Switch-Reference and Discourse Representation

In central cases of switch-reference, a marker on the verb of one clause is used to indicate whether its subject has the same or different reference from the subject of an adjacent, syntactically related clause. In central cases of logophoricity, a special pronoun form is used within a reported speech context, to indicate coherence with the source of reported speech. Lesley Stirling argues that these types of anaphoric linkage across clause boundaries cannot be adequately accounted for by Binding Theory. Her detailed examination of the two phenomena, including a case study of the Papuan language Amele, proposes an account for them which is formalized in Discourse Representation Theory, and explores how far it is possible for such an account to be compositional morpho-syntactic/semantic, while at the same time taking seriously the range of linguistic and cross-linguistic data to be explained. Switch-reference’s indication of agreement or disagreement between clauses (or larger discourse units) is shown to function along various parameters contributing to discourse continuity: their major protagonists, spatial and temporal location, and their status as describing actual or non-actual situations. The arguments bear also on general debates around the nature of linguistically marked referential relations and the analysis of logophoric phenomena.

• Switch-reference is a way of specifying the links between related events (as in a story) in terms of the people involved in them, and where and when they took place. • Switch-reference is found in Papuan, American and Australian languages • This book is unique in the range of data surveyed and in the bringing together of linguistic description with a formal account, for this phenomenon


Preface; List of Abbreviations; 1. Switch-reference phenomena; 2. Functional extensions of switch-reference systems; 3. Theoretical conceptions of switch-reference; 4. Discourse representation theory and unification categorial grammar; 5. A discourse representation theory account of switch-reference; 6. Logophoricity; Notes; References; Index.