Research on Language and Computation

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 5–17

On the denotations of anaphors

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11168-006-9014-y

Cite this article as:
Keenan, E.L. Research Language Computation (2007) 5: 5. doi:10.1007/s11168-006-9014-y


In the spirit of generalized quantifier theory, we provide direct interpretations for anaphors such as himself, herself, everyone but himself, no student but himself, both himself and the teacher, etc., as they occur in Ss like: Every worker criticized himself, No student criticized every student but himself, Some student criticized both himself and the teacher, etc. Then we provide a syntax independent definition of “anaphor” which enables us to non-circularly identify anaphors in different languages and to test the validity of claims such as “Anaphors are always locally c-commanded by their antecedents.” We also compute the sense in which anaphors increase logical expressive power by computing the size of the denotation set for anaphors as compared with mere non-anaphoric generalized quantifiers.


AnaphorDirect interpretationDeterminerGeneralized quantifierInvariant

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUCLALos AngelesUSA