Factors determining genericity in the light of experimental studies of generics
Abstract: The article reports on and discusses the results of three studies concerning the comprehension of generics by three different groups of speakers. It aims to discuss some of the factors (e.g., competing cues or frequency effects) that might have given rise to the conflicting interpretations. The studies seem to provide more experimental data to a growing body of evidence which supports the claim that not all learners converge on the same grammar. The experimental findings speak in favour of a well-motivated claim that plural generics represent the prototypical generic construction. The article also suggests directions for further research such as, for example, determining to what extent the differences in generic comprehension are education-related.
Keywords: generics, non-generics, genericity, competing cues.
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