capacity for introducing ... , or influencing the lifespan of[,] discourse referents

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HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
Hi, is this comma mistakenly left in? I don't think it is needed there because the last element of the parallel structure is 'influencing the lifespan of discourse referents,' or so I think. What do you think?

Still, it has remained puzzling in many ways just what discourse referents are and where they fit into semantic theory. It seems appropriate to say that we are describing some aspect of the meaning of a word or construction of English when we talk about its capacity for introducing, picking up, or influencing the lifespan of, discourse referents. But is that an entirely separate aspect of meaning, or is it dependent upon other aspects of meaning, such as the referential and truth-conditional aspect? ---
(page 225 of 'File Change Semantics and the Familiarity Theory of Definiteness' by Irene Heim)
 
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  • MickaelV

    Senior Member
    Not necessarily. It might be used to emphasize the connection between each left member "introducing", "picking up", "influencing the lifespan of" and the one right member "discourse referents".
    So you would get:
    "introducing discourse referents"
    "picking up discourse referents"
    "influencing the lifespan of discourse referents"

    It is just a writing style, in my understanding.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, Mickael, and thank you.

    I look at the sentence structure in the way you just described. If that's the case, I for one, as a non-native speaker, feel the red comma so idiosyncratic, if not out of place.

    Is it there just to show 'discourse referent' is a common element shared by 'introducing,' 'picking up,' and 'influencing the lifespan of'? And is it a common fashion?
     
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