Distributive predicate

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Distributive predicate is a predicate that can only apply to individuals. When applied to plural noun phrases, it 'distributes' over the members of the plurality.

Example

in The boys were tall, the tallness is not ascribed to the group of boys as a whole, but only to the individual members. The opposite of a distributive predicate is a collective predicate.

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • Link, G. 1983. The logical analysis of plurals and mass terms: a lattice-theoretical approach, in: R. Bauerle, C. Schwarze, A. von Stechow (eds.) Meaning, use and interpretation of language, pp.302-323, De Gruyter, Berlin.