Dispositions and characterizing sentences

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The aim of this study is to delineate how the dispositional reading patterns and interacts with other readings stemming from characterizing sentences (Krifka et al. 1995). It is claimed that dispositionals are indistinct from simple habituals, as opposed to restricted ones, and that there seem to be no linguistic arguments to favor an analysis attributing an existential quantificational force to dispositions in characterizing sentences. At the same time, it is argued that dispositionals in simple characterizing sentences cannot be readily subsumed under the standard generic operator GEN, rather these readings are due to DISP, a stativizing dispositional VP-level operator necessarily involving event plurality. The picture that emerges argues in favor of the line of thought promoted in Boneh & Doron (2010; 2013), whereby habituality is reducible to other existing categories: to genericity in restricted characterizing sentences and to dispositions in simple ones.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number130
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Characterizing sentences
  • Disposition
  • Free Choice items
  • Genericity
  • Habituality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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