Anaphora Resolution in Stream-of-Consciousness Discourse: A Metonymic Account

Wei Zhao


The present study is devoted to elaborating a metonymic model and principles of anaphora resolution in stream-of-consciousness (SOC) discourse based on metonymic inferential processing to anaphora resolution constrained by the principle of optimal relevance, and then the explanatory power of the model and principles is testified by anaphora occurring in stream-of-consciousness discourse. The research reveals that (1) Idealized Cognitive Model (ICM) functions as the cognitive basis of anaphora resolution; (2) cognitive and pragmatic constraints on anaphora resolution interact, and the division of labor between them can be measured against both conceptual distance between antecedent and anaphor and degrees of optimal relevance; (3) the derived framework may be applicable to other discourse types. In short, anaphora resolution in stream-of-consciousness discourse is actually a cognio-pragmatic inferencing process, in which the hearer/reader achieves optimal relevance based on the conceptual distance between antecedent and anaphor in idealized cognitive models.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v4n3p34

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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