Technical Report LCL9403

Authors: Yoad Winter and Nissim Francez

This paper introduces a general semantic procedure for the interpretation of sentences in English which contain a pronoun appearing linearly before its antecedent. This phenomenon is known as backward anaphora or Kataphora. We concentrate on cases of Kataphoric Quantification: sentences where the antecedent is interpreted as a generalized quantifier. A well-known case of crossed kataphoric and anaphoric quantificational links are the Bach-Peters' (BP) sentences. We consider a wide range of singular and plural BP sentences and other kataphoric constructions and show that in English there are two kinds of kataphora: S (set) Kataphora, in which the pronoun is interpreted as a set determined by the antecedent, and Q (quantifier) Kataphora, where the pronoun can be interpreted as a variable bound by its antecedent. Only the latter can be considered a genuine case of Kataphoric Quantification. We show that S-kataphora appears only with plural and definite NP's, while Q-kataphora appears both in singular and in plural NP's but only with a limited class of determiners.

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