Reference in Discourse

Hardcover | October 12, 2011

byAndrej Kibrik

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This is the first full study of how people refer to entities in natural discourse. It contributes to the understanding of both linguistic diversity and the cognitive underpinnings of language and it provides a framework for further research in both fields. Andrej Kibrik focuses on the wayspecific entities are mentioned in natural discourse, during which about every third word usually depends on referential choice. He considers reference as an overt representation of underlying cognitive processes and combines a theoretically-oriented cognitive approach with empirically-basedcross-linguistic analysis. He begins by introducing the cognitive approach to discourse analysis and by examining the relationship between discourse studies and linguistic typology. He discusses reference as a linguistic phenomenon, in connection with the traditional notions of deixis, anaphora,givenness, and topicality, and describes the way his theoretical approach is centered on notions of referent activation in working memory. He argues that the speaker is responsible for the shape of discourse and that referential expressions should be understood as choices made by speakers ratherthan as puzzles to be solved by addressees. Kibrik examines the cross-linguistic aspects of reference and the typology of referential devices, including referring expressions per se, such as free and bound pronouns, and referential aids that help to tell apart the concurrently activated entities. This discussion is based on the data fromabout 200 languages from around the world. He then proposes a comprehensive model of referential choice, in which he draws on concepts from cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, and applies this to Russian and English. He also draws together hisempirical analyses in order to examine what light his analysis of discourse can shed on the way information is processed in working memory. In the final part of the book Andrej Kibrik offers a wider perspective, including deixis, referential aspects of gesticulation and signed languages.This pioneering work will interest linguists and cognitive scientists interested in discourse, reference, typology, and the operations of working memory in linguistic communication.

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This is the first full study of how people refer to entities in natural discourse. It contributes to the understanding of both linguistic diversity and the cognitive underpinnings of language and it provides a framework for further research in both fields. Andrej Kibrik focuses on the wayspecific entities are mentioned in natural disco...

Andrej A. Kibrik is Leading Researcher at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1988. In the Institute of Linguistics he heads the working group that prepares and publishes the multi-volume encyclopedic publication "Languages of the World. In addition, he is Profes...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:688 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 2.35 inPublished:October 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199215804

ISBN - 13:9780199215805

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Table of Contents

Part I: Preliminaries1. Introduction2. Basics of Reference in DiscoursePart II: Typology of Reduced Referential Devices3. Major Types of Reduced Referential Devices4. Pronouns and Related Categories5. Sensitivities of Reduced Referential Devices6. Challenges of Bound Pronouns7. The Rise and Fall of Bound Tenacious PronounsConcluding Remarks to Part IIPart III: Typology of Referential Aids8. Referential Aids9. How Functional are Referential Aids?Concluding Remarks to Part IIIPart IV: The Cognitive Multi-Factorial Approach to Referential Choice10. The Cognitive Multi-Factorial Approach11. Referential Choice in Russian Narrative Prose12. Referential Choice in English Narrative prose13. Cognitive Inferences From the Linguistic Study of Reference in Discourse14. Further Studies Based on the Cognitive Multi-factorial ApproachConcluding Remarks to Part IVPart V: Broadening the Perspective15. Reference and Visual Aspects of DiscourseConcluding Remarks to Part VConclusionAppendicesReferencesIndex of LanguagesIndex of Terms