Edited by Amel Khalfaoui and Youssef A. Haddad
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 8] 2019
► pp. 181–204
Previous analyses of generic expressions in Arabic have focused on definite singular and plural DPs headed with the definite article al- (Fehri, 2004; Al-Malki et al., 2014). This study introduces an additional type of generic reference expressed with the Tunisian Arabic (TA) demonstrative hāk. Based on an analysis of naturally occurring discourse, this study shows that the felicity of this generic demonstrative is subject to a number of constraints. First, the generic demonstrative hāk always occurs with a plural count or singular non-count noun and a restrictive modifier in order to denote a familiar (i.e., in memory) kind set. Second, the evoked kind set must be a relatively subordinate and atypical (i.e., less central) kind set in accordance with Rosch (1978) and Lakoff’s (1987) principles of categorization.