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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Book Information

   
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Title: Manifestations of Genericity
Series Title: Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics
Description:

Manifestations of Genericity offers a unified analysis of minimally contrasting generic sentences with indefinite singular (IS) and bare plural (BP) subjects-as in "A bird flies" versus "Birds fly"-within the framework of formal semantics. Beyond the classic distinction between quantificational and kind predication genericity, there is another important distinction in the generic domain, namely the distinction between two types of quantificational, modalized (I-) generalizations: "in virtue of" generalizations, expressed by both IS and BP sentences, and "descriptive" generalizations, expressed by BP sentences alone. Thus, "A bird flies" asserts that the generalization is nonaccidentally true in virtue of some property, associated with the CN subject, whereas "Birds fly" can also merely assert that the generalization is nonaccidentally true, with no implication of an "in virtue of" property.

Where previous theories have either assigned IS and BP sentences identical representations or two completely different (roughly quantificational and predicational) representations, this book treats both sentences as having the same basic quantificational-modalized structure-thus capturing the strong semantic similarities between them. Additionally, this study accounts for semantic differences by arguing that IS and BP sentences express different kinds of modality, and that the modalized Gen operator is restricted by a different accessibility relation in each case.

When combined with independent semantic and pragmatic mechanisms, the difference in accessibility relations makes correct and precise predications as to a wide range of both old and newly observed semantic, pragmatic and distributional differences between IS and BP sentences. In this book, Yael Greenberg discusses and clarifies a number of controversial issues and phenomena in the generic literature, including the existence of "episodic genericity," existential presuppositions, and contextual restrictions of generics.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415967775
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 240
Prices: U.S.$ 75