Anaphora: A Cross-Linguistic Study

Paperback | August 15, 2000

byYan Huang

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Understanding any communication depends on the listener or reader recognizing that some words refer to what has already been said or written (his, its, he, there, etc.). This mode of reference, anaphora, involves complicated cognitive and syntactic processes, which people usually performunerringly, but which present formidable problems for the linguist and cognitive scientist trying to explain precisely how comprehension is achieved. Anaphora is thus a central research focus in syntactic and semantic theory, while understanding and modelling its operation in discourse are importanttargets in computational linguistics and cognitive science. Yan Huang provides an extensive and accessible overview of the major contemporary issues surrounding anaphora and gives a critical survey of the many and diverse contemporary approaches to it. He provides by far the fullest cross-linguistic account yet published: Dr Huang's survey and analysis arebased on a rich collection of data drawn from around 550 of the world's languages. Topics covered include binding and control, null subjects and objects, long distance reflexivisation, logophoricity, bridging-cross reference, switch-reference, and discourse anaphora. Written by a leading expert on anaphora, the book will be the standard point of reference for all those interested in this important topic in theoretical linguistics. It will be a vital reference for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, on the interfacesbetween them, on linguistic typology, and on computational linguistics.

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Understanding any communication depends on the listener or reader recognizing that some words refer to what has already been said or written (his, its, he, there, etc.). This mode of reference, anaphora, involves complicated cognitive and syntactic processes, which people usually performunerringly, but which present formidable problems...

Yan Huang is Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistic Science, University of Reading.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:August 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198235283

ISBN - 13:9780198235286

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Table of Contents

Typologies of anaphoraIntroductionTypologies of anaphoraAnaphora and syntactic categoriesAnaphora and truth-conditionsAnaphora and contextsAnaphora and discourse: reference-tracking systemsOrganisation of the bookSyntactic approaches to anaphoraClassical Chomskyan theory of anaphoraTypology of NPsBinding theoryControl theoryRevisions and alternativesSummaryNull subjects and null objectsNull subjectsNull objectsSummaryLong-distance reflexivisationThe phenomenonProperties and theoretical issuesLong-distance reflexivisation in generative grammarSummaryConclusionSemantic approaches to anaphoraVP-ellipsisDefinition and propertiesTheoretical issuesTwo general approaches: syntactically oriented versus semantically orientedSummaryBinding and control: some semantic alternativesBindingControlSummaryLogophoricityBackgroundLogophoric pronouns in African languagesLong-distance reflexives in East Asian languagesDiscourse representationSummaryConclusionPragmatic approaches to anaphoraA neo-Gricean pragmatic theoryA revised neo-Gricean pragmatic theory of anaphoraThe general pattern of anaphoraA revised neo-Gricean pragmatic theoryApplicationSummarySome other pragmatic/cognitive/functional approachesRelevance theoryAccessibility theoryPrague School functionalismSummary'Syntactic' versus 'pragmatic': a new typology of language?The pragmaticness of anaphora in a pragmatic languageThe prominence of 'Chinese-style' topic constructions in a pragmatic languageExplaining the differences: parametric or typological?SummaryConclusionSwitch-reference and discourse anaphoraSwitch-referenceThe phenomenonSwitch-reference and related phenomenaTwo general approaches and beyond: syntactically oriented versus semantically oriented, and perhaps pragmatically orientedSummaryDiscourse anaphoraThe problem of anaphoric distribution in discourseThe topic continuity or distance-interference modelThe hierarchy modelThe cognitive modelThe pragmatic modelSummaryConclusionConclusionsNotesReferencesIndex of namesIndex of languages and language familiesIndex of subjects

Editorial Reviews

`Yan Huang's book makes an important contribution tothe understanding of anaphora and related issues. it is also a very good reference source, enlightening those who have always wanted to know what, for example, "sluicing", "pseudo-gapping", or "return-pop" means, but have not dared to ask.'Linguistic Typology