Anaphora: A Reference Guide (Explaining Linguistics)

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Anaphora : A Reference Guide. Reports on the major results of recent research in anaphora and sets the stage for further inquiry. Features contributions from among the world's leading researchers on anaphora. So it refers to something inside the text, either earlier anaphoric or later cataphoric. Good Afternoon! Thanks for replying! Okay, I see. It seems obvious to me now, Thanks very much :.

Deixis and reference

Could you please explain that to me? Thanks a lot, I am studying discourse analysis, it is a branch of linguistics study. Definitely this is a very useful explanation. Save my name and email address in this browser for the next time I comment.

What is cataphoric reference?

What is anaphoric reference? What is cataphoric reference? Her refers to my mother. The book refers to Moby Dick.

LINGUIST List 14.2341

They g cite the need to involve local populations. The practical methodology used to uncover semantic constraints was simply to line up all the possible candidates from the closest to the furthest, starting from the anaphor, until an acceptable antecedent was found. This is shown below - taken from Segment 11 - where the adequate NP is found only at the 7th attempt. They cite the need to involve local populations. Economists cite the need to involve local populations.

An algorithm-like heuristics was used to detect the syntactic and semantic constraints available in the text, as summarized below:. Step 1 Look for a plural NP to the left of they , up to 80 words in the text. If an NP is found, go to Step 2. If not in the word stretch of text , go to Step 4.

Step 2 Does the NP have the same syntactic function as they? If the answer is yes , go to step 3; if no , go back to step 1. Step 3 Can the NP replace they without producing semantic anomaly? If the answer is yes , go to step 7; if no , go back to step 1.

Step 4 Look for a plural NP to the left of they , up to 80 words in the text. This step is only taken if the word limit is found without meeting the condition in Step 2 syntactic function. The procedure starts again, this time considering only semantic constraints.

Anaphora (linguistics)

Thus, if an NP is found, go to Step 5. If not in the word stretch of text , go to Step 6. Step 5 Can the NP replace they without producing semantic anomaly? If the answer is yes , go to step 7; if no , go back to step 4.

Step 6 No solution found. If no NP is found in the word limit, adopt a default procedure e. Translate they as masculine. Go to Step 7.


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Step 7 Finish procedure. Look for further occurrences of anaphors in the following segments. The procedure is divided into two testing phases, each of them leading to a solution if the candidate for antecedent passes the syntactic and semantic tests. Using Segment 11 to demonstrate the syntactic phase, we can see that all the candidates in the passage, with the exception of economists, do not pass Step 2, which means that they are discarded at the syntactic level They lack syntactic parallelism for not sharing the same subject function with the anaphor.

Only the NP economists reaches Step 3. As it passes the test, steps 4, 5 and 6 are ignored and, in this case, the anaphora is resolved. Syntactic parallelism is therefore subjected to semantic constraints. Step 3 is the first of these decision points: if a solution is found, the procedure is finished; if not, the procedure resumes, going back to Step 1. The process is repeated until the 80 th word to the left or a full noun in the subject position is encountered. The semantic testing phase is only activated if no NP passes Step 3. This can be demonstrated through Segment Since no solution was found considering both syntactic and semantic constraints, a second round starts now, ignoring syntactic constraints.

Segment An amnesty is an exemption from prosecution for criminal acts, usually issued by a government after a time of crisis such as a war or revolution. The amnesty may be for acts such as rebellion, treason, desertion, or draft evasion. It is usually granted to groups of citizens j on condition that they j abide by the law in the future. The first round ends, in this case, when the beginning of the passage is found. The second round starts and hits on citizens as the first plural NP.

It is not a subject, but since syntactic constraints are no longer taken into account, the NP is only tested for semantic anomalies and passes the test. In case the NP is not a noun but a plural pronoun, the procedure goes on, looking for a full noun, until the word limit or a singural subject is found. This can be seen in Segment 13, where the process, starting from the last they , passes the pronoun they in They tried , and stops at Mongol bands. They j tried in vain to invade Japan in and , captured Burma's Pagan in , and penetrated Champa and Annam in They j even attempted to invade Java in When the procedure described above is unable to find an antecedent for the anaphor, it is marked as unresolved, and a default value may be used.

This can be seen in Segment 14, for example. The procedure would be unable to find a plural NP - which in this case happens to be a combination of a subject Perseus with an object Andromeda. Only the sacrifice of Andromeda could persuade Poseidon to call off the monster, so Andromeda was chained naked to a sea cliff.

The hero Perseus saw her plight, rescued her, and killed the monster. Thereupon, Poseidon turned the dead monster into the sea's first coral. Perseus j married Andromeda j , and they j eventually became king and queen of the Greek city of Tiryns. Results and discussion. This investigation attempts to answer three questions: 1 how many cases were solved by applying only syntactic parallelism, considering only cases that do not affect semantic constraints, that is, stopping at the first phase of the procedure?

Table 2 shows the results, in terms of percentage. A review of the literature reporting on investigations that used syntactic and semantic constraints combined with statistical approaches shows that this is the highest percentage ever obtained. Table 3 summarizes the results attained by some of these studies in pronominal anaphor resolution, not only in English but also in Polish and Arabic. This percentage obtained in our study should be surprising, especially if we consider that the procedure used here is far simpler than the ones used in other studies, sometimes combining complex scales of preferences and statistical approaches along with syntactic and semantic constraints.

A possible explanation is that the pronoun "they" may be easy in terms of antecedent tracking when compared to other pronouns. For one thing, they , in the vast majority of cases, refers to NPs explicitly mentioned in the previous segment of text; unlike it , for example, which may be an expletive, refer to a whole sentence or a previous paragraph, instead of simply referring to an NP.


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  8. Also, the antecedent of an anaphor tends to be the focus of the paragraph, and, since the focus tends to be in the subject position, that would, again, facilitate finding the antecedent for they. Syntactic parallelism subject co-referring to subject was found to be very powerful, sometimes overriding paragraph focus.

    It was felt that the antecedent of "they" could be found in any type of clause including main clauses, subordinate clauses and even interpolated clauses. This can be demonstrated in Segment 15, where the NP founders , although in a subordinate clause, is the rightful antecedent for they and would be correctly selected by the algorithm, simply because it is the first plural NP to occupy the subject position. Segment Historians i continue to debate what the nation's founders j meant to include when they j wrote that there shall be "no law" abridging the freedom of speech or press,.

    Anaphora: A Reference Guide (Explaining Linguistics) | Fruugo

    I would like to argue, however, that the high rate of resolution is due to a successful combination and ordering of syntactic preferences and semantic constraints as used in the proposed algorithm. In fact, if the semantic constraints were not applied at the exact moment the NP in the subject position is found, the results would be very different. This can be demonstrated by analyzing Segment by applying only syntactic parallelism, the selected antecedent would be the NP farmers , because, like they , the NP is in the subject position.