Identifying Attentional Center in the Light of Salience Weight: A Key Issue in Anaphora Resolution

Dafang Wang


Existing accounts on the relationship between discourse salience and choice of referring expression differ in what they view as relevant factors that establish entities as more or less salient. In this paper, saliency is treated as a gradient and relative cognitive property reflected by the partial order among a set of candidate referents in a dynamically updated attentional state. To be specific, I will focus on three linguistic properties that have been claimed to influence the salience weight in English: information status, referential form, and empathy. Along with the systematic investigation, I will clarify the working definition of some concepts and briefly introduce the linguistic diagnostics adopted for salience assessing and ranking. It is hoped that the efforts made here will shed light on the large-scale empirical work that remains to be done in the near future.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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