collective & distributive
|Date:||Tuesday, August 7, 2001, 20:36|
regarding: collective vs. distributive plural
matt pearson wrote:
"Consider a sentence like "Everybody went to the village". This is
ambiguous: It could mean that everybody went to the village together (a
marcus smith wrote:
"This is a distributive/collective distinction. Say you want to refer
to the tools in the back yard. If they are scattered all over the yard,
you use the plural marker, but if they are stacked up by the porch all
together, then you use the singular or a collective plural (depending on
the language). So the distributed plural indicates multiplicity of
'locations' of the noun/pronoun/verbal action in question."
matt understands it as: "single event vs. multiple events"
marcus understands it as: "single locations vs. multiple locations"
so the words "collective" and "distributiv" , "alltogether" are definetly evil.
they produce ambiguity with interpretions as either a) locative b) temporal meanings.
i call this
"space-punctiform vs. space-spread" (akronyms: SP vs. SS)
"time-punctiform vs. time-spread" (akronyms: TP vs. TS)
when you look at this example sentences:
generic: "they went to the city" <- we dont know if its TS or TP or TP+SP or TP+SS
TS: "they went at different times to the city"
TP: "they went at the same time to the city" <- maybe aggregated , maybe dispersive
TP+SP: "they went at the same time aggregated to the city" <- like a flock of sheep
TP+SS: "they went at the same time dispersive to the city" <- like ants crawling from
so what i want to say is:
i suggest to use the words "aggregation" vs. "dispersion" as unambigously spatial terms.
and to use the words "time-punctiform" vs. "time-spread" as unambigously temporal terms.