A review of the repeated name penalty: implications for null subject languages

Carlos Gelormini Lezama


This is a critical review of the anaphoric processing delay known as the Repeated Name Penalty (RNP: Gordon, Grosz, & Gilliom, 1993). In this paper I argue that the RNP should be understood as an interaction effect between the anaphor type and the discourse prominence of the referent, and not merely as a pairwise comparison between sentences with repeated names and corresponding sentences with pronouns. I further propose that in null subject languages, the relevant anaphor that should be contrasted with the repeated name is the null pronoun because this type of pronoun represents the least informative anaphor available.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31513/linguistica.2012.v8n2a4548


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