Article published in:The Functional Perspective on Language and Discourse: Applications and implications
Edited by María de los Ángeles Gómez González, Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco Gonzálvez-García and Angela Downing
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 247] 2014
► pp. 189–208
Nominal reference and the dynamics of discourse
A cognitive-functional approach
In this paper I will address what appear to be some important gaps in the traditional approach to nominal reference as a cohesion-creating resource: (i) ignoring of relations other than co-referentiality, such as those expressed by quantifying determiners, (ii) neglect of the contribution made by type specifications to the reference function; (iii) restriction of the type specifications to those lexically predicated by the NP itself, (iv) discounting of the cumulative build-up of information relating to referential sets and referent classification in the mind of the reader. In the first half of the article, I survey the cognitive instructions given by the main determiner types of NPs: definite versus indefinite identifiers, and relative versus absolute quantifiers. In the second half of the article I develop and illustrate an alternative analysis of discourse referents that does take into account elements (i) to (iv).
Published online: 16 May 2014
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