Technical Reports (CIS)

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Technical Report

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University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-88-09.


In this paper, I consider a range of English expressions and show that their context-dependency can be characterized in terms of two properties: 1. they specify entities in an evolving model of the discourse that the listener is constructing; 2. the particular entity specified depends on another entity in that part of the evolving 'discourse model' that the listener is currently attending to. Such expressions have been called anaphors. I show how tensed clauses share these characteristics, usually just attributed to anaphoric noun phrases. This not only allows us to capture in a simple way the oft-stated but difficult-to-prove intuition that tense is anaphoric, but also contributes to our knowledge of what is needed for understanding narrative text.



Date Posted: 15 August 2007