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What is zero anaphora?



Zero anaphora is the use of a gap, in a phrase or clause, that has an anaphoric function similar to a pro-form.


It is often described as “referring back” to an expression that supplies the information necessary for interpreting the gap.

Examples (English)
  • There are two roads to eternity , a straight and narrow, and a broad and crooked.

    In this sentence, the gaps in a straight and narrow [gap], and a broad and crooked [gap] have a zero anaphoric relationship to two roads to eternity.

      Zero anaphora is a kind of

    Hartmann and Stork 1972 258–259


    Crystal 1985 339

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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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