::Anaphora (linguistics)


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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} In linguistics, anaphora ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}) is the use of an expression the interpretation of which depends upon another expression in context (its antecedent or postcedent). In a narrower sense, anaphora is the use of an expression which depends specifically upon an antecedent expression, and thus is contrasted with cataphora, which is the use of an expression which 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.<ref>Tognini-Bonelli (2001:70) writes that "an anaphor is a linguistic entity which indicates a referential tie to some other linguistic entity in the same text".</ref> Both anaphora and cataphora are species of endophora, referring to something mentioned elsewhere in a dialog or text.

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 tells some things about how language is understood and processed, which is relevant to fields of linguistics interested in cognitive psychology.<ref>The four ways just listed in which anaphora is important for linguistics are from McEnery (2000:3).</ref>

Anaphora (linguistics) sections
Intro   Nomenclature and examples    Anaphors in generative grammar    Complement anaphora    See also    Notes    Literature    External links   

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