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I provide an example of a ritualized fighting behavior of the kind that traditional theorists assume is the norm for most species.

What does "of the kind" mean in this sentence? For me, the given sentence totally makes sense without "of the kind" so I am curious what it means and what role it plays in the sentence.

  • There are many different kinds of ritualized fighting behavior. According to traditional theorists, one of those kinds of fighting is "the norm" (standard behaviour) for most species. The writer provides an example of that type (effectively, an example of the most common type of ritualized fighting). – FumbleFingers Sep 12 '17 at 13:12
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It makes sense but there is a difference in meaning.

I provide an example of a ritualized fighting behavior that traditional theorists assume is the norm for most species.

Theorists assume 1 thing is the norm for most species, and that's the "ritualized fighting behavior".

I provide an example of a ritualized fighting behavior of the kind that traditional theorists assume is the norm for most species.

Theorists assume many things - an entire kind of things - are the norm for most, and within that kind is "ritualized fighting behavior".

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"Of the kind" mean belonging to the same type, class or category. If you leave it out of the sentence it changes the meaning slightly. The sentence currently means that the ritualized fighting behavior which will be given is of the same type that traditional theorists assume is the norm but it has not necessarily been assumed to be the norm itself.

Perhaps an easier to understand example might be if I say "This question is of the kind that will be on next week's exam." That doesn't mean that the question will be on the exam only that it is the same type of question as those on the exam.

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