There has been a tight linking in the literature between the at-issue status of a proposition and its anaphoric potential. Availability for propositional anaphora has been implicated in both how at-issueness is diagnosed (Tonhauser 2012) and how (not-)at-issue content is modeled (Murray 2010, 2014; AnderBois et al. 2013). In this paper, the author argues that these two notions are distinct, and that one class of tests commonly used to diagnose at-issue status in fact diagnoses only anaphoric potential. As a case study, this paper looks at appositives, which have been argued to have a shifting at-issue status (Syrett & Koev 2015). The support for this comes from only one type of diagnostic for at-issueness, which is anaphora-based; in this paper, the author shows that the other two classes of diagnostics, which are more closely tied to the QUD-based definition of at-issueness (Simons et al. 2010), do not show a shifting-at-issue status. Instead, these diagnostics show that appositives are never at-issue, and thus that at-issueness and anaphoric potential are distinct.
Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
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