11.2.7 Proper Names

The special treatment of proper names.

So far we have mainly discussed the relationship between anaphoric pronouns which have indefinite noun phrases as textual antecedents. We have seen that in contexts of negation, implication, and disjunction, DRT correctly predicts the impossibility of an anaphoric link between pronoun and antecedent. But matters are different with proper names.

Proper names always seem accessible for anaphoric links with pronouns, even if they occur inside a negation, implication or disjunction. DRT deals with the observation by promoting the discourse referents and conditions of proper names to the global DRS, or put differently, the outermost box.

Here is an example illustrating this point:

``Every man likes Mary. She is kind.''

So, rather than introducing the discourse referent for ``Mary'' in the consequent of the implicational condition (the DRS on the right-hand side of ), it is contributed to the top level of the DRS. Since y, the referent for ``Mary'', is in the outermost box, it is accessible for any follow up pronouns. Therefore, the pronoun ``she'' can pick up the discourse referent of ``Mary'', and DRT correctly predicts that the discourse is felicitous.

Aljoscha Burchardt, Stephan Walter, Alexander Koller, Michael Kohlhase, Patrick Blackburn and Johan Bos
Version 1.2.5 (20030212)