In English grammar , cataphora is the use of a pronoun or other linguistic unit to refer ahead to another word in a sentence i. Adjective: cataphoric. The word that gets its meaning from a subsequent word or phrase is called a cataphor. The subsequent word or phrase is called the antecedent , referent , or head.

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The cataphora reverses the normal pattern of the pronoun referring back to a noun by first using the pronoun and then introducing the noun. The effect is that the reader is put into a state of suspense, because he does not initially know who or what the sentence is talking about. This gives the writer the opportunity to surprise the reader by associating the initial characterization with an unexpected noun.

Cataphora is a figure of speech or literary device in which a pronoun or pro-verb used initially in a sentence refers to an expression or subject which is used afterward. It is the opposite of anaphora , which places the pronoun or pro-verb later than the expression or subject in a sentence.

Cataphora is much less frequent across different languages than anaphora. Example 2 : After she was assigned a polite and respectful writer, the girl became less nervous about buying an essay.

Example 3 : Once it landed safely, the helicopter opened its doors. Cataphora can also be used in more formal language, or cross-linguistically, as in the following example:. Example 4 : This is what he believed: that all men were created equal. Although cataphora used with a pronoun or pro-verb prior to the subject in a sentence is fairly uncommon cross-linguistically across different languages , cataphora used as an antecedent which is an entire sentence is fairly common.

Since both anaphora and cataphora are types of endophora, it is useful to have an exact definition of this term for complete understanding of these terms. Endophora is an expression noun, pronoun, pro-verb, or verb which refers to something mentioned elsewhere in the same sentence. It can consist of two phrases joined together or two or more sentences.

If an expression is exophoric , then there is an unidentified pronoun within a sentence or phrase which is undefined. There is also a third subcategory of endophora, self-reference. Self-reference happens in both formal and natural languages, and is used when a sentence, idea, or even a formula refers to itself. This can occur through encoding or through direct referencing.

Self-reference, in addition to language, linguistics, research paper writing , and literary uses, is used in computer programming, philosophy, and even mathematics. Self-reference can often be paradoxical. Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions for consumers around the world.

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See services. Custom writing from scratch. Completely original—just for you. More info Learn more about us Blog Future writers Explore further. What is cataphora? Cataphora can also be used in more formal language, or cross-linguistically, as in the following example: Example 4 : This is what he believed: that all men were created equal.

Some examples are: I should have known it: The task is simply too difficult. Tested Daily Click to Verify. About The Author This post was written by Ultius. Company About Sitemap Legal. Terms Privacy Fair Use. Free Money For College! No thanks, I don't need a scholarship because I'm not a student. Past winner Name Samantha M. Thanks for filling that out. Check your inbox for an email about the scholarship and how to apply.

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Cataphora in English Grammar

In a narrower sense, anaphora is the use of an expression that depends specifically upon an antecedent expression and thus is contrasted with cataphora , which is the use of an expression that depends upon a postcedent expression. The anaphoric referring term is called an anaphor. For example, in the sentence Sally arrived, but nobody saw her , the pronoun her is an anaphor, referring back to the antecedent Sally. In the sentence Before her arrival, nobody saw Sally , the pronoun her refers forward to the postcedent Sally , so her is now a cataphor and an anaphor in the broader, but not the narrower, sense. Usually, an anaphoric expression is a proform or some other kind of deictic contextually-dependent expression. Anaphora is an important concept for different reasons and on different levels: first, anaphora indicates how discourse is constructed and maintained; second, anaphora binds different syntactical elements together at the level of the sentence; third, anaphora presents a challenge to natural language processing in computational linguistics , since the identification of the reference can be difficult; and fourth, anaphora partially reveals how language is understood and processed, which is relevant to fields of linguistics interested in cognitive psychology. In a broad sense, it denotes the act of referring.


What are anaphoric and cataphoric references? (And how to teach them)

What a mouthful! In short, anaphoric and cataphoric references are emphatic styles of sentence structure taught at C1 — C2 level. They are used to insert emphasis into the first clause of a statement. Here are two examples:. The subject in the second clause is unspecified.

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