The Generic Book

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 1, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 463 pages
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A generic noun phrase is one that denotes a kind; a generic sentence reports a regularity that summarizes groups of particular episodes or facts. Standard semantic theories of reference have much trouble accounting for generic sentences and noun phrases, and the lack of an acceptable theory of such expressions has posed a serious epistemological problem for linguistics and philosophy. In an attempt to address this theoretical gap, a group of semanticists, calling itself the Generic Group, has worked to develop a common view of genericity. Their research has resulted in this book, which consists of a substantive introduction and eleven original articles on important aspects of the interpretation of generic expressions. The introduction provides a clear overview of the issues and synthesizes the major analytical approaches to them. Taken together, the papers that follow reflect the current state of the art in the semantics of generics, and afford insight into various generic phenomena. The Generic Book will be a valuable source of facts and insights about generic constructions, and will appeal to linguists, logicians, and philosophers who are interested in genericity in language.

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List of Contributors ix
StageLevel and IndividualLevel
IndividualLevel Predicates as Inherent
Focus and the Interpretation
Indefinites Adverbs of Quantification
What Some Generic Sentences Mean
Semantic Constraints on TypeShifting
Generic Information and Dependent
The Semantics of the Common Noun Kind
A Contrastive Analysis
The Marking of the EpisodicGeneric
Bibliography of Recent Work
Name Index

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The Parameter of Aspect
C.S. Smith
Limited preview - 1997
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