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What is zero anaphora?

 

Definition
 

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.

    Generic
      Zero anaphora is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    Hartmann and Stork 1972 258–259

     

    Crystal 1985 339


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