Genericity as a Unitary Psychological Phenomenon: An Argument from Linguistic Diversity

Collins, John (2015) Genericity as a Unitary Psychological Phenomenon: An Argument from Linguistic Diversity. Ratio, 28 (4). pp. 369-394. ISSN 0034-0006

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Abstract

So-called ‘generics’ are members of a diverse class of constructions that express generalisations that do not directly involve any precise cardinality of individuals, but rather the kinds or ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ members of the kinds contributed by arguments of the predicate. The paper argues that genericity as a unitary phenomenon of human thought has a psychological, rather than linguistic, basis. This claim is argued for by way of a survey of the linguistic diversity of the forms of genericity, and the presentation of a psychological model from recent experimental work done by Prasada and Dillingham that promises to confer unity on the genericity phenomena while explaining how the linguistic diversity relates to a single cognitive representation of a form of generality.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 01:55
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/61314
DOI: 10.1111/rati.12102

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