Topichood and temporal interpretation of DPs guide clause-internal, causal coherence
Runyi Yao, E. Matthew Husband, Daniel Altshuler
January 2024

Most studies of discourse coherence focus on relations like Result (cause-effect) and Explanation (effect-cause) that are established between two discourse units whose size is at least a single clause. Such relationships may, however, also be clause-internal. The current study explores clause-internal coherence triggered by resultative adjectives in examples like The broken window got struck with a stone ⇝ ‘the window was broken because of the stone.’ Based on the results of two comprehension tasks, we propose that topichood, signaled by definiteness and subjecthood, permits and constrains plausible causal inferences clause-internally. This analysis suggests a tighter relationship between (morpho)syntax and coherence than is currently assumed.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007850
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in the Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 28
keywords: coherence relations, quds, nominal temporality, topichood, definiteness, experimental pragmatics, semantics
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