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Research on the factors and processes involved in pronoun interpretation has to date concentrated on anaphoric pronouns. Results have supported the now widely-held view that discourse understanding involves the creation of a partial, mental model of the situation described through the discourse. Anaphoric pronouns are taken to refer to elements of that model (often called discourse referents or discourse entities), usually ones that have, at the moment of referring, some special focus status.
This paper examines deictic pronouns - in particular, ones that refer to the interpretation of one or more clauses. I argue that referents for these pronouns must come from the interpretations of discourse segments on the right frontier of an evolving structure representing the discourse. Under the assumption that reference is always to an individual, this implies that discourse segment interpretations must also be part of the evolving discourse model. I discuss this in the last section of the paper.
Bonnie L. Webber, "Deictic Reference and Discourse Structure", . September 1989.
Date Posted: 25 January 2008