Markedness pp 65-84 | Cite as

Indefinite NPs and the Interpretation of Discourse-Based Null Elements

  • Wynn Chao
Chapter

Abstract

In this paper I will propose that notions of markedness can be brought to bear on the question of what kinds of representations indefinite NPs (such a a man, many men, few men) should be associated within a given discourse context. These representations in turn account for the possibilities of pronominal anaphora in discourse. Crucial to this account is the behavior of what I will call discourse-based null elements. These are null elements which receive pronominal interpretation: PRO, the phonetically unrealized subject of a tenseless clause; and pro, the null subject of a tensed clause in languages that allow such constructions. Thus discourse-based null elements stand in contrast to null elements which are associated with so-called movement rules, namely WH- and NP-traces.1

Keywords

Specific Reading Discourse Representation Discourse Context Discourse Referent Null Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wynn Chao
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

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