AuthorZhu, Shensheng, 1952-
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe distribution and reference of Chinese anaphors are not predetermined by their inherent binding features or by a set of rules from one particular module; rather they are determined by the discourse context in which the anaphor in question occurs. The two most important parameters of discourse context are the discourse topic NP and discourse relations. The discourse topic NP is a unique discourse entity in that it is the only accessible antecedent for such anaphors as exempt reflexives, null subjects and null objects. A discourse topic NP derives its discourse dynamics (i.e., its ability to bind an anaphor beyond its syntactic binding domain) from the structural prominence accorded to it by its syntactic position. The relevance of discourse relations is two-fold. On one hand, the status of an NP as discourse topic is determined relative to the discourse relation underlying the discourse context in which this NP occurs. On the other, discourse relations are a decisive factor in defining the domain of discourse binding. More specifically, a discourse topic NP alpha is accessible to an anaphor beta only when alpha and beta are within a discourse of Continuation. The dynamics of the discourse topic NP and the effect of discourse relations on binding can be satisfactorily treated by Dynamic Montague Grammar with its two formal features: dynamic conjunction and the state switcher. The application of dynamic conjunction to the constituent sentences of a discourse of Continuation reveals associative nature of such a discourse while the state switcher provides a formal means of making a discourse topic NP an available antecedent for the appropriate anaphors within the desired domain of dynamic binding.
Degree ProgramGraduate College