Information Structure, Discourse Structure and Grammatical Structure
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Adopting Berrendonner’s (1990, 2002) and Berrendonner et al.’s (forthcoming) distinction between “micro-syntax” and “macro-syntax”, as well as the orthogonal dichotomy between foregrounded and backgrounded discourse segments (cf. Khalil 2005), this paper aims to examine certain “non-canonical” interactions amongst these domains. In particular, it analyses instances where a potential referent is evoked within a highly presupposed, discursively backgrounded text segment, but where that referent is targeted via an “anadeictic” indexical expression and may be made into a discourse entity in its own right. This last-mentioned use is characteristic of discourse deixis, but not of anaphora as such. The paper also examines larger stretches of text, which relate to each other discursively in terms of “macro-syntax”. The overall aim is to characterise the limits of discourse-anaphoric reference as a function of the degree of backgrounding or foregrounding of the discourse units in terms of which the referent is determined and targeted.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): anaphora; backgrounding; discourse; foregrounding; macro-syntax; micro-syntax
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