Reference

Lecturer: Petra Schumacher, University of Cologne
The study of reference has been approached from various angles in linguistics, philosophy and psychology. In this course we will address the questions of why so many different referential expressions are available, what their specific functional contributions are and how their use is constrained by the language system and more generally the cognitive system.
We will first examine the functions of referential expressions and their use conditions in context. We will focus on the referents’ cognitive accessibility and the context-change potential of referential expressions. Then we will assess the functional contribution of two particular instances of reference in more depth – demonstratives and definite expressions. We will further look at cases of reference resolution that involve operations at the interface of discourse-pragmatics with syntax and prosody before evaluating the conditions that govern referential choice.

Mon Aug 5th

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    Forms and functions

Tue Aug 6th

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    \"Backward\" looking function

Wed Aug 7th

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    Forward looking function

Thu Aug 8th

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    Demonstratives

Fri Aug 9th

Mon Aug 12th

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    Definiteness and givenness

Tue Aug 13th

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    Reference at the interface (syntax)

Wed Aug 14th

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    Reference at the interface (prosody)

Thu Aug 15th

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    Referential choice

Fri Aug 16th