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Cataphora

Cataphora

[kuh-taf-er-uh]
In linguistics, cataphora is used to describe an expression that co-refers with a later expression in the discourse. That is to say, the earlier expression refers to or describes a forward expression. For example, given: "Finding the right gadget was a real hassle. I finally settled with a digital camera." The "right gadget" is an instance of cataphora because it refers to "a digital camera," an object that hasn't been mentioned in the discourse prior to that point. Cataphora is a type of endophora and it is the opposite of anaphora, a reference forward as opposed to backward in the discourse.

Cataphora is often used for rhetorical effect. It can build suspense and provide a description. For example:

* He's the biggest slob I know. He's really stupid. He's so cruel. He's my boyfriend, Steve.

Cataphora is sometimes used in subordinate clauses within a sentence. For example:

* If you want some, here's some parmesan cheese.
* After he had received his orders, the soldier left the barracks.

Cataphora is often used to provide a description in advance of a name. For examples:

* A little girl, Jessica, was playing on the swings.

* If you want them, there are cookies in the kitchen.

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