The Average American has 2.3 Children

Journal of Semantics 19 (1):73-104 (2002)
Average‐NPs, such as the one in the title of this paper, have been claimed to be ‘linguistically identical’ to any other definite‐NPs but at the same time to be ‘semantically inconsistent’ with these other definite‐NPs. To some this is an ironclad proof of the irrelevance of semantics to linguistics. We argue that both of the initial claims are wrong: average‐NPs are not ‘linguistically identical’ to other definite‐NPs but instead show a number of interesting divergences, and we provide a plausible semantic account for them that is not ‘semantically inconsistent’ with the account afforded other definite‐NPs but in fact blends quite nicely with one standard account of the semantics for NPs
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DOI 10.1093/jos/19.1.73
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B. Nickel (2010). Generic Comparisons. Journal of Semantics 27 (2):207-242.

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