| Definition -
A term from philosophy for a type of noun that allows counting. For example, the word cat is a sortal becuase it can be used to count — 1 cat, 2 cats, etc.
As opposed to nonsortals, whick are nouns that do not allow counting, e.g. the word for the colour red does not allow counting, i.e., you can't say 1 red, 2 red, etc.
1. "Sortal is a concept that has been used by some philosophers in discussing issues of identity, persistence and change. The simplest property of a sortal is that it can be counted, i.e. can take numbers as modifiers. For example, "pea" is a sortal in the sentence "I want two peas", whereas "water" is not a sortal in the sentence "I want water". Countability is not the only criterion." (Wikipedia s.v. sortal)