Generic bare singulars in Brazilian Portuguese
The analysis of the generic readings of Bare Singulars in Brazilian Portuguese is controversial: for Munn & Schmitt (1999, 2005) and Schmitt & Munn (2002) generic Bare Singulars are names of kinds, whereas for Müller (2002) they are indefinites bound by a generic operator. This paper provides two arguments against Müller: (i) relying on a detailed corpus study by Pires de Oliveira <i>et al.</i> (2007), we argue that Müller’s judgments are not shared by all speakers of Brazilian Portuguese; (ii) we provide theoretical and crosslinguistic evidence against analyzing generic Bare Singulars as indefinites bound by a generic operator. We make explicit Munn & Schmitt’s analysis of kind-referring BSs in BrP by proposing that they rely on Chierchia’s Down operator (1998). The contrast between generic Bare Singulars and generic Definite Singulars, both of which are kind-referring, is explained based on Dobrovie-Sorin & Pires de Oliveira (2007).