Browsing Linguistics by Subject "anaphora"
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- ItemAnaphors and the Missing Link(2013) Gagnon, Michael Roland; Williams, Alexander; Hacquard, Valentine; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Three types of nominal anaphors are investigated: (i) pronouns, (ii) partitive ellipsis and (iii) the contrastive anaphor `one'. I argue that in each case, the representational basis for anaphora is the same, a semantic variable ranging over singular or plural entities, rather than syntactic as previous approaches have suggested. In the case of pronouns, I argue against syntactic D-type approaches (Elbourne 2005) and semantic D-type approaches (Cooper 1979). Instead, I present arguments in favor of the set variable representation assumed under Nouwen (2003)'s approach. Following this, I consider a number of cases usually taken to involve the elision of a noun phrase, and argue that instead they involve the deletion of a partitive phrase containing an anaphoric plural pronoun. Third, I turn to the contrastive anaphor `one' and its null counterpart in French. Here again, I argue that the basis for anaphora is a semantic set variable, where this anaphor differs from pronouns in being of category N rather than D, and in having a pragmatic requirement for contrast. This analysis differs from previous ones which hold that this expression is a syntactic substitute of category N′, or the spell-out of the head of a number phrase followed by ellipsis of a noun phrase. Finally, I discuss the phenomenon of event anaphora. Given the phenomenon's interaction with the anaphors discussed prior in this dissertation, I argue that it is better seen as a case of deferred reference to an event on the basis of anaphoric reference to a discourse segment, following Webber (1991). This contrasts with what I call metaphysical approaches, which hold that the anaphor directly resumes an event introduced to the context by a previous clause (Asher 1993; Moltmann 1997).
- ItemThe cognitive basis for encoding and navigating linguistic structure(2014) Parker, Daniel; Phillips, Colin; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation is concerned with the cognitive mechanisms that are used to encode and navigate linguistic structure. Successful language understanding requires mechanisms for efficiently encoding and navigating linguistic structure in memory. The timing and accuracy of linguistic dependency formation provides valuable insights into the cognitive basis of these mechanisms. Recent research on linguistic dependency formation has revealed a profile of selective fallibility: some linguistic dependencies are rapidly and accurately implemented, but others are not, giving rise to "linguistic illusions". This profile is not expected under current models of grammar or language processing. The broad consensus, however, is that the profile of selective fallibility reflects dependency-based differences in memory access strategies, including the use of different retrieval mechanisms and the selective use of cues for different dependencies. In this dissertation, I argue that (i) the grain-size of variability is not dependency-type, and (ii) there is not a homogenous cause for linguistic illusions. Rather, I argue that the variability is a consequence of how the grammar interacts with general-purpose encoding and access mechanisms. To support this argument, I provide three types of evidence. First, I show how to "turn on" illusions for anaphor resolution, a phenomena that has resisted illusions in the past, reflecting a cue- combinatorics scheme that prioritizes structural information in memory retrieval. Second, I show how to "turn off" a robust illusion for negative polarity item (NPI) licensing, reflecting access to the internal computations during the encoding and interpretation of emerging semantic/pragmatic representations. Third, I provide computational simulations that derive both the presence and absence of the illusions from within the same memory architecture. These findings lead to a new conception of how we mentally encode and navigate structured linguistic representations.