Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Generic expressions refer to species or kinds of objects, rather than individuals. As generics are encoded in various forms that also have other meanings, and differ across languages, children need to learn which morphosyntactic markers are compatible with generic interpretations. The evidence suggests that children do not need to actively learn generic meanings, but rather, they need to learn to restrict generic interpretations to specific forms of the target grammar. In spontaneous speech children use generic expressions appropriately, early and robustly. In comprehension, while initially overgeneralizing generic interpretations beyond target forms, children also demonstrate that they can exploit the complex relationships between sentence structure and generic meanings; and can integrate the relevant pragmatic and grammatical cues in understanding generic expressions.

Keywords: generics, reference to kinds, individual-level, stage-level, quantifiers, determiners, NPs, mapping problem

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.