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Book Sections Year : 2006

Discourse Anaphora

Francis Cornish


This article is a characterisation of discourse anaphora. It highlights the cognitive as well as discursive dimensions of this context-bound referential procedure, which also involves (but is by no means limited to) purely co-textual factors. Discourse anaphora is conceived in terms of its intimate relation with deixis, and is distinguished from its close cousin, discourse deixis. Three essential components of discourse anaphora are detailed, namely the antecedent trigger, the "antecedent" (a salient discourse representation), and the anaphor as it functions within a given predicational context. Finally, these definitional aspects of the characterization are illustrated in concrete terms via a newspaper article. The text of this article is associated with its discourse structure, within which various topic chains are pinpointed and analysed. These are structured sequences of references to a single macro- or micro-topical discourse entity, references which are interconnected with the local as well as global discourse structure which is being developed as these acts of reference occur. The choice of referential markers (3rd person pronoun, definite or demonstrative NP, reduced definite or possessive NP, reduced repeated proper name, etc.) at any given link in a chain is shown to correlate both with the particular link in the chain which is being realised thereby, and with the local or global discourse structure within which that marker functions.
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hal-00963663 , version 1 (21-03-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-00963663 , version 1


Francis Cornish. Discourse Anaphora. Keith Brown. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2e édition),, Elsevier Ltd. (Oxford, RU), pp. 631-638, 2006. ⟨hal-00963663⟩
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