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What is an antecedent?

 

Definition
 

An antecedent is a word, phrase, or clause referred to endophorically by another expression which precedes or follows it.

Examples (English)
 
  • In the following construction, the boy is the antecedent of who:

  • The boy who pitched the game is worn out.
  • In the following construction, a towel is the antecedent of one:

  • If you need one, there’s a towel in the top drawer.
Sources
 

Crystal 1985 17

 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 14

 

Pei and Gaynor 1954 15

 

Mish 1991 89


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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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