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The Cataphoric Potential of Indefinites in German

  • Annika Deichsel
  • Klaus von Heusinger
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7099)

Abstract

Not only do indefinite noun phrases introduce new discourse referents, they also equip them with a cataphoric (or forward-looking) potential, i.e. with a certain degree of activation which is mirrored in discourse effects such as the frequency of anaphoric references back to the referent in the subsequent discourse. Comparing the two German indefinite determiners ein ‘a(n)’ and indefinite demonstrative dieser ‘this’, we claim that the degree of the cataphoric potential of an indefinite noun phrase (i) correlates with specificity and (ii) a second parameter independent of specificity.

Keywords

Discourse structure referent tracking referentiality specificity cataphoric potential 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annika Deichsel
    • 1
  • Klaus von Heusinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Germanistik/LinguistikUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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