English native speaker from California here. I could easily say "raspberry is a berry." While not a common expression, and pluralizing it would be the normal way to express the idea, I could easily say it singular. And there are cases, for example when listing ingredients in something, where singular and plural are both acceptable. For example: "What is in the jam?" "Raspberry (or raspberries), sugar and some spices."
That's fine, but it's also acceptable as singular raspberry.
It's common in taxonomy, culinary arts, agriculture, and more. Some other examples of singular/plural use where both could be accepted:
"pine is a softwood" / "pines are softwood"
"duck is a gamy meat" / "ducks are gamy meat"
"vanilla is a bean" / "vanillas are bean vines"
"beer is good" / "beers are good"
All these examples are different from raspberry, though — they’re ones used as a mass noun. “We drank beer” or “We had duck for dinner” are both fine. Raspberry is not (at least not to my ear) used as a mass noun when referring to the fruits themselves — “We ate raspberry at the picnic” is wrong, if it’s supposed to mean we ate raspberries. Raspberry can act as a mass noun when referring to a flavour or similar — “What kinds of ice-cream did you have?” “We had vanilla in the morning, and raspberry in the afternoon.” But the original sentence — “Raspberry is a berry” — doesn’t admit such a reading.
My point was that nouns that don't get treated as mass nouns at all by most speakers definitely do get treated as mass nouns by other niches of speakers. I've seen it occur so many times, and not just in one niche. The word can refer to the plants themselves. You can say "Potato is a tuber". I can picture a scientist or farmer gesturing at a satellite picture with a thousand acres of bushes, saying either "These are all raspberry [plants]", but more likely "This is all raspberry". "As you see here we have eight species of raspberry, which is not actually a true berry, while over here we have grape; Grape is a berry".
Hej, could someone help me to understand this part of the Wikipedia article on "hallon" please? https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallon#Etymologi And I saw that there is written that in nyhögtyska (new high German) the word for "hallon" would be "das Himbeere". This is not correct, it must be "DIE Himbeere". Berries in German are feminie. (Good that in Swedish there are only two word-genders! :) ). Tack!
I think that's a more appropriate question for the Wikipedia discussion page, since it actually has nothing at all to do with Swedish. But, I do notice that the English Wiktionary page for "Beere" indicates that it was originally neuter (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Beere#German). Whether that corresponds to nyhögtyska or the Swedish Wikipedia page is in error is not a call I'm prepared to make. :)
Oh, sorry! Well you see actually I just wanted to understand that article better, there are far too many words that I couldn't understand, so I wanted to ask for some help to understand it. And while reading it I saw that there was written that in German it would mean "das Himbeere" but infact it is "DIE Himbeere". But you say now that I missunderstood it, that it was originally "DAS Himbeere". So I apologize and say thank you for correcting me! Tack så mycket! (And could you maybe also help me to understand the rest of the entry? Tack...)
Hej, tack för ditt svar! And sorry for my late answer. Today I tried to read the entry once more and I understood more. I looked up some words and then I compared it with the entry in the Wiktionary - which I could understand! Wiktionary: "Etymologi: Troligen besläktat med häll i den ungefärliga betydelsen "bär som växer på stenig mark"; med avledningssuffixet -on som används allmänt för bär." So hallon means more or less "a berry that grows on stony ground", is that right? But still I have a question: in the Wiktionary it was said that "-on" is a an ending for berry. Are there more names for berries that do not have the word "bär" in their name but the ending "-on"? And does that also mean berry? Thank you very much for your help!! Tusen tack!