Blocked Forwards Coreference: Theoretical Implications of the Acquisition Data

  • Guy Carden
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 2)


A central issue in linguistic theory is the relationship between syntax and semantics. Recent work in the Government-Binding framework (e.g. Chomsky 1981, 1982) proposes a particularly simple model of the relationship, in which an abstract syntactic level of S-Structure, fairly close to a classical surface structure, serves as the sole input to Logical Form. At first glance, the familiar examples of blocked forwards coreference (5 a) seem to be a problem for this proposal, since most early analyses of blocked forwards (the “Abstract Model”) require coreference to be controlled at at least two levels. Reinhart (1976, 1981) apparently solved this problem, proposing an elegant analysis in which both forwards and backwards coreference were handled at a single level compatible with S-Structure. This “Surface Model” of Reinhart’s has been widely accepted, and is generally assumed in current Government-Binding analyses.


Surface Model Linear Order Abstract Model Test Sentence Chicago Linguistic Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Carden, G.: 1981, ‘Blocked forwards coreference’, paper presented at the Linguistic Society of America Winter Meeting, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Carden, G.: 1982, ‘Backwards anaphora in discourse context’, Journal of Linguistics 18, 361 - 387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carden, G. and T. Dietrich: 1981, ‘Introspection, observation and experiment: An example where experiment pays off’, in P. D. Asquith and R. N. Giere (eds.), Proceedings of the 1980 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 2, East Lansing, Mich., pp. 583 — 597.Google Scholar
  4. Carden, G. and L. Gordon: 1982, ‘S-structure coreference assignment will require both reconstruction and extended trace theory: Evidence from English and Fijian’, unpublished paper, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  5. Chomsky, C.: 1969, The Acquisition of Syntax in Children from 5 to 10; MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  6. Chomsky, N.: 1981, Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  7. Chomsky, N.: 1982, Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  8. Dollaghan, C. A.: 1981, Developmental Changes in Children’s Awareness of Some Verb Propositional Schemata, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin — Madison.Google Scholar
  9. Goodluck, H.: to appear, ‘Children’s interpretation of pronouns and null NPs: An alternative view’, in Lust, B. (ed.), Studies in the Acquisition of Anaphora: (Volume 2), Applying the Constraints, D. Reidel, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  10. Hsu, J., H. Cairns, S. Eisenberg, and G. Schlisselberg: in preparation, ‘Children’s interpretation of coreference’, unpublished paper, City University of New York.Google Scholar
  11. Ingram, D. and C. Shaw: 1981, ‘The comprehension of pronominal reference in children’, unpublished paper, The University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
  12. Jackendoff, R.: 1972, Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  13. Kuno, S.: 1975, ‘Three perspectives in the functional approach to syntax’, Papers from the Parasession on Functionalism, Chicago Linguistic Society, 276—336.Google Scholar
  14. Lakoff, G.: 1968, ‘Pronouns and reference’, Indiana University Linguistic Club.Google Scholar
  15. Langacker, R. W.: 1969, ‘Pronominalization and the chain of command’, in D. Reibel and S. Schane (eds.), Modern Studies in English, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., pp. 160 - 186.Google Scholar
  16. Lasnik, H.: 1976, ‘Remarks on coreference’, Linguistic Analysis 2, 1 — 22.Google Scholar
  17. Lust, B., K. Loveland, and R. Kornet: 1980, ‘The development of anaphora in first language: Syntactic and pragmatic constraints’, Linguistic Analysis 6, 359 — 391.Google Scholar
  18. McCawley, J. D.: 1984, ‘Anaphora and notions of command’, in Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, University of California at Berkeley.Google Scholar
  19. O’Grady, W.: 1983a, ‘A computational approach to anaphora’, Journal of Linguistic Research 2, 81 - 101.Google Scholar
  20. O’Grady, W.: 1983b, ‘Anaphoric relations in the clause and the NP’, Papers from the Nineteenth Regional Meeting, Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago, pp. 317 — 328.Google Scholar
  21. Postal, P.: 1971, Cross-Over Phenomena, Holt, Reinhart and Winston, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Reinhart, T.: 1976, The Syntactic Domain of Anaphora, unpublished doctoral dissertation, MIT. Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  23. Reinhart, T.: 1981, ‘Definite NP anaphora and c-command domains’, Linguistic Inquiry 12, 605 - 636.Google Scholar
  24. Reinhart, T.: 1983a, Anaphora and Semantic Interpretation, Croom Helm, London.Google Scholar
  25. Reinhart, T.: 1983b, ‘Coreference and bound anaphora: A restatement of the anaphora questions’, Linguistics and Philosophy 6, 47 — 88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ross, J.: 1967, ‘On the cyclic nature of English pronominalization’, in To Honor Roman Jacobson, Mouton, The Hague, 1669—1682, and reprinted in 1969 in D. Reibel and S. Schane (eds.), Modern Studies in English, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 187 - 200.Google Scholar
  27. Solan, L.: 1978, Anaphora in Child Languge, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  28. Solan, L.: 1981, ‘The acquisition of structural restrictions on anaphora’, in S. Tavakolian (ed.), Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., pp. 59 - 73.Google Scholar
  29. Solan, L. and Roeper, T.: 1978, ‘Children’s use of syntactic structure in interpreting relative clauses’, in H. Goodluck and L. Solan (eds.), Papers in the Structure and Development of Child Language, Occasional Papers in Linguistic, 4, University of Massachusettss, Amherst, pp. 105 — 126.Google Scholar
  30. Tavakolian, S.: 1978, ‘Children’s comprehension of pronominal subjects and missing subjects in complicated sentences’, in H. Goodluck and L. Solan (eds.), Papers in the Structure and Development of Child Language, Occasional Papers in Linguistics, 4, Univesity of Massachusetts, Amherst, pp. 145 — 152.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor-Browne, K.: 1983, ‘Acquiring restrictions on forwards anaphora: A pilot study’, Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics 9, 75 — 99.Google Scholar
  32. Wasow, T.: 1972, Anaphoric Relations in English, unpublished doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Carden

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations