"He is in (the) jail" - A comparative study of bare singular count nouns in British English and Scottish English
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In the DP hypothesis a problem arises because of bare singular count nouns; do they have a determiner or not? John went to school, Jill is at hospital. Their solution to this problem is the null determiner hypothesis, which will say that the determiner is there syntactically but is not spelled out. This thesis will investigate bare singular count nouns; their distribution, if they have a null determiner and the differences between British English and Scottish English in the use of them. Scottish English allows a determiner in some cases like hospital but not others like campus. In addition to literature and previous research, I have conducted a questionnaire to collect data on bare singular count nouns; if they are acceptable and if there are differences between British English and Scottish English. The questionnaire is an acceptability judgment task, and I have used a Likert scale task. The literature and the results I have collected has lead me to this claim: in British English, bare singular count nouns can be divided into two groups; full DPs and bare NPs. The full DPs contain bare singular count nouns and null determiners which can be used as subjects; they look like bare nouns, but in the syntactic structure there is a determiner category. The bare NPs are idiomatic expression. Evidence for this claim in British English, is found in Scottish English, where the determiner the is spelledout with bare singular count nouns which can be used as subjects.