Call for Papers

Genericity in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science

The third edition of GENIUS: Genericity: Interpretation and Uses Conference will bring together theoreticians from morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and cognition around the theme of genericity. This third conference on generics aims to

(i) Bring together works on different languages, reconsidering the ontological questions linked to genericity. Should one postulate species in addition to particular individuals? What differences are there between a species and a set of individuals? Between a species and a set of properties?

(ii) Examine the relations between genericity, mass nouns and plurality

(iii) Re-evaluate the relevance of the distinction between ‘GEN’ and ‘HAB’, states and events, and the distinction between stage-level and individual-level properties.

(iv) Articulate questions of syntax and semantics from a pragmatic perspective. In many languages, no specific linguistic form is dedicated to expressing genericity. The conference will gather work identifying the conditions under which a sentence is construed generically, articulating research on the structure of information, discourse, and prosody, reconsidering the distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments, and examining under which conditions genericity might be independent of inductive inferences.

(v) Articulate the question of exceptions, in particular at the interface of semantics and pragmatics (addressing the relation between genericity and free choice, genericity and vagueness, and contextual interpretation more generally).

In this third and last edition of Genius, we would like to encourage discussions between linguists, philosophers, and cognitive scientists on the questions of modelisation, interpretation, and acquisition of generics. Hence experimental and philosophical papers on genericity are very welcome.


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