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In: Meaning: the Dynamic Turn
The aim of this double-blind peer-reviewed series is to focus upon the relationship between semantic and pragmatic theories for a variety of natural language constructions. The boundary between semantics and pragmatics can be drawn in many various ways; the relative benefits of each have given rise to a vivid theoretical dispute in the literature in the last three decades. As a side effect, this variety has produced a certain degree of confusion and absence of purpose in the extant publications on the topic. This series provides a forum where the confusion within the existing literature can be removed and the issues raised by different positions can be discussed with a renewed sense of purpose. The editors intend the contributions to this series to take further steps towards clarity and cautious consensus.
The Current Research in the Semantic / Pragmatics Interface series has carved out a new and vibrant area of research. This volume offers the reader a state-of-the-art record of new and established research in this area. Von Heusinger and Turner's careful selection of topics and contributors ensures that each chapter integrates semantic and pragmatic facts into a single theory, that each finds an adequate division of theoretical labour and that each attempts to design and corroborate an elegant account of meaning and use that would be compatible with other aspects of human behaviour. Importantly, each paper in the volume focuses on linguistic detail, not merely abstract discussions of a theoretical nature. Thus each paper makes extensive reference to the semantic and pragmatic facts of English and also other languages.
This reference gives each of the proposed analyses a more adequate empirical edge and a sharper theoretical focus. This book is a must for all scholars and students interested in the new and vibrant discipline of semantics-pragmatics and to anyone who is fascinated by the prospect of working beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of linguistics and the philosophy of language. The chapters in this volume originate from a workshop at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, held at Michigan State University.
In: Meaning and the Dynamics of Interpretation
In: Meaning and the Dynamics of Interpretation
In: Meaning and the Dynamics of Interpretation
In: Where Semantics meets Pragmatics
In: International Review of Pragmatics


Referential expressions are used to introduce and continue reference to entities with particular referential properties, but also with particular discourse properties. In this paper we investigate the referential and discourse properties of pe-marked indefinite direct objects in Romanian, which are an instance of Diff erential Object Marking (DOM). Pe-marking is generally obligatory for definite noun phrases but optional for indefinite ones. The optionality of pe marking with indefinite descriptions constitutes the focus of the present article. We will show that, on the one hand, pe with indefinite descriptions allows the realization of referential properties such as specific or wide scope readings, but that on the other hand, pe also signals discourse prominence, in particular in such contexts where referential properties are neutralized. We assume three parameters for discourse prominence, namely referential persistence, the topic-shift potential and the type of anaphoric referring expressions. We used these three parameters in a web-based story continuation experiment. The findings of the experiment revealed several interesting patterns: (i) that pe -marked direct objects are referentially more persistent than their unmarked counterparts, (ii) that pe -marked direct objects show a systematic preference to become topics two or three sentences after being introduced in the discourse, and (iii) that (modified) definite NPs were chosen to refer back to the referent of the marked as well as to the referent of the unmarked direct object. On the basis of the first two parameters we conclude that the relevant discourse contribution of pe is to signal to the hearer that subsequent information about that referent will follow, whereas the third parameter indicates that the referent of the pe -marked indefinite is not necessarily associated with a high level of activation. The general findings of the experiment support Kehler et al.'s (2008) intuition to differentiate between referential persistence and the activation level of the referent.

In: International Review of Pragmatics
In: Context-Dependence in the Analysis of Linguistic Meaning