1983 ProvidingAUnifAccOfDefNPs

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Subject Headings: Centering Theory, Referring Expression.


Cited By



1. Overview

[Linguistic theories]] typically assign various linguistic phenomena to one of the categories, [[syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic, as if the phenomena in each category were relatively independent of those in the others. However, various phenomena in discourse do not seem to yield comfortably to any account that is strictly a syntactic or semantic or pragmatic one. This paper focuses on particular phenomena of this sort — the use of various referring expressions such as definite noun phrases and pronouns — and examines their interaction with mechanisms used to maintain discourse coherence.

Even a casual survey of the literature on definite descriptions and referring expressions reveals not only defects in the individual accounts provided by theorists (from several different disciplines), but also deep confusions about the roles that syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic factors play in accounting for these phenomena.

2. The Effects of Different Levels of Discourse Coherence

A discourse comprises utterances that combine into subconstituents of the discourse, namely, units of discourse that are typically larger than a single sentence, but smaller than the complete discourse. However, the constituent structure is not determined solely by the linear sequence of utterances. It is common for two contiguous utterances to be members of different subconstituents of the discourse (as with breaks between phrases in the syntactic analysis of a sentence); likewise, it is common for two utterances that are not contiguous to be members of the same subconstituent.,

 AuthorvolumeDate ValuetitletypejournaltitleUrldoinoteyear
1983 ProvidingAUnifAccOfDefNPsBarbara J. Grosz
Aravind K Joshi
Scott Weinstein
Providing a Unified Account of Definite Noun Phrases in DiscourseProceedings of the 21st annual meeting on Association for Computational Linguisticshttp://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/P/P83/P83-1007.pdf10.3115/981311.9813201983