The Concept of Reference in the Cognitive Sciences
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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The term 'referring expression' is often used without definition, and models of referring usually ignore the question of how NP's are recognized as referring expressions in discourse. In this paper, I review some relevant distinctions from the research in generics and, on that basis, provide a definition of referring expressions as specific and non-kind-referring noun phrases. I discuss some complications to the definition. Using Kronfeld's model of referring as my framework, I discuss the interaction of the recognition of referring expressions and the recognition of relevant identification criteria. I propose that all present suggestions for identification constraints fall into three groups, and argue that the recognition of referring expressions always depends on the recognition of some identification constraints. On this basis, I extend the framework with procedural information.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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