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A new approach to the study on counterexamples of generic sentences: From the perspective of interactive reference point-target relationship and re-categorization model

Yunfei Liu, Yiting Yu, Siyu Chen

Article ID: 1454
Vol 4, Issue 1, 2022, Article identifier:36-49

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Based on deficiencies of existing researches, this paper, aiming at taking the tolerance of counterexamples reflecting seeming syntax-semantic mismatch in generic sentences, and the online cognitive process of these sentences into the same analyzing framework, proposes the Interactive Reference Point-target Relationship and Re-categorization Model (IRPR-RC Model) to give a unified explanation to the main types of counterexample-tolerating generic sentences (GS), thus further fulfilling the generalization commitment of cognitive linguistics. According to this model: 1) there is an interaction relationship between reference points and targets connecting generic words and attribute words in counterexample-tolerating generic sentences (GS); 2) this interactive relationship provides the premise for re-categorization, which selects a particular sub-category and makes it salient. This process can also be viewed as a phenomenon of attribute words coercing the generic words; 3) the model can be divided into three types: Focusing Type, Imbedding Type and Repulsing Type, according to different operation mechanism of IRPR-RC Model in counterexample-tolerating generic sentences (GS).


interactive reference point-target relationship and re-categorization model; generic sentence; counterexample-tolerating

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