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21/11/19 Seminari GLiF a càrrec de Dària Serés (UAB)

21/11/19 Seminari GLiF a càrrec de Dària Serés (UAB)

19.11.2019

 

 

Títol: "Generic plurals in languages with and without articles" a càrrec de Dària Serés (UAB)

Data: dijous 21 de novembre del 2019

Hora: 12.00 h

Lloc:  Sala de reunions 52.701 - 7a planta edifici 52. Roc Boronat - Campus del Poblenou - UPF

Resum: In this talk, I focus on generic plural nominals, which appear as bare in English and Russian, and as definite in Romance languages (such as Catalan). I claim that, regardless of the differences in the appearance, such nominals refer to the same ontological object - a maximal sum of representatives of a kind, but not to the kind itself. Genericity in such nominals does not come as a feature of the plural NP but arises in certain contexts: the argument position of kind-level predicates, the subject position of characterizing sentences and the object position of psychological subject-experiencer verbs. I propose that generic plural nominals are characterized by (i) maximality (inclusiveness / totality of reference) and (ii) identifiability in a broad sense (generics are present in a shared mental catalogue of conceptual information). Identifiability is also related to topicality of generic subjects, as characterizing sentences are categorical judgments (in terms of Kuroda 1972), giving rise to the presupposition of existence. These effects can be of semantic nature, i.e. encoded by the definite article in Romance, or of pragmatic nature, i.e. they arise at interpretation of bare plural nominals in the above-mentioned contexts in English and Russian.

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