Generalization: Definition, discourse functions, markers (in Russian, French, and Italian).

2017. №3, 53-82

Olga Inkova
Université de Genève, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland;
Institute of Informatics Problems of the FRC CSC, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119333, Russian Federation;


The paper offers a description of generalization as a semantic category. First, the author distinguishes three values of this concept: generalization as a) logical-semantic relation, b) inherent property of the utterance related to its linguistic structure, and c) propositional attitude. The main attention is paid to generalization as a logical-semantic relation with the three subtypes of summarizing, inductive, and justifying generalization. The author describes the textual functions of generalization and also proposes a brief contrastive overview of its markers in Russian, French, and Italian. In conclusion, the author suggests that the logical-semantic relation of generalization is not only metatextual, as is commonly believed, but can be established at the level of propositions.