Reference is a notion used in several linguistic subdisciplines. It can be conceived as a property of the meanings of words and expressions, which connects the mental concepts that speakers can entertain with specific mind-external entities that these concepts can describe. The notion of reference is tightly interwoven with the notions of sense and denotation and plays a role in the study of various communication disorders. This entry discusses technical terms related to reference, key notions, problems that can arise in patients with communication disorders, and some examples.

Key Notions

The technical term reference is closely connected to the terms referent, act of reference, referential expressions, and refer to. To understand how these terms are related and used, consider the place name Rome. English speakers generally ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles