Article published in:The Pragmatics of Personal Pronouns
Edited by Laure Gardelle and Sandrine Sorlin
[Studies in Language Companion Series 171] 2015
► pp. 45–68
Chapter 3. Free self-forms in discourse-pragmatic functions
The role of viewpoint and contrast in picture NPs
This paper contributes to the study of picture NPs, as one of various contexts that encourage the use of unbound self-forms. The paper emphasises the need for a clear terminological distinction between different self-forms, of which standard reflexives are only one type. Based on findings from the British National Corpus, the Northern Ireland Corpus of Transcribed Speech, and the Freiburg Corpus of English Dialects, an extended definition of picture NPs is proposed for cases with and without representational nouns (That’s (a picture of) myself) which can be attributed to the conversational context. A Pronoun Usage Questionnaire is used to test constraints and explanations proposed in previous studies on self-forms in picture NPs (in particular Cantrall 1974 and Kuno 1987), and to assess their general acceptability among English native speakers. The results presented provide strong evidence against a ‘one form-one meaning’ approach, showing that pronoun choice in conversation is frequently influenced by discourse-pragmatic factors, such as viewpoint and contrast.
Published online: 10 November 2015
Cited by 1 other publications
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