Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 261–327 | Cite as

Discourse grammar and verb phrase anaphora

  • Hub Prüst
  • Remko Scha
  • Martin van den Berg


We argue that an adequate treatment of verb phrase anaphora (VPA) must depart in two major respects from the standard approaches. First of all, VP anaphors cannot be resolved by simply identifying the anaphoric VP with an antecedent VP. The resolution process must establish a syntactic/semantic parallelism between larger units (clauses or discourse constituent units) that the VPs occur in. Secondly, discourse structure has a significant influence on the reference possibilities of VPA. This influence must be accounted for.

We propose a treatment which meets these requirements. It builds on a discourse grammar which characterizes discourse cohesion by means of a syntactic/semantic matching procedure which recognizes parallel structures in discourse. It turns out that this independently motivated procedure yields the resolution of VPA as a side effect.


Artificial Intelligence Significant Influence Standard Approach Parallel Structure Computational Linguistic 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hub Prüst
    • 1
  • Remko Scha
    • 1
  • Martin van den Berg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and Computation Faculty of ArtsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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