Complement focus and reference phenomena

Sanford, A. J. and Moxey, L. M. (2011) Complement focus and reference phenomena. In: Gibson, E. A. and Pearlmutter, N. J. (eds.) The Processing and Acquisition of Reference. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, pp. 381-402. ISBN 9780262015127 (doi: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015127.003.0015)

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This chapter presents the results of various experiments that investigated how different determiners and quantifiers make different sets of entities available for reference. It also reviews numerous accounts of a phenomenon known as complement set reference (compset reference) and shows that it is part of a cluster of phenomena related to negative and positive quantifiers. It then considers various attempts to explore the phenomenon in the context of discourse semantics and presents a number of psychological experiments linking the phenomenon to aspects of negativity and denial of a supposition. It shows that negative quantifiers such as few appear to allow reference to a complement set, contrary to Discourse Representation Theory.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moxey, Dr Linda and Sanford, Professor Anthony
Authors: Sanford, A. J., and Moxey, L. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Publisher:MIT Press
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