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Bookmark and Share Paper 3410

Distinguishing At-Issueness from Anaphoric Potential: A Case Study of Appositives
Todd Snider
374-381 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


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.

Published in

Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00