Re: mass/count nouns

From: John Kendall (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 05:36:19 EDT

Many thanks to David R. Mills for his recent post with its clear and helpful

David, in the previous thread, I was trying to clarify a number of things -
including my understanding of the category "qualitative" which is commonly used
for certain uses of nouns in introductory Greek grammar. For me, the issue was
whether a noun, which is normally understood as concrete and countable could be
used in a qualitative way with no major semantic shift (other than the change
of focus from its individuality to its nature & characteristics). As you
rightly point out, the "qualitative" use of the noun is then no longer a
countable use.

Although I use it as defined in an earlier post, I still feel a little shifty
about the "qualitative" category. I've tried using Rolf as a sounding board to
clarify my thoughts, but I'm not sure we've shed much light. Help, anyone?

Also I'm still wondering about the word QEOS. Assuming that the most commonly
used of its lexical meanings can be defined as "the one supreme supernatural
being as creator and sustainer of the universe" (Louw & Nida), I deduced that
QEOS in this sense was a non-count noun in that it cannot be pluralised and
retain the same meaning (nor, for instance, can it be preceded by 'every'). It
seems to me that such nouns do not fall into the category of things which may
be perceived both as one and more than one. QEOS in this sense is clearly
monadic. But how do monadic nouns relate to the count/non-count distinction in

Any help welcome,

John Kendall

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