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The alternation null-overt in the interpretation of pronouns in discourse

Publication: Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics, X (1)
Publisher:Universitatea din București
Abstract:This paper examines the difference in interpretation between null and overt third person singular pronouns in subject position in Romanian from a Centering perspective (Grosz and Sidner 1986, Grosx et al. 1995, Brennan et al. 1987). Our goal is to verify two hypotheses. First, we argue that the null pronoun is preferred over the overt one when it co-refers with the center of the previous sentence. Secondly, we claim that null pronouns are generally used in Continue transitions, while overt subjects occur in Shift transitions. The conclusion shows that, in Romanian, the null pronoun encodes the most prominent entity of the preceding utterance which has been identified with the subject in most of the cases discussed. The general tendency of null pronouns to appear in Continue transitions has also been verified, although we have also found situations in which overt forms are used to mark continuity.
Key words:null pronouns, overt pronouns, salience, continuity, coherence

Citations to this publication: 0

References in this publication: 1

44Maria Manoliu-ManeaGramatică, pragmasemantică și discursLitera1993

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