Genericity is conceptual, not semantic
Item Type:Conference Paper
Citation:Carl Vogel and Michelle McGillion `Genericity is conceptual, not semantic? in Seventh Symposium on Logic and Language, Pecs, Hungary, August 26-29, 2002
genericity.pdf (published (author copy) peer-reviewed) 96.19Kb
Genericity is not encoded in the syntax semantics interface any more than metaphoricity is, or other forms of sense selection. We observe the overwhelming cross-linguistic lack of encoding of cues which could be understood as a signal of a particular semantic content. We note the ready compatibility of a range of syntactic forms with each of a range of conceptual distinctions one might make about generics. From these observations we argue that genericity is not an issue of semantics. We take the semantics of an expression to be the set of compositionally encoded set of meanings an expression may have. That a sentence may be understood as compatible with some concept that it does not express is not an issue of semantics, but of background conceptual structures or pragmatics. Proclivity to associate certain syntactic forms with certain types of genericity is a reinterpretation of distinctions that exist elsewhere in an exercise of synonymy avoidance.
Author: VOGEL, CARL
Type of material:Conference Paper
Availability:Full text available