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Are Norwegian 'Type Anaphora' Really Surface Anaphora?

Helge Lødrup


The Norwegian pronoun det 'it, that' is basically third person neuter singular. Under certain conditions, it can have antecedents that are not neuter singular (for example Marit kjøpte en kylling - Det kjøpte John også 'Marit bought a chicken (MASC) - John bought one too'). Used this way, the pronoun does not refer to the same object as its antecedent; Borthen 2003 calls it a 'type anaphor'. This paper argues that type anaphora are not a unitary phenomenon. There are two groups with very different properties. One group realizes what was called surface anaphora in Hankamer and Sag 1976; the other group has a generic or eventive interpretation.

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