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Anaphora, Discourse, and Understanding : Evidence from English and French - Francis Cornish

Anaphora, Discourse, and Understanding

Evidence from English and French

Hardcover

Published: 1st February 1999
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"This was a different man," said Mr Welbecker. "Listen! This man was called Hamlet and his uncle had killed his father because he wanted to marry his mother.""What did he want to marry his mother for?" said William. "I've never heard of anyone wanting to marry their mother."*In almost any conversation the meaning of what is said depends on the listener seeing how some words refer to what has already been said, and that others must be related to the characteristics of time, place, or person of the situation around which the conversation revolves. These modes of reference, anaphora and deixis respectively, involve surprisingly complicated cognitive and syntactic processes, which people (normally) perform easily and unerringly. But they present formidable problems for the linguist and cognitive scientist trying to explain precisely how comprehension is achieved. Anaphora and deixis are thus a central research focus in syntactic theory, while understanding and modelling their operation in discourse are important targets in computational linguistics and cognitive science. In this ambitious work, Francis Cornish sets out an original theory of anaphora and deixis, and proposes a new and elegant theoretical model to represent the transfer of meaning in discourse.Dr Cornish considers anaphoric reference in discourse from both psychological and linguistic perspectives. He argues that anaphora and deixis are essentially parts of integrative discourse procedures that facilitate the linking of representations held in working memory. He brings together work by linguists, formal semanticists, psychologists, and researchers in artificial intelligence, as well as drawing on his own extensive experimental work on a variety of corpora of different genres in French and English.Anaphora, Discourse, and Understanding will interest researchers and advanced students in a variety of fields within and outside linguistics, including cognitive science, artificial intelligence, syntactic theory, formal semantics, and the analysis of discourse.[* from William - The Pirate by Richmal Crompton, London, Macmillan, 1932]

this substantial book makes a most significant contribution to the treatment of anaphora from the perspectives of discourse studies, semantics and cognitive science, and will be an important source for researchers concerned with discourse and reference. * Michael Lumsden, Journal of French Language Studies *

1: Introduction 2: Anaphora and discourse 3: Semantic-pragmatic determinants of anaphoric value: the role of the indexical segment 4: Exophora, saliency, and discourse memory 5: Reference within a discourse model: the mental representation of 'antecedents' and discourse referents 6: The user's perspective: the on-line processing of discourse anaphors 7: Conclusion

ISBN: 9780198236481
ISBN-10: 0198236484
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 1st February 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.1  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.56