Reference Words

By John-Allen Payne, Ph.D.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology

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Introduction

Reference words are a type of rhetorical device that allow a writer to create cohesion throughout a text by reintroducing, manipulating, or anticipating information continually and in interesting ways. They constitute a large group of mostly pronouns and noun phrases—less frequently other parts of speech—that represent other elements in a text. For examples of reference words, look at the emphasized words in the paragraph about Germany directly below:

Germany After World War 2:
In 1939, Germany started World War 2; she1 was confident that she1 could conquer and control all of Europe. She1 spread death and destruction over much of the continent2. But after several years of war, Germany herself3 began to suffer severe losses4: Allied bombing raids destroyed German cities, farms, industries, and transportation systems. Food, water, and fuel began to disappear. And without these essentials5, people could not care for themselves6 and their families. Berlin, the capital city, incurred even worse damage7: Bombing raids destroyed seventy percent of its8 buildings. The city9 was left in ruins. People there10 lived in squalor: Vermin11 spread disease, with rats infesting peoples’ homes and fleas and cockroaches contaminating their12 food. Conditions13 worsened daily.

An examination of the emphasized words in the preceding paragraph will reveal two notable features about them: (1) They cannot stand alone; rather, they need to connect with other words to complete their meanings, and (2) they are used when new information is added about the things that they refer to, hence, the name reference words.

There is a small amount of research into the acquisition of reference words suggesting that hearing children begin to understand them after age 5; but that many deaf individuals as old as 17 and 18 continue to have problems with them. Moreover, experienced teachers in postsecondary programs for deaf students know that this failure to understand reference words correctly extends into the college years, as well. In an attempt to clarify aspects of reference words and how they might be made clearer for deaf students, the present article touches on the following four topics related to reference words:

Overview of Reference Words

Parts of Speech of Reference Words

As stated in the introduction, reference words are mostly pronouns and noun phrases, less often other parts of speech. Below is a repeat of the paragraph about Germany. Look carefully at the emphasized reference words again and note their parts of speech. Then, read the explanations in the sections below it.

Germany After World War 2:
In 1939, Germany started World War 2; she1 was confident that she1 could conquer and control all of Europe. She1 spread death and destruction over much of the continent2. But after several years of war, Germany herself3 began to suffer severe losses4: Allied bombing raids destroyed German cities, farms, industries, and transportation systems. Food, water, and fuel began to disappear. And without these essentials5, people could not care for themselves6 and their families. Berlin, the capital city, incurred even worse damage7: Bombing raids destroyed seventy percent of its8 buildings. The city9 was left in ruins. People there10 lived in squalor: Vermin11 spread disease, with rats infesting peoples’ homes and fleas and cockroaches contaminating their12 food. Conditions13 worsened daily.

Pronouns as Reference Words

The classical example of a reference word is the simple pronoun, as in example 1, where the pronoun she refers to Germany three times. Although pronouns are the most popular type of reference word, they are somewhat limited in that they may refer only to items within the same paragraph in which they appear. Moreover, they contain only a bare minimum of information, and if writers are not careful to place pronouns close enough to their antecedents they will not be clear to readers.

Another kind of pronoun reference word, which appears twice in the paragraph above, is the reflexive, which ends in –self or –selves. Reflexives are even more limited in that they must refer to a word within the same sentence. In example 3, the reflexive herself shows an abrupt focusing of attention on the word Germany, meaning that now Germany (and not the other countries) was suffering severe losses. In spoken English, one could achieve the same effect by simply stressing the word Germany with one's voice. In contrast to this usage, reflexives are used even more frequently to show that the subject of a sentence performs an action on itself, as in example 6, where the pronoun themselves refers to the word people.

Noun Phrases as Reference Words

The second most frequent reference word is the noun phrase. A noun phrase is simply a noun with any modifier such as an article, an adjective, or a relative clause. In contrast to pronouns, noun phrase reference words can carry more precise information, making it easier for readers to follow them. As such, they may jump one or two paragraph boundaries to find their antecedents. The most frequent kinds of noun-phrase reference words are general words and superordinates. Their job is to point to more specific words in the text, as in the examples below:

Other Parts of Speech as Reference Words

The remaining reference words in the paragraph are the following:

Reference words can be other parts of speech, idioms, and phrases, as well. You will come across more examples of them later in this article.

Direction of Reference

Reference words can refer in three directions, upwards, downwards, and outwards.

Upward Reference

The most common direction of reference is upwards to a previous portion of a text. This is called anaphoric reference because ana means upwards and phor means to carry. Reference words that refer back upwards to a previous portion of a text are called anaphoric words. Anaphoric words offer a writer streamlined ways of repeating, manipulating, and expanding previous information in a paragraph. It is important to note that anaphoric words frequently have the definite article the attached to them—as in the continent and the city—because a primary function of the definite article is to inform the reader that an item has been mentioned previously in the text.

Downward Reference

The second most common direction for reference is downward to a subsequent portion of the text. This is called cataphoric reference because cata means downward. And reference words that refer downward in a text are called cataphoric words. Cataphoric words help a reader to predict what is going to happen in a text. They are a favorite stylistic device of novelists because their function is to arouse curiosity and suspense in readers by giving only partial information about something that will be revealed later. In this way, readers are enticed to keep reading.

Outward Reference

The third direction of reference is outside the text, that is to items that are not described explicitly in the text. This is called exophoric reference because exo means outward. Reference words that refer outside a text are called exophoric words. Exophoric words indicate assumed shared knowledge between the writer and the reader. Since the writer assumes that the reader knows what they refer to, the writer does not bother to explain them in the text. Note that an exophoric word may also have the definite article the attached to it because a secondary function of the definite article the is to convey that

The following paragraph is a continuation of the story about Germany. Read through it and examine the reference words. Determine whether they are anaphoric, cataphoric, or exophoric. Then read the explanations below it.

Germany Surrenders:
Finally on 7 May 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces1 and the war in Europe2 was over. By June of 1945, Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union had occupied the whole country3. Immediately, they4 devised a system5 for controlling Germany: They divided Germany into four sectors—three6 in the west and one6 in the east. They also divided the capital city7 into four sectors with Great Britain, The United States, France, and the Soviet Union each administering one sector of the city8. All four countries9 agreed to help rebuild German cities, farms, industries, and transportation systems. They10 also promised to promote the establishment of a democratic form of government in Germany.

  1. The noun phrase the Allied Forces is exophoric, referring loosely to certain members of the fifty nations that opposed the Axis countries during World War 2. Note the use of the definite article the, indicating that only one example of this item exists in the time and place being focused on and that the reader most likely knows about it.
  2. The noun phrase the war in Europe is anaphoric, referring to World War 2, mentioned in the first paragraph.
  3. The noun phrase the whole country is anaphoric, referring upward to the word Germany. Note the anaphoric use of the definite article the, informing the reader that this item has been mentioned previously in the text.
  4. The pronoun they is anaphoric, referring upward to Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union.
  5. The noun phrase a system is cataphoric, referring downward to the description of the division of Germany and Berlin into sectors with Great Britain, the United States, France, and Soviet Union each administering one sector of Germany and one sector of Berlin.
  6. The numerical pronouns three and one are anaphoric, referring back upward to the word sectors.
  7. The noun phrase the capital city is anaphoric, referring all the way up to the word Berlin, in the previous paragraph.
  8. The noun phrase the city is anaphoric, referring back up to the capital city, which in turn refers to Berlin in the previous paragraph.
  9. The noun phrase All four countries is anaphoric, referring upward to Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union.
  10. The pronoun They is anaphoric, referring back up to All four countries, which, in turn, refers to Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union.

Antecedents

Definition of Antecedents

Antecedents are the items that reference words refer to. Note the examples in the following excerpt:

By June of 1945, Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union had occupied Germany. Immediately, they devised a system for controlling the country:

In the preceding excerpt, there are two reference words and two antecedents:

Note that in these examples, the antecedents precede their reference words; and strictly speaking, the term antecedent means words that precede their reference words; however, for flexibility and ease of discussion, it has become common practice to use the term antecedent to mean any word that is referred to, whether preceding or following. This article will follow that same practice.

Size of Antecedents

Antecedents can consist of various-sized portions of text—a noun phrase, a sentence, even one or more paragraphs. For practice, there are two continuing paragraphs about Germany below. Read the first paragraph and find the antecedents of the highlighted reference words. Determine whether the antecedents are noun phrases, sentences, or paragraphs. Then, check the answers below the paragraph. When you have finished the first paragraph, do the same for the second paragraph.

The Partition of Germany:
Before long, the four countries1 began to disagree on how to govern Germany. Great Britain, the United States, and France wanted to establish a democratic government. The Soviet Union did not2; rather, they wanted to establish a communist government. In order to solve this disagreement3, they partitioned Germany into two separate countries. And on 23 May 1949, the three western sectors4 became the Federal Republic of Germany, or simply West Germany. It was to have a democratic government. And on 7 October 1949, the eastern sector5 became the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany. It6 would have a communist government.

  1. The antecedent of the four countries is a noun phrase—Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union.
  2. The antecedent of the negative auxiliary did not is the predicate part of a sentence, or actually its negative restatement—did not want to establish a democratic government.
  3. The antecedent of this disagreement is the two complete sentences preceding it.
  4. The antecedent of the three western sectors is a noun phrase—the three sectors under Great Britain, the United States, and France—mentioned in a previous paragraph.
  5. The antecedent of the eastern sector is a noun phrase—the sector administered by the Soviet Union—mentioned in a previous paragraph.
  6. The antecedent of it is a noun phrase—East Germany.

The Establishment of Governments in the two Germanies:
Great Britain, the United States, and France did not try to control West Germany; rather they allowed West Germany to become a democracy and to govern itself1. The United States invested millions of dollars into helping West Germany rebuild its cities, farms, industries, and transportation systems. In this way2, West German industry and technology grew, and its3 people prospered. On the other hand, the Soviet Union established a communist government in East Germany. They dismantled many of East Germany’s factories and shipped them4 to the Soviet Union. They5 took over banks, farms, and industries and forced them6 to work for the Soviet Union. They also forced people to work for low wages. As a result of these harsh measures7, East Germans began to languish in poverty.

  1. The antecedent of itself is a noun phrase—West Germany.
  2. The antecedent of in this way is the two sentences preceding it.
  3. The antecedent of its is a noun—Germany.
  4. The antecedent of them is a noun phrase—many of East Germany’s factories.
  5. The antecedent of They is a noun phrase—the Soviet Union.
  6. The antecedent of them is three nouns—banks, farms, and industries.
  7. The antecedent of these harsh measures is the four sentences preceding it.

Summary

Reference words are a type of rhetorical device that allow a writer to create cohesion throughout a text by reintroducing, manipulating, or anticipating information continually and in interesting ways.

Antecedents are the words that reference words represent. They can consist of various-sized portions of text.

Research Findings

Although teachers in programs for the deaf even as high as college level have observed students’ problems recognizing antecedents of reference words, actual data-based research with deaf individuals seems to be sparse. Below are summaries of one seminal study with young hearing subjects and few representative studies with deaf subjects.

Research with Hearing Children

Recognition of Antecedents of Reference Words

Chomsky (1969) evaluated 40 hearing children between the ages of 5 and 10 on their ability to determine whether certain pronouns in a story referred to definite antecedents or to ambiguous antecedents. At approximately 5.5 years, her subjects were able to distinguish between definite and ambiguous antecedents. Younger subjects could not. From these results, she concluded that hearing children must acquire an understanding of pronoun reference between the ages of 5 and 6.

Research with Deaf Children

Production of Reference Words

Quigley (1969) elicited 550 writing samples from 135 deaf students between 10 and 19 years of age. An examination of these samples revealed recurring omissions of anaphoric words in two situations.

In one situation, a student would write two sentence conjoined by and such as “John threw the ball, and Mary dropped.” when she would have meant to say, “John threw the ball, and Mary dropped it.” or “John threw the ball, and Mary dropped the ball.” Quigley invented the abbreviated term object-object deletion to identify this phenomenon because when the direct objects of both sentences referred to the same entity, the second object was often dropped.

In another situation, a student would write similar conjoined sentences such as “The boy saw turtles, and ate the fish.” when he would have meant to say, “The boy saw turtles and they ate the fish.” or “The boy saw turtles and the turtles ate the fish.” Quigley named this phenomenon object-subject deletion to signify that when the direct object of the first sentence was identical to the subject of the second sentence, the subject of the second sentence might be dropped.

In order to examine these findings further, Wilbur, Quigley, and Montanelli (1975) conducted a systematic study of 480 profoundly deaf students between the ages of 10 and 18. In one task, the subjects were presented with two pictures, then asked to write a sentence about each picture and then join the sentences with and. In a second task, the subjects were provided with pairs of written sentences and asked to rewrite them while joining them with and. The results partially corroborated the Quigley (1969) writing samples in that the Wilbur et al. subjects produced sentences with object-subject deletion roughly less than half the time, but that they wrote sentences with object-object deletion much less frequently.

Peterson (1996) studied story-writing samples of 20 severely-to-profoundly deaf high schools students ranging in from 15 to 17 years in age. She showed her subjects a wordless picture book as a writing stimulus and asked them to write about the story. Peterson’s observation was that her deaf subjects overused nouns in their stories for the purpose of maintaining reference to a character while a hearing child might have used more pronouns.

Guided Practice Exercises

Below are offered some guided practice exercises with reference words and their antecedents.

Identifying Antecedents of Reference Words

Directions: In the following two paragraphs, some (not all) of the reference words are emphasized. Determine their antecedents. Then, compare your choice with the answers given under the respective paragraphs.

The Massive Exodus from East Germany:
After the Soviet Union established communism in East Germany, they1 took over banks, farms, and industries and forced people to work for low wages. In response to these difficult conditions2, hundreds of thousands of East German citizens fled to the West3 to live. Soon, fewer people were working in East German factories, banks, farms, and industries. Then on 26 May 1952, in order to stop this exodus4, East Germany established a tight security system5 along its frontier with West Germany: Starting at the Baltic Sea in the north and extending to the western tip of Czechoslovakia in the south, they6 constructed minefields, barbed wire, and watchtowers with guards. These measures7 effectively prevented most East Germans from crossing the frontier to the West.

  1. they refers to the Soviet Union.
  2. these difficult conditions refers to the sentence they [the Soviet Union] took over banks, farms, and industries and forced people to work for low wages.
  3. the West refers to West Germany.
  4. this exodus refers to the sentence ...hundreds of thousands of East German citizens fled to the West to live.
  5. security system refers to minefields, barbed wire, and watchtowers with guards.
  6. they refers to the East German Government.
  7. These measures refers to minefields, barbed wire, and watchtowers with guards
  8. .

The Berlin Wall:
However, within the city of Berlin, there was no such security system1. People were still able to pass freely from East to West2—and they did3. Many East Germans made their way to Berlin; then, they crossed over to the West, and never returned. Finally, on 13 August 1961, the East German Government built a huge 27-mile wall of concrete and barbed wire through the center of the city4, dividing the Soviet sector from the other three5. Now nobody could escape to the West; East Germans were truly prisoners of their own country6. The Berlin Wall7 separated families and ruined peoples’8 lives.

  1. no such security system refers to a security system like the minefields, barbed wire, and watchtowers with guards along the East-German–West-German frontier. Note that the words no such do not refer directly to the East-West German frontier security system; rather, they refer to a hypothetical security system that would resemble the one on the East-West German frontier.
  2. from East to West refers to from East Germany to West Germany.
  3. did refers to the phrase pass(ed) freely from East to West.
  4. the city refers to Berlin.
  5. the other three refers to the word sectors
  6. their own country refers to East Germany
  7. The Berlin Wall refers to the huge 27-mile wall of concrete and barbed wire right through the middle of the city.
  8. peoples’ refers to both East Germans’ and West Germans’
  9. .

Identifying Anaphoric, Cataphoric, and Exophoric Words

Directions: The emphasized reference words in the two paragraphs below are either anaphoric (referring upward to previously mentioned words), cataphoric (referring downward to subsequent words), or exophoric (referring to something outside the text). Identify whether the reference words are anaphoric, cataphoric, or exophoric. Then, compare your answers with the answers below the paragraph. Do both paragraphs.

The Second Exodus:
For many years, East German people devised creative ways1 to sneak out of East Germany. Some people dug tunnels; others2 tried crashing through checkpoints with cars, trucks, or busses; still others3 flew out in small airplanes or balloons. One woman tied herself to the bottom of a car and passed through a checkpoint unnoticed. And one family made fake Russian uniforms for themselves4; then, they pretended to be Russian soldiers and simply drove through a checkpoint. Some desperate people tried scrambling over a barbed-wire fence or a wall. These people5 were often shot.

  1. creative ways is cataphoric—referring downward to digging tunnels, crashing through checkpoints, flying out, tying oneself to the bottom of a car, sewing fake Russian uniforms, and scrambling over a fence or a wall.
  2. others is anaphoric—referring upward to people
  3. still others is anaphoric—referring upward to people.
  4. themselves is anaphoric—referring upward to family.
  5. these people is anaphoric—referring upward to desperate people
  6. .

Relationships Improve between East and West Germany:
On 21 December 1972, the Basic Treaty1 was signed by East and West Germany, and relations between the two countries2 started to improve. During the next two decades, they began to cooperate with each other3 by sharing cultural and commercial activities4 such as arts exchange programs and joint business ventures. However, East Germans were still dissatisfied, for their5 living standard was lower than that6 of West Germany. Their7 industries produced inferior goods, and their country8 was polluted from inferior mining methods and careless industrial waste.

  1. the Basic Treaty is exophoric—referring out of the text to the de facto recognition of East Germany by the West German government. This is not mentioned anywhere in the text because the reader is assumed to know what it is, making it exophoric. Note also the use of exophoric the, indicating that only one example of this item exists in the time and place mentioned and that the reader most likely knows about it.
  2. the two countries is anaphoric—referring upward to East and West. Germany]
  3. each other is anaphoric—referring upward to East and West Germany.
  4. activities is cataphoric—referring downward to arts exchange programs and joint business ventures.
  5. their is anaphoric—referring upward to East Germany’s.
  6. that is anaphoric—referring upward to living standard.
  7. Their is anaphoric—referring upward to East Germans’.
  8. their country is anaphoric—referring upward to East Germany

Identifying Reference Words

Directions: In the two paragraphs below, certain single words and groups of words are emphasized. Read through the paragraphs and determine which of the emphasized words are indeed reference words. Then compare your answer with the author's answer. Do not worry if your answers disagree with the author's answers, for there is occasionally some flexibility depending on individual points of view.

The Reunification of Germany:
Because of the untenable situation1 in their country2, East Germans became increasingly frustrated. Suddenly in 1989, East Germans who3 took vacations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia discovered that these countries4 would allow them5 to go into West Germany. But then, the East German government tried to prevent6 people from going into those countries7. East Germans became even more frustrated and angry. People in many East German cities began to mount massive demonstrations8. They insisted on an end9 to their communist government. Most of all, they demanded freedom to travel10. The demonstrations11 continued and became increasingly more intense.

  1. untenable situation [yes—a reference word referring to . . .their living standard was lower than that of West Germany. Their industries produced inferior goods, and their country was polluted from inferior mining methods and careless industrial waste, mentioned in the previous paragraph]
  2. their country [yes—a reference word referring to East Germany]
  3. who [yes—a reference word referring to East Germans]
  4. these countries [yes—a reference word referring to Hungary and Czechoslovakia]
  5. them [yes—a reference word referring to East Germans]
  6. prevent [no—not a reference word]
  7. those countries [yes—a reference word referring to Hungary and Czechoslovakia]
  8. massive demonstrations [no—not a reference word]
  9. an end [no—not a reference word]
  10. freedom to travel [no—not a reference word]
  11. The demonstrations [yes—a reference word referring back to the first instance of the word demonstrations. Note the use of anaphoric the to indicate that the word has been mentioned previously.

Before long1, both the East German Government and the Soviet Union realized that2 they could no longer contain a whole country3 full of angry, frustrated people. And on 9 November 1989, the borders in the city of Berlin were opened. Hundreds of thousands of excited East Germans poured through the checkpoints causing massive traffic jams4. West Germans rushed into the streets to welcome them with hugs and champagne5. Television cameras rushed to the scene6 to broadcast their7 joy to the world. Soon, every checkpoint in East Germany was opened, and people8 flooded into West Germany. The East German people were finally free. And only one year later, on 3 October 1990, the German Democratic Republic ceased to exist, having been officially reunited with the Federal Republic of Germany into a single country called Germany

  1. Before long [no—not a reference word]
  2. that [no—not a reference word]
  3. a whole country [indirectly yes—referring literally to a hypothetical country, but by inference to East Germany]
  4. massive traffic jams [no—not a reference word]
  5. hugs and champaign [no—not a reference word]
  6. the scene [yes—a reference word referring to the checkpoints]
  7. their [yes—a reference word referring to both East Germans and West Germans]
  8. people [yes—a reference word referring to East Germans]

Action Steps

Below are presented some action steps (in addition to the previous guided practice exercises) that you can use to improve your students’ ability to identify relationships between reference words in a text and their antecedents.

Action Step 1

1. Develop your ability to scan a text and recognize reference words and their antecedents. In this way, you have the option of knowing in advance where students might have trouble. You will also be able to intervene more successfully if necessary. To this end, make a note of unusual reference words as you come across them. This will help you to become sensitive to them. For your convenience, some frequently encountered reference words are included below:

Pronoun Reference Words

Examples of common pronoun reference words are (1) The personal pronouns I, me, you, he, him, she, her, we, us, they, them, mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs; (2) The demonstrative pronouns this, that, these, those; (3) The relative pronouns that, which, whose; (4) The reciprocal pronouns each other, one another; and (5) The reflexive pronouns myself, yourself, yourselves, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves.

General Reference Words

The following are examples of general noun reference words that could refer to large portions of text: assumption, belief, concept, effect, event, hypotheses, idea, interpretation, matter, notion, opinion, problem, process, result, rule, situation, specialization, theory, this task, viewpoint, and many others. For extensive lists of reference words like these, see Francis, (1968).

Oblique Reference Words

The following are examples of words that would refer not directly to an antecedent, rather to a variant or some kind of restatement of the antecedent: such a, likewise, similarly, just the opposite, so do I, the same kind, a similar one, and others.

Exophoric Words

Commonly used exophoric words are the following: this country, this nation, this year, next year, our government, our president, today, and others.

Action Step 2

Vary the times when you introduce reference words for a reading assignment. Sometimes work on them before discussing the reading, sometimes during the reading, and sometimes afterwards. There is no optimal time, for some students will need to understand the story before they can tackle the reference words; others will want to use the reference words as an aid to understanding the story. By introducing reference words at different times during a lesson, you have a better chance of appealing to the various learning styles of your students.

Action Step 3

Create reading assignments like the following where students have the opportunity to find antecedents to reference word on their own and then bring them to class for discussion. This same kind of assignment also makes an excellent classroom group project.

Sample Reading Assignment

For many years, East German people devised creative ways1 to sneak out of East Germany. Some people dug tunnels; others2 tried crashing through checkpoints with cars, trucks, or busses; still others3 flew out in small airplanes or balloons. One woman tied herself to the bottom of a car and passed through a checkpoint unnoticed. And one family sewed fake Russian uniforms for themselves4; then, they pretended to be Russian soldiers and simply drove through a checkpoint. Some reckless people tried scrambling over a barbed-wire fence or a wall. These people5 were often shot

Directions: Indicate what the following words refer to.

  1. creative ways:
  2. others:
  3. still others:
  4. themselves:
  5. These people:

Action Step 4

Copy a reading text on an overhead transparency to project on a white board; then, ask students to find all the reference words that refer to a single antecedent. Then, connect the reference words with a line on the transparency to make a visual presentation of how a single thread of cohesion can permeate a text. In the example below, the single antecedent is the first word in the paragraph—East Germans—and thirteen reference words throughout the text refer to it in some way.

East Germans became increasingly frustrated. In 1989, (Those) who took vacations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia discovered that these countries would allow (them) to go into West Germany. Then, the East German government tried to prevent (East Germans) from going into those countries. (They) became even more frustrated and angry. (People) in many East German cities began to mount massive demonstrations. (They) insisted on an end to (their) communist government. Most of all, (they) demanded freedom to travel. The demonstrations continued and became increasingly more intense.

Before long, both the East German government and the Soviet Union realized that they could no longer contain a whole country full of (angry frustrated people). On 9 November 1989, the borders in the city of Berlin were opened. Hundreds of thousands of (excited East Germans) poured through the checkpoints causing massive traffic jams. West Germans rushed into the streets to welcome (them) with hugs and champagne. Television cameras rushed to the scene to broadcast their joy to the world. Soon, every checkpoint in East Germany was opened, and (people) flooded into West Germany. (The East German people) were finally free. One year later, On 3 October 1990, the German Democratic Republic ceased to exist, having been officially reunited with the Federal Republic of Germany into a single country called Germany

Action Step 5

Ask students (singly or in teams) to assemble their own lists of reference words from a reading assignment, from a newspaper article or from another source. Let them share the reference words with each other during a class meeting.

Conclusion

Ultimately, your most powerful action step is that of recognizing reference words and their antecedents and knowing that students may misunderstand them. In this way, you have the option of deciding how to intervene and whether to intervene at all .

References

Chomsky, C. (1969). The acquisition of syntax in children from 5 to 10. Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press

Francis , G. (1986). Anaphoric nouns. Birmingham: English Language Research University of Birmingham

Peterson, D. (1996) Nominalization and pronominalization in written narratives by deaf high school students. Master’s thesis. University of Washington

Quigley, S.P. (1969) The influence of fingerspelling on the development of language, communication, and educational achievement in deaf children. Institute for Research on Exceptional Children: University of Illinois

Wilbur, R., Quigley, S.P., and Montanelli, D. (1975) “Conjoined structures in the language of deaf students”. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 2(18) 319-335