LINGUIST List 13.1011

Fri Apr 12 2002

Diss: Text/Corpus Ling: Tanaka "Annotated Corpus.."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. tomoji_tanaka, Text/Corpus Ling: Tanaka "Value of an Annotated Corpus..."

Message 1: Text/Corpus Ling: Tanaka "Value of an Annotated Corpus..."

Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 22:27:50 +0000
From: tomoji_tanaka <>
Subject: Text/Corpus Ling: Tanaka "Value of an Annotated Corpus..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Lancaster University
Program: Graduate English Department
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2000

Author: Izumi Tanaka 

Dissertation Title: 
The Value of an Annotated Corpus in The Investigation of Anaphoric
Pronouns, with Particular Reference to Backwards Anaphora in English

Linguistic Field: Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language: English

Dissertation Director 1: Geoffrey N Leech
Dissertation Director 2: Anthony M McEnery

Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis investigates English personal pronoun reference in
particular focusing on cataphora (backwards anaphora), using the
Anaphoric Treebank (AT), which is a written English corpus with
discourse annotation, and other corpus data. The analysis of corpus
data reveals certain coreferential cataphora patterns (in particular
in the initial adverbial or initial direct speech constructions). On
the basis of the corpus data, the claims on cataphora made by
generative approaches and cognitive discourse theories are

The points which became clear in testing generative approaches

(1) The result of an informant test indicates the inadequacy of
narrowly restricting data to invented examples.
(2) The lack of understanding of the scope of the application of the
theory can be observed in Reinhart (1984) and Binding
(3) A sentential-level approach to investigate pronoun references is

The points which became clear in testing cognitive discourse theories

(i) First mention cataphora and Overriding-type of cataphora clearly
show that there is such a phenomenon that can be called cataphora,
contrary to the sceptical view on cataphora.
(ii) These cataphora data indicate that a pronoun reference can be
made not only for an already-mentioned entity but also for a new
discourse entity.

Also the analysis of the borderline cases (anaphora/cataphora) reveals
that in certain conditions, the reference-direction
(anaphora/cataphora) judgement tends to involve a triple-choice
(anaphoric /cataphoric /indeterminate). 

In order to account for the corpus data of cataphoric pronouns, the
following suggestions can be made:

(i) It is necessary, from readers' perspective, to assume that a
personal pronoun creates a temporal information gathering point in
some kind of the reader's short term memory.
(ii) The reference-direction judgement of a personal pronoun
(anaphora/cataphora) tends to reflect the way in which a reader
perceives focus of attention (highlight) when the reader resolves the
pronoun reference.

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