ERIC Number: ED030085
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Noun-Phrase Indexing, Pronouns, and the "Definite Article."
Chomsky has suggested that certain lexical items, which he calls "referential items," should be given integer markers (or "indices") and that the noun-phrase deletion transformation which creates reflexive pronouns should be limited to cases where the noun-phrase to be deleted is fully identical to the antecedent noun-phrase, including identity of index. As long as it is conceded that the notion "referential item" can be specified somehow, it seems clear that the idea of indexing, the essence of Chomsky's suggestion, is correct. However, the author objects to the proposal as it stands for two reasons: (1) The addition to the general theory of language seems disproportionately costly in relation to the problem it is introduced to solve; and (2) Chomsky leaves it quite unclear what status deep structures have when the two noun-phrases have the same index but different lexical items. This type will greatly outnumber the deep structures in which the two noun phrases are fully identical. The author suggests that the phenomena associated with noun-phrase indexing are an area of language where any generative grammar is going to be of limited explanatory power. He proposes, using a "mentalistic" approach, an ordered set of rules for producing an English noun phrase to refer to a given referent. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Definite Articles; Reflexives
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, New York, December 30, 1968.