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Pronouns With Transferred Reference

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Chapter Summary

For almost 30 years, there has been occasional mention in the literature of the first person pronoun having varying reference at different places within a single sentence, but no real attempt has been made to explain such cognitive dissonance. This chapter articulates the problem, exploring which syntactic functions a pronoun can be in for this 'transfer of reference', and whether the transfer may also apply to plural first person and also to second person pronouns. It provides an overview of how transferred reference can be used for first person pronouns in subject function in English statements and questions. It would be interesting to explore to what extent transferred reference can be utilised in other European languages, with structures similar to that of English, and also in languages of quite different profile, including those with an inclusive/exclusive distinction for first person non-singular pronouns, and also for languages with obligatory bound pronouns.

Keywords: pronouns; syntactic functions; transferred reference



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