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ReferenceInterdisciplinary Perspectives$
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Jeanette Gundel and Nancy Hedberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.001.0001

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Rethinking the SMASH Approach to Pronoun Interpretation

Rethinking the SMASH Approach to Pronoun Interpretation

(p.95) 5 Rethinking the SMASH Approach to Pronoun Interpretation

Andrew Kehler

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the manner in which pronoun interpretation has been characterized by many psycholinguistic and computational linguistic studies over the last three decades — what is called here the SMASH procedure, for Search, Match, and Select using Heuristics – is untenable and therefore should be abandoned. Data are presented that are unlikely to be explained by theories based on interactions among superficial heuristics and preferences, and instead motivate an account in which the relevant interactions lie at the levels of information structure and discourse coherence establishment. The study sketches an analysis of this process, with reference to a set of key examples, although a more complete analysis will be left for future work.

Keywords:   pronoun interpretation, heuristics, information structure, discourse coherence, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics

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