IRCS Technical Reports Series

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version



University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research in Cognitive Science Technical Report No. IRCS-01-13.

At the time of publication, the author, Bonnie L. Webber, was affiliated with the University of Edinburgh. Currently, July 2007, she is a faculty member in the Department of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.


We argue in this paper that many common adverbial phrases generally taken to be discourse connectives signalling discourse relations between adjacent discourse units are instead anaphors. We do this by (i) demonstrating their behavioral similarity with more common anaphors (pronouns and definite NPs); (ii) presenting a general framework for understanding anaphora into which they nicely fit; (iii) showing the interpretational benefits of understanding discourse adverbials as anaphors; and (iv) sketching out a lexicalised grammar that facilitates discourse interpretation as a product of compositional rules, anaphor resolution and inference.



Date Posted: 09 August 2006