Topic: HUMAN SEMANTICS
The Proper Treatment of Coreference Relations
By Louis-H. Desouvrey
A novel approach to coreference relations is proposed. It is shown that there are no coreference principles per se in the grammar. Rather three constraints independently needed account for this phenomenon: the Oligatory Contour Principle (OCP), the Avoid Ambiguity Constraint (AAC), and the Freedom Constraint. The OCP and the AAC deal with features lexical elements are specified for. Referring elements are indeed distinguished from each other by a relational feature, which represents what the element stands for in the real world. Given nonlinear phonological representations whereby each feature belongs to its own plane, R-features spread from a referential expression to an adjacent referring element, either a pronoun or an anaphor. The ban on line crossing in the representation, which constrains the spreading, accounts for the adjacency between anaphors and their antecedents. The complementarity in the distribution of anaphors and pronouns follows from the feature specification of these elements as well as the interaction of the OCP and the Ambiguity Constraint.
Keywords: coreference, constraints, domains, pronouns, anaphors, syntactic features.
Source: Semantics Archive
The three principles mentioned above are:
(1) Freedom Constraint (FC)
Referring elements must be free in their minimal domain.
(2) Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP)
Two elements bearing identical R-features are banned in the same syntactic domain.
(3) Avoid Ambiguity Constraint (AAC)
Morphological ambiguity must be avoided whenever possible.