Final appositives at the right frontier: An experimental investigation of anaphoric potential

  • Alexander Göbel

Abstract

This paper presents two experiments testing two—not mutually exclusive—accounts of the special status of final appositive relative clauses (Syrett and Koev, 2015; Anderbois et al., 2010/2015). The speech act account (Frazier et al., 2017) argues that appositives—in contrast to restrictive relative clauses—contribute a quasi-independent speech act and are available for discourse continuations by virtue of constituting the most recent speech act when in final position. The discourse structure account (Jasinskaja, 2016; Hunter and Asher, 2016) frames the problem in terms of Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (Asher and Lascarides, 2003), arguing that only sentence-final clauses make discourse segments at the right edge of the discourse structure available and more so with coordinating relations such as NARRATION. The experiments manipulated the type of relative clause and the type of discourse relation holding between the matrix clause and the final relative clause to test the distinct predictions of these accounts. Both relative clause type and discourse relations affected the interpretation of ambiguous pronouns, providing support for both accounts. The experiments also explored differences between personal and propositional pronouns but found no conclusive evidence for an interaction of anaphora type with the other factors.
Published
2019-07-24
How to Cite
Göbel, A. (2019). Final appositives at the right frontier: An experimental investigation of anaphoric potential. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 451-468. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.543