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SYNTAX: a binary relation between nodes in a tree structure, which is defined as in (i):

(i) Node A precedes node B iff A is to the left of B and A does not 
     dominate B and B does not dominate A.
EXAMPLE: in (ii) node B precedes nodes C, D and E, as well as the terminal nodes d and e. B does not precede b, since it dominates b. C, D and E do not precede B, since they are to the right of B. Also, A does not precede any of the other nodes since it dominates all of them.
(ii)		A
 	       / \
	      /   \
	     B     C
             |    / \
	     |	 D   E
             |   |   |
             b 	 d   e
Node D immediately precedes node E: there is no intervening node between D and E, i.e. there is no node X such that X is preceded by D and precedes E. Node B precedes E, but does not immediately precede it, since there is an intervening node: D, which precedes E and is preceded by B. Node C does not count as an intervening node between B and E: although it is preceded by B, it doesn't precede E, since it dominates it. Precedence (or linear order of constituents) has been believed to play a role in the conditions on coreference. This view has now largely been abandonned.
LIT. Haegeman, L. (1991)
Radford, A. (1988)
Reinhart, T. (1976)
Williams, E. (1994)
Williams, E. (1994)