A taxonomy of basic natural entities

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The taxonomy set out in this chapter explores the connection between the ontology of concrete entities and their representation by nouns in languages like French and English. Basic entities are compared with super-entities, composed of several basic entities, and sub-entities that are parts of basic entities. A distinction is established between material entities and the spatial entities they occupy. Some criteria are also provided to distinguish between masses versus entities represented by count nouns, and masses versus aggregates. It is claimed that collections, like forests, are super-entities that share similarities with aggregates. Finally, three types of mixtures – assortments, blends and fusions – are distinguished and an analysis of the way we refer to them is proposed.


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