Abstract

In this paper, we offer a novel analysis of bridging, paying particular attention to definite descriptions. We argue that extant theories don't do justice to the way different knowledge resources interact. In line with Hobbs (1979), we claim that the rhetorical connections between the propositions introduced in the text play an important part. But our work is distinct from his in that we model how this source of information interacts with compositional and lexical semantics. We formalize bridging in a framework known as SDRT (Asher 1993). We demonstrate that this provides a richer, more accurate interpretation of definite descriptions than has been offered so far.

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