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Been having a nightmare with this: in a phrase such as 'The native knows all this, and laughs to himself every time he spots an allusion to the animal world in the other's words' (Franz Fanon), or 'The American is a proud, ambitious man' - is there a more specific name for the construction?

In the case of 'American,' what I am talking about is a demonym used in the singular, with a determinator, to personify the plurality of 'Americans.' Is there a more general term for such a construction? 'The native' is Fanon is used a lot, and I was wondering if there was a term for this construction. Thanks so much!

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    It’s a generic.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 8:51
  • The tiger is a fast and powerful animal, but it is not as fast in a short sprint as the cougar.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 11:19
  • 1
    These are generic noun phrases. They come in several varieties. Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 13:44
  • Fanon's books in English are all translations. Now, the translator could have chosen to use a plural instead of "the" plus a noun. The explanation goes like this: A the determiner can be used for general statements. It is one of the uses of the. French uses these all the time as there is no other way except by using a the determiner in the singular: L'américain est un homme fier et ambitieux. [I did not look up the French here.]
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 14:47

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