A cognitive approach to reference

Research output: Working paper


When we talk about something, we need to indicate what we talk about. Sometimes we can use pointing gestures but mainly we have to rely on words. A pointing gesture can direct attention in perceived space, but how do we direct attention with words? What can we do with speech sounds we hear, to find out what somebody wants to tell us about something and what that something is? Questions about reference could be posed in different ways. To formulate such questions in the way done above, as questions about how reference relations are established when we use language for communicative purposes, is to pose them within a cognitive perspective. The reference problem conceived cognitively concerns how cognitive processes in which reference relations are established should be characterised.


  • Lars-Åke Henningsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers, Lund University, Dept. of Linguistics

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