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What is anaphora?



Anaphora is coreference of one expression with its antecedent. The antecedent provides the information necessary for the expression’s interpretation.


This is often understood as an expression “referring” back to the antecedent.


The term anaphora is also sometimes used to include both anaphora, as defined here, and cataphora. When it is used that way, it becomes synonymous with endophora.

Example (English)
  • In the following sequence, the relationship of the pronoun he to the noun phrase a well-dressed man is an example of anaphora:

  • A well-dressed man was speaking; he had a foreign accent.
  • Kind
      Here is a kind of anaphora:
      Anaphora is a kind of

    Crystal 1980 25–26


    Lyons 1977b 659


    Pei and Gaynor 1954 13


    Hartmann and Stork 1972 13


    Mish 1991 83

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    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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