Pragmatics

Cataphora and difference with anaphora with illustration

Cataphora

In linguistics, it is called a cataphor or cataphoric reference to the anticipation of an idea or a sentence element that, later on, will appear or develop in its fullness. It is often considered as a type of deixis (that is, the use of language to indicate something), and it is usually studied together with the anaphora or anaphoric reference, which consists of a similar relationship, but with an antecedent, that is, something said previously. Together, cataphora and anaphora, constitute mechanisms to provide cohesion to the text. Cataphora and difference with anaphora

The term cataphora comes from the Greek voices kata (“down”) and pherein (“carry”), and is commonly used in linguistic studies of the text. They can occur in the text from different types of words: pronouns, adverbs, or even sets of them, both in written and oral language and in both formal and informal. Cataphora and difference with anaphora

Differences between cataphora and anaphora

To recognize the cataphor or the anaphora, it is enough to look at where they ask us to look for the missing information: if it promises us that the information will come later, it is a cataphor; while if the information we must rescue it from what has been said previously, we are facing an anaphora.

For example: in the sentence “Mary did not do the homework and that is why she did not want to come”, the pronoun “that” refers to everything previously said, that is, to the fact that “Mary did not do the homework”, which it was said at the beginning of the sentence. So this is an anaphoric reference.

On the other hand, in the sentence “That night I made two friends, who are Pedro and Martín”, the noun phrase “two friends” gives us information that will be clarified or developed later since we will know who the two friends are towards the end. of prayer. Cataphora and difference with anaphora

Examples of Cataphora

n the following examples, cataphoras are bolded and their referents are italicized.

  1. Too scared to buy before they sell, some brokers aim for a trade.
  2. Once it landed safely, the helipad opened its doors.
  3. Because it receives so little rain, Death Valley is a desert.
  4. A few days before he left, Uncle Mike gave me a fancy gift.
  5. Finding the right gadget was a hassle. I finally settled with a digital camera.
  6. Because she studied really hard, Gretchen made nice grade in her exams
  7. I told my father that I couldn’t help him.”
    (the pronoun “him” anticipates the arrival of the noun phrase “my father”)
  8. “At that table, there are new customers, a family with twin children.”
    (the phrase “new customers” refers to what follows in the sentence)
  9. “Borges was introduced to me twice: once at his home and once at a theater.”
    (the phrase “twice” introduces or prepares the arrival of the information that follows)
  10. “Stand there, next to the statue.”
    (the pronoun “there” advances the location “next to the statue”)
  11. “I like that we are like this, totally alone.”
    (the pronoun “thus” anticipates the way the speaker likes to be)
  12. “I’m going to give you a book, an anthology of poems.”
    (The phrase “a book” advances “an anthology of poems” said later)

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