretation of Polish translational equivalents of the selected English nouns (with view of Saloni & Swidzinski 2007).

The schematic categories of bounding and unbounding, in Table 1 and in Table 2, respectively, correlate in terms of confining the region and the matter by means of partitive elements with reference to the nouns considered uncountable, regarding formal descriptive grammar. Table 3 shows Polish equivalents of the selected English nouns, reflecting the schematic categories presented in Table 2, with the schematic boundedness, also included in Table 1.

The schematic categories of selected English nouns rarely maintain their singularity or plurality in relation to their Polish translational equivalents.

4.2 Selected nouns grouped according to schematic categories

The selected English nouns submitted to a brief analysis with a view to Langacker's and Talmy's respective approaches to nouns are placed in groups from (1) to (4) below. They are arranged with respect to the observed English-Polish contrast in number reflected through schematic boundedness, plexity, and discreteness, applied to the English nouns listed in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively.

The referents named by the nouns in (1) fish, cod, sheep, aircraft, are understood as multiplex matter, bounded through the process of melding, "whereby the separate elements of the original referent would be conceptualized as having fused together into a continuum" (Talmy 2000: 56). Without this process, they are used as uniplex, i.e. singular forms, highlighting individuated entities. Polish equivalent nouns to those in (1) have both forms: singular and morphologically marked plural: ryba SG, ryby PL for 'fish' DU, dorsz DU, dorsze PL for 'cod' DU, owca SG, owce PL for 'sheep' DU, statek powietrzny SG, statki powietrzne PL for 'aircraft' DU.

The objects designated by the nouns in (2) luggage, furniture, are perceived as unbounded matter, and discrete matter, individuated only through partitive constructions. Their Polish equivalent nouns--bagaz SG, bagaze PL for 'luggage' SG and mebel SG, meble PL for 'furniture' SG--take the singular form or the plural form depending on the context of usage. The Polish plural forms are morphologically marked for plural.

The nouns in (3) news, advice [=counsel], information, bread, butter, money, refer to unbounded matter and continuous matter with Polish equivalent nouns in both forms: singular and morphologically marked plural (see Table 3). They are expressed as uniplex matter in partitive constructions, money is used in a hoard of money.

The nouns in (4) cattle, police, denote individuated bounded and discrete referents with plural agreement but singular form through the process of melding. The Polish translational equivalents of cattle and police are their converse forms in terms of the encoded number.

All four groups include English nouns which are schematically and constructionally different from Polish translations of English utterances with those nouns. The subject-verb and subject-pronominal concord in English utterances with the selected nouns differ from the grammatical agreements observed in their Polish versions.

4.3 Questionnaire results and post-questionnaire recommendations

In [section]4.3.1, Table 4 presents empirically confirmed observations relat ing to the errors in proper use of the English nouns contrasted with their Polish equivalents. Each expression has a number of recorded answers considering the given construction correct. In [section]4.3.2, extracts of authentic text from the BNC with expressions containing the given nouns are recommended as a sample of readily accessible self-administered practice.

4.3.1 Conclusive questionnaire results

Table 4 shows conclusive evidence that the errors made are mainly related to transference of schemata from Polish nouns into their English expressions.

The following results were obtained in relation to the constructions whose Polish countable equivalents have a high frequency of occurrence in spoken language: *furnitures are and * furniture are were given in over 30% of the answers, *one advice is scored 36,1% and *advices are scored 55,4%, *money are, *luggages are and *one luggage is obtained over 37%, *one bread is got 38,5%, *one information is received almost 50%, *informations are and *news are were indicated by 65% of the participants, cods are were chosen by almost 88% of the respondents, but nobody indicated that the plural -s ending applies to cod as a type or species. The root nouns themselves in the studied constructions have errors in number resulting from transference. For example, *sheeps had 42%, *informations received over 50%, * aircrafts obtained over 61%, but the correct expression aircraft are had only 9,6%. Moreover, between 51% and 54% of the students selected the correct expressions one fish is and fishes are. The respondents were misled not only by analogy, but also by literal transference. Therefore, fishes are was selected automatically, not on the bases of background knowledge since nobody specified the context of use, i.e. as species or types, or in Biblical discourse. Additionally, the English plural nouns police and cattle, respectively, were also associated with their Polish singular equivalents, hence, * police is received 42,1% and *cattle is scored over 50%. Apart from policja 'police' and bydlo 'cattle', all other Polish nouns listed in (1) through (4) above are countable. Hence, Polish students of English tend to transfer count-ability of Polish nouns into expressions with their English translational equivalents.

Polish users of English at the upper-intermediate and the advanced levels need further language practice of uncountable nouns through contact with diversified extracts of authentic text. It is recommended that students of English as a foreign language emerge themselves in individual practice of the selected nouns, apart from other words, through studying authentic text with the given constructions.

4.3.2 Recommendations for practice--a selected example

Extracts of text accessible in language corpora, such as the BNC database, can supplement the dictionary definitions with authentic utterances. Examples cited from the BNC illustrate the studied nouns processed through the schematic category of disposition of quantity in [section]3.2.2. Searching for context with particular words or expressions by keying the given expression in the search box, such as those highlighted by bold print in examples (1) through (5) below, leads to a variety of authentic text extracts. Students can analyse the searched noun studying its usage in various clauses. An attempt to interpret the nouns schematically is recommended, as presented in the following examples from the BNC.

(1) Fish don't have passports. (ASV 1366) (The referent of the base plural noun fish is multiplex, which is coded by the noun-verb concord.)

(2) But that's what it cost, the fish itself, four pound. (KB7 15240) (The the referent of the noun _fish is uniplex, which is shown in the noun-pronominal concord.)

(3) a. In 40 years, he flew more than 100 aircraft, including Concorde. (CH6 7285) (The referent aircraft is multiplex, which is expressed by the noun-determinative concord. 100 is a huge number.)

b. The scheme commenced 18 Sep 66 initially with two aircraft, and three aircraft were added at periodic intervals. (EWS 154) (The referent aircraft is multiplex, bounded and discrete, which is conveyed by the noun-determinative concord used twice: two aircraft, three aircraft.)

(4) Uncover the loaf and let everyone admire the bread. (HS7 254) (The referent bread is multiplex, unbounded and continuous in real space, which is communicated by a nounpartitive construction.)

(5) One or two extra and up-dated pieces of information are supplied (Eco-Systems 1982). (APN 804) (The referent information is multiplex, unbounded and continuous in abstract space, countable as discrete counted elements obtained by unit excerpting shown in the partitive construction pieces of information, thus in plural concord with the verb are.)

Moreover, English text accessed through the language corpora, such as fragments of books, newspapers, periodicals, advertisements, internet blogs, and the like, provides an opportunity for reading what is of interest to students i.e. for entertainment or information on what they are already familiar with or for new information. Since textbooks are not always of interest to students at the upper-intermediate and the advanced levels, they should exploit language corpora and other sources of authentic text published on the Internet. It is argued that IMMERSION (see Anderson & Rhodes 1983) in authentic examples of usage will help students retain the schematic representations of proper grammar. This discourse recommends continual wide range study of examples of usage of the particular English utterances through the database of the BNC, for example, leading to immersion in authentic text.

5. Consolidation and conclusions

English nouns display properties related to number which are specific for the English language, i.e. how native speakers of this language perceive their referents and what information those referents convey. The studied nouns, apart from policja 'police' and bydlo 'cattle', are conventionally countable in the Polish language. The English nouns selected for discussion are uncountable, several base plurals have dual number, depending on the context of usage. Therefore, this text attempts to highlight differences in grammatical number between the chosen English nouns, used as examples of typical differences in number, and their Polish translational equivalents. Exposure to authentic usage takes place through conceptual interpretations of the referents denoted by the selected English nouns by means of schematic categories in grammar and extracts of authentic context with the studied words from a language corpus, e.g. the BNC. Such contact with the selected nouns is expected to substitute immersion in authentic communication in English for Polish speakers of this language. Immersion provides them with conventional patterns of English expressions which need to be used automatically when communicating in English. According to this discourse, dictionary definitions and grammatical rules do not sufficiently fill the need of immersion in authentic context of language usage.

This study addresses differences between selected nouns with regard to count-ability and non-count-ability. English nouns such as fish, cod, sheep, aircraft, cattle, police, bread, butter, luggage, furniture, news, information, advice [=counsel], money, and their Polish equivalents in terms of number are compared by applying a cognitive interpretation, based on Langacker's (1987) and Talmy's (2000) studies of nouns as schematic categories. The analyzed differences between the English nouns and their Polish equivalents relate to grammatical concord with varied components of sentence structure. This discourse argues that the numerical significance of Polish nouns influences and undermines the language performance of Polish upper-intermediate and advanced learners of English. Consequently, transference errors occur in English utterances where nouns in terms of numerical disparity in their Polish equivalents are used. These findings are supported by the results of the questionnaire conducted among 83 undergraduate students of the English language at a Polish university in October 2014. The grammatical features of count-ability and lack of count-ability of English nouns are to be delved into by means of authentic context of usage. Extracts of text from the BNC, which expand examples of usage found in dictionary entries are recommended. Full utterances and texts accessed through examples can become sources of information and entertainment, which in turn spur retention of English constructions, especially those which are susceptible to errors due to the possibility of numerical coordinate transfer from the Polish language. Consequently, the topic of this paper is open for further discussion.
Abbreviations and symbols

COL    a collective noun
DU     dual number
e.g.   for example
GEN    genitive
i.e.   that is
NOM    nominative
PART   a partitive element
PL     plural
SG     singular
=      semantically equivalent
*      unacceptable


References

Anderson, Helena & Rhodes, Nancy C. 1983. Immersion and other innovations in U.S. elementary schools. Studies in Language Learning 4. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 278 237).

Arabski, Janusz (ed.). 2006. Cross-Linguistic Influences in the Second Language Lexicon (Second Language Acquisition). Clevedon, U. K.: Multilingual Matters Limited.

Bergen, Benjamin & Chang, Nancy. 2005. Embodied construction grammar in simulation-based language understanding. In Ostman, J.-O. & Fried, M. (eds.), Construction Grammars: Cognitive Grounding and Theoretical Extensions, 147-190. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bolinger, Dwight. 1992. About furniture and birds. Cognitive Linguistics 3. 111-118.

Bullock, Barbara E. & Toribio, Almeida Jacqueline (eds.). 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dqbrowska, Ewa. 1997. Cognitive Semantics and the Polish Dative. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Drozdz, Grzegorz. 2014. Metonymic Extension as the Process Underlying the Change of Count and Mass Properties of Nouns. In Drozdz, G. & Lyda, A. (eds.), Extension and its Limits, 80-107. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, Vyvyan. 2013. Language and Time: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fisiak, Jacek, Lipinska-Grzegorek, Maria & Zabrocki, Tadeusz. 1978. An Introductory EnglishPolish Contrastive Grammar. Warszawa: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.

Gabrys-Barker, Danuta (ed.). 2012. Cross-linguistic Influences in Multilingual Language Acquisition (SecondLanguage Learning and Teaching). Heidelberg: Springer.

Gass, Susan M., Selinker, Larry (eds.). 1992. Language Transfer in Language Learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Glaz, Adam. 2014. Item vs. System, The definite Article in a Tug-of-War. In Drozdz, G. & Lyda, A. (eds.), Extension and its Limits, 157-175. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge University Press.

Goddard, Cliff & Wierzbicka, Anna. 2004. Cultural scripts: What are they and what are they for? In Intercultural Pragmatics 1-2. 153-166. Available at: <https://nats-www.informatik.unihamburg. de/pub/User/InterculturalCommunication/%2 0cultureW ierz.pdf>

Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Halley, Ned. 2001. Dictionary of Modern English Grammar. Wordsworth Editions Ltd.

Jackendoff, Ray. 1991. Parts and Boundaries. Cognition 41. 9-46.

Jarvis, Scott. 2012. Conceptual transfer. In Robinson, P. Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition, 115-117. London/New York: Routledge.

Jespersen, Otto. 1924. The philosophy of grammar. London: G. Allen and Unwin.

Johnson, Mark. 1987. The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. 2004. Mass and collection. In Booj, G E., Lehmann, C. & Mugdan, J. (eds.), Semantic categories and operations in Morphology I: Entity concepts 2, 1067-1073. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Krzeszowski, Tomasz. 1990. Contrasting Languages: The Scope of Contrastive Linguistics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Lakoff, George & Johnson, Mark. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Langacker, Ronald W. 2008. Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar I: Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Mahlberg, Michaela. 2005. English General Nouns: A corpus theoretical approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Odlin, Terence. 2010. Conclusion: On the Interdependence of Conceptual Transfer and Relativity Studies. In Zhaohong, H. & Cadierno, T. Linguistic Relativity in L2 Acquisition: Evidence of L1 Thinking for Speaking, 183-194. Clevedon, U. K.: Multilingual Matters Limited.

Odlin, Terence. 2009. Transfer and Code-switching: Separate Territories, but Common Concerns on the Border. In Isurin, L., Winford, D. & de Bot, K. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Code Switching, 337-358. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Piasecka, Agata. 2013. Potencjal semantyczno-pragmatyczny leksemow BYDLO i SKOT w jczyku polskim i rosyjskim. Acta Universitatis Lodziensis: Folia Linguistica Rossica 9. 69-78.

Rijkhoff, Jan. 2002. The Noun Phrase. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Saloni, Zygmunt, Swidzinski, Marek. 2007. Skladnia wspolczesnego jqzyka polskiego. Warszawa: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.

Schmid, Hans-Jorg. 2000. English Abstract Nouns as Conceptual Shells: From Corpus to Cognition. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Swiatek, Artur. 2014. The Expansion of Research on the Meaning of the. In DrozdZ, G. & Lyda, A. (eds.), Extension and its limits, 144-156. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge University Press.

Tabakowska, Elzbieta. 2013. (Cognitive) grammar in translation, Form as meaning. In Rojo, A. & Ibrarretxe-Antunano, I. (eds.). Cognitive Linguistics and Translation: Advances in Some Theoretical Models and Application, 229-250. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Talmy, Leonard. 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics I: Concept Structuring Systems. Cambridge, MA: Massachussets Institute of Technology.

Twardzisz, Piotr. 1998. Seeing Things: Mass and Count Nouns in Focus. Papers and Studies in Contrastive Linguistics 34. 245-260.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 1991. Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human Interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 1988. The Semantics of Grammar. Amsterdam: Jon Benjamins.

Willim, Ewa, Manczak-Wohlfeld, Elzbieta. 1997. A Contrastive Approach to Problems with English. Warszawa: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.

Dorota Chlopek

dchlopek@ath. bielsko.pl

University of Bielsko-Biala (ATH)

44-309 Bielsko-Biala ul. Willowa 2

POLAND

Dorota Chlopek, University of Bielsko-Biala, Poland

(1) This symbol indicates an erroneous linguistic construction.

(2) The final letter highlighted in bold print is the plural ending of the Polish nouns listed as contrastive examples of the studied English nouns.

(3) The expression jeden pieniqdz is not highlighted by bold print in the original text.

(4) (http://www.ekonomia.rp.pl/artykul/759006.html?print=tak &p=0) (Accessed 2015-16-04.)

(5) For CONSTRUCTIONISTS see developers of constructionist approaches to grammar within cognitive linguistics (usage-based models): (i) constructions as argument structures in Goldberg's (1995) Cognitive Construction Grammar, (ii) processing constructions through language use in the Embodied Construction Grammar, developed by Bergen and Chang (2005), (iii) syntactically-semantic assemblies in William Croft's (2001) Radical Construction Grammar.

(6) The particular expressions in bold print in the examples cited from the BNC in this text are not written in bold in the examples available at http://corpus.byu.edu/ nor at http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/.

(7) The acronyms and numbers written in brackets on the right of each example sentence from [section]3.2.2 and [section] 4.3.2 indicate the sources of the examples accessed through the BNC.

(8) (See Whitson Gordon at http://lifehacker.com /5826887) (Accessed 2015-04-06.)

(9) (http://askascientist.co.uk/physics/many-drops-water/) (Accessed 2015-18-03)

(10) (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Mass) (Accessed 2015-18-03)

(11) This symbol "=" indicates that the preceding entity is a semantic equivalent of the following entity.
Table 1: English nouns as nominal predications representing bounded v
unbounded region

An interpretation of the selected English nouns based on Langacker's
study

Schematic categories       Nouns and expressions
                           realizing the given schematic
                           category

Bounded region             fish, cod, sheep, cattle,
                           aircraft, police

Bounded region through     a loaf of bread,
partitive constructions,   a tub / bar / stick of butter,
otherwise unbounded        a hoard of money

                           a piece of news / advice [=n
                           counsel] /
                           information/furniture /
                           luggage

Unbounded region           news, advice [=(11)counsel],
                           information, bread, butter,
                           furniture, luggage, money

Table 2: English nouns as schematic categories of the configurational
system

An interpretation of the selected English nouns based on Talmy's study

Schematic categories       Nouns, expressions and fragments of
                           sentences realizing the given schematic
                           category, co-occurring with these
                           elements which imply that the specific
                           noun is countable in the particular
                           usage

Uniplex matter             fish is (as species), the fish itself
                           (as a discrete referent), a single
                           female cod, a sheep, one luggage

Uniplex matter through     a piece offurniture, an element
partitive constructions    offurniture, a loaf of bread a stick of
                           butter, a tub of butter, a bar of butter
                           a piece / an item of news, a piece / an
                           item of advice [=counsel], a piece / an
                           item of information, a hoard of money

Multiplex matter           fish and cod (as discrete referents and
                           as species), sheep, cattle, furniture
                           (conceived as multiplex but unbounded),
                           aircraft, police

Multiplex matter through   news (three items / pieces / rounds of
partitive constructions    news), advice [=counsel], e.g. three
                           items of advice), information (three
                           pieces of information), bread (three
                           loaves of bread), butter (three tubs /
                           three bars / three sticks of butter),
                           luggage (two pieces of luggage)

Bounded matter             fish, cod, sheep, cattle, police, a
                           piece luggage, aircraft, a loaf of
                           bread, a tub of butter or a stick of
                           butter or a bar of butter

Unbounded matter           news, advice [=counsel], furniture,
                           information, bread, butter, money

Discrete matter            fish, cod, sheep, cattle, police,
                           luggage, furniture, aircraft

Continuous matter          news, advice [=counsel], information,
                           bread, butter, money

Table 3: Polish nouns as schematic categories of the configurational
system

An interpretation of Polish nouns equivalent to the selected English
nouns

Uniplex matter      jedna ryba SG NOM (in the nominative CASE),
                    one fish', jeden dorsz SG 'one cod', jedna
                    owca SG 'one sheep', jeden statekpowietrzny
                    SG 'one aircraft',. jeden mebel SG '*one
                    furniture', jeden chleb SG '*one bread',
                    jeden bagaz SG '*one luggage', jeden pieniqdz
                    SG '*one money'

Multiplex matter    ryby PL '*fishes', dorsze PL '*cods', owce PL
                    *sheeps', bydlo SG, 'cattle' PL, policja SG,
                    police' PL, bagaze PL, '*luggages', meble PL,
                    *furnitures', statki powietrzne PL,
                    *aircrafts', wiadomosci PL, '*newses', rady
                    PL, '*advices', informacje PL,
                    *informations', chleby PL, '*breads',
                    pieczywo SG 'bread', masia PL, '*butters',
                    pieniqdze PL, '*moneys'

Bounded matter      ryba SG, 'fish', dorsz DU, 'cod' DU, owca SG,
                    sheep', bydlo SG, 'cattle' PL, policja, SG,
                    police' PL, bagaz SG, 'luggage', statek
                    powietrzny SG, 'aircraft', chleb SG &
                    pieczywo SG, 'bread', maslo SG, 'butter',
                    wiadomosc SG, 'news', rada SG, 'advice',
                    mebel SG, 'furniture', informacja SG,
                    information, pieniqdz SG, 'money'

Discrete matter     ryba SG, 'fish' DU, ryby PL, 'fishes', dorsz
                    SG, PL, 'cod' DU, dorsze PL, '*cods', owca
                    SG, 'sheep' DU, owce PL, '*sheeps', bydlo SG,
                    cattle' PL, policja SG, 'police' PL, bagaz
                    SG, 'luggage' SG, bagaze PL, '*luggages',
                    mebel SG, 'furniture' SG, meble PL,
                    *furnitures', statek powietrzny SG,
                    aircraft' DU, statki powietrzne PL,
                    *aircrafts', wiadomosc SG, 'news' SG,
                    wiadomosci PL, '*newses', rada SG, 'advice'
                    SG, rady PL, '*advices' [=counsel],
                    informacja SG, 'information' SG, informacje
                    PL, '*informations', pieczywo SG, chleb SG,
                    bread' SG, chleby PL, '*breads', maslo SG,
                    butter' SG, masia PL, '*butters', pieniqdze
                    PL, 'money' SG

Table 4: The results of the questionnaire filled out in class by 83
Polish BA students of English

                                                Choices of noun-verb
                                                 agreement. Scores
                                                   indicating use

Selected               Polish equivalents        Singular noun and
English             explained in singular and      singular verb
nouns                     plural number

fish DU; fishes     ryba SG,                    one fish is 45
PL (=types;         ryby PL                     fish is 65
species)

cod DU              dorsz DU,                   one cod is 37
                    dorsze PL                   cod is 53

sheep DU            owca SG,                    one sheep is 45
                    owce PL                     sheep is 56

cattle PL           bydio SG                    *cattle is 42

police PL           policja SG                  *police is 35

aircraft DU         samolot SG,                 one aircraft is 42
                    samoloty PL                 aircraft is 53

bread SG            chleb SG,                   *one bread is 32
                    pieczywo SG,                bread is 62
                    chleby PL
                    English has only
                    bread for
                    'pieczywo'.

butter SG           masio SG,                   *one butter is 19
                    masia PL                    butter is 63

luggage SG          bagaz SG,                   *one luggage is 31
                    bagaze PL                   luggage is 55

furniture SG        mebel SG,                   *one furniture is 17
                    meble PL                    furniture is 51

news SG             wiadomosc SG,               *one news is 24
                    wiadomosci PL               news is 58

information SG      informacja SG,              *one information is
                    informacje PL               34 information is 56

advice [=counsel]   porada SG,                  *one advice is 30
SG                  rada SG,                    advice is 61
                    porady SG,
                    rady PL

money SG            pieniqdze PL,               *one money is 6
                    pieniqdz SG                 money is 67

                                Choices of noun-verb
                                  agreement. Scores
                                   indicating use

Selected              Plural noun and      The form or the
English                 plural verb             forms
nouns

fish DU; fishes     fishes are 42          fish 62
PL (=types;         (=species)             fishes 25
species)            fish are 32            (=species)

cod DU              cods are 73            cod 54
                    (=species)             cods 52
                    cod are 7              (=species)

sheep DU            *sheeps are 53         sheep 57
                    sheep are 26           *sheeps 35

cattle PL           *cattles are 20        cattle 57
                    cattle are 45          *cattles 16

police PL           *polices are 5         police 61
                    police are 61          *polices 6

aircraft DU         *aircrafts are 73      aircraft 50
                    aircraft are 8         *aircrafts 51

bread SG            *breads are 17         bread 59
                    *bread are 2           *breads 18
                    no plural form 49

butter SG           *butters are 5         butter 58
                    *butter are 5          *butters 7
                    no plural form 58

luggage SG          *luggages are 28       luggage 58
                    *luggage are 12        *luggages 22
                    no plural form 31

furniture SG        *furnitures are 25     furniture 54
                    *furniture are 25      *furnitures 22
                    no plural form 21

news SG             *newses are 4          news 65
                    *news are 54           *newses 5
                    no plural form 12

information SG      informations are 54    information 52
                    information are 8      informations 42
                    no plural form 14

advice [=counsel]   *advices are 46        advice 54
SG                  *advice are 14         *advices 36
                    no plural form 14

money SG            *moneys are 6          money 63
                    *money are 31          *moneys 6
                    no plural 43
COPYRIGHT 2015 The Slovak Association for the Study of English
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Chlopek, Dorota
Publication:SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2015
Words:9816
Previous Article:New Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions: a new mode of expression in political arena.
Next Article:Interview with Libuse Duskova.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters