Corpus ID: 396816

A pragmatic theory of generic language

@article{Tessler2016APT,
  title={A pragmatic theory of generic language},
  author={Michael Henry Tessler and Noah D. Goodman},
  journal={ArXiv},
  year={2016},
  volume={abs/1608.02926}
}
  • Michael Henry Tessler, Noah D. Goodman
  • Published in ArXiv 2016
  • Computer Science
  • Generalizations about categories are central to human understanding, and generic language (e.g. "Dogs bark.") provides a simple and ubiquitous way to communicate these generalizations. Yet the meaning of generic language is philosophically puzzling and has resisted precise formalization. We explore the idea that the core meaning of a generic sentence is simple but underspecified, and that general principles of pragmatic reasoning are responsible for establishing the precise meaning in context… CONTINUE READING

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