Free Indexation: Combinatorial Analysis and a Compositional Algorithm

Unknown author (1989-12-01)

In the principles-and-parameters model of language, the principle known as "free indexation'' plays an important part in determining the referential properties of elements such as anaphors and pronominals. This paper addresses two issues. (1) We investigate the combinatorics of free indexation. In particular, we show that free indexation must produce an exponential number of referentially distinct structures. (2) We introduce a compositional free indexation algorithm. We prove that the algorithm is "optimal.'' More precisely, by relating the compositional structure of the formulation to the combinatorial analysis, we show that the algorithm enumerates precisely all possible indexings, without duplicates.