Colloquium: Piggyback anaphora

November 11, 3:30-5pm, Cobb 201
Bart Geurts, University of Nijmegen

While the dynamic turn inaugurated by Discourse Representation Theory has proved to be as fruitful as it is intuitive, it is not without its problems. One of the main worries has been to account for what I propose to call "piggyback anaphora" (examples by Karttunen):

(1) You must write a letter to your parents. It has to be sent by email.

(2) Harvey courts a girl at every convention. She always comes to the banquet with him.

The characteristic feature of this type of anaphora is that, intuitively speaking, the anaphoric link is enabled by the fact that the anaphor sits in the scope of an expression that quantifies over the same range of entities as the expression whose scope contains the intended antecedent. This is the guiding intuition underlying most accounts of the phenomenon, but although I agree that this is the right way to go, I also believe that these accounts are systematically flawed. The key to a more adequate solution to this problem, I will argue, is that the anaphors in (1) and (2) rely on bridging inferences.