Norwegian masse: from measure noun to quantifier

How to Cite

Kinn, Torodd. 2017. “Norwegian Masse: From Measure Noun to Quantifier”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 8 (1).


For a little more than a century, a new quantifier has been developing in Norwegian: masse ‘a lot, lots, many, much’. The article compares the quantifier to its source noun masse ‘matter, mass, large amount’. The historical development is studied based on several corpora. The development of a new quantifier is seen in the larger picture of the variability of measure noun constructions and the tendency for certain kinds of measure nouns to grammaticalize into quantifiers.

Copyright (c) 2017 Torodd Kinn

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