Predicting reference form

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In retellings of the Pear Story in Meithei (Tibeto-Burman, Northeast India), it was found that NP shape–whether a lexical or zero anaphor is used – is determined not only by the cognitive accessibility of the NP but also by its animacy. Animacy also played a role in the morphological sequences that occur with NPs: animate NPs exhibit more varied morphology than inanimate NPs. This study concludes that NP shape and morphology are determined only partially by cognitive accessibility. A narrator's need to provide a dynamic view of animate NPs and a static view of inanimate entities also determines NP shape.


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