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Anaphoric pronoun - a pronoun that refers to an antecedent Pronoun - a function word that is used in place of a noun or noun phrase

The use of a linguistic unit, such as a pronoun, to refer back to another unit, as the use of her to refer to Anne in the sentence Anne asked Edward to pass her the salt.

Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

11.1.1 Anaphoric Pronouns

Motivation of discourse phenomena: anaphoric pronouns. Pronouns are words that refer to objects in the text or situation in which they are uttered. We will focus on anaphoric pronoun s (pronouns that refer back to textual antecedents) and will mainly consider the personal pronouns ``he'', ``she'' and ``it''. Let's look at the following discourse with an anaphoric pronoun: ``A woman walks. She smokes.'' This discourse consists of two sentences. The second sentence contains the pronoun ``she'' which refers to the noun phrase ``a woman'' introduced by the first sentence. Let's try to translate this sentence into first-order logic, and let's try to do this in a systematic way. Recall from Chapter 1 that a sensible formula for the first sentence would be:

But what would be an appropriate first-order logic formula for the second sentence? One way to proceed is to translate the pronoun ``she'' as a free variable:

Now we can put together the translations of the two sentences together and get the following first-order formula for the entire discourse:

This formula is true in a model where there is an individual that has the properties of being a woman, walking, and smoking, and therefore correctly describes the meaning of our example discourse. However, note that some mysterious operations took hold of the existential quantifier when we put the single translations of the two sentences together. After analysing the first sentence, the scope of the existential quantifier was restricted to

But its scope expanded after integrating the second sentence in order to include . In other words, we didn't construct this representation in a systematic way. he research demonstrated that there are differences in the processing of sentences containing anaphoric pronouns (e.g., After Mark arrived, he used the phone.) and cataphoric pronouns (e.g., After he arrived, Mark used the phone.). Reading time was measured on sentences containing 2 clauses; a pronoun appeared in 1 clause, and a proper name appeared in the other. The pronoun and name were either congruent or incongruent in gender. The results showed that anaphoric pronouns were resolved more rapidly than cataphoric pronouns when a coreferent interpretation was possible, but were resolved more slowly than cataphoric pronouns when a co-referent interpretation was not intended (i.e., in gender-incongruent conditions).

Cataphoric Pronouns------ A Comparison between English and Chinese While anaphoric pronouns have been a hot spot of discussion, little ink has been spoiled on cataphoric pronouns, which occur less frequently both in English and in Chinese. This paper aims at a tentative analysis of the cataphoric use of pronouns in English and Chinese to reveal certain similarities as well as differences between these two languages.

1. Introduction English possesses a fair number of pronouns that take their interpretation from some other part of the sentence or discourse, as in the following example, in which the anaphoric device is in boldface and the antecedent, from which it takes its interpretation, is italicized: (1) Two boys stood near a jewellers shop. They saw a man break its window and steal all the watches. They ran after him because they took him for a thief. As the example shows, the pronouns are co-referential with the preceding Lexical NPs, i.e. the antecedents. However, the antecedent is not always placed before, as in (2): (1) Near him, Dan saw a snake. The placement of antecedent suggests a difference between anaphoric pronouns (AP; as in (1)) and cataphoric ones (CP; as in (2)), that is, those that look back in the text for their interpretation and those that look forward for their interpretation. The pronoun makes too large a category to be explored in this paper. Therefore, my analysis will be within the scope of personal pronouns, including the nominative (they), accusative (him, her, it) and possesive (his, her, its) cases. Also, only the third person is involved here, because the first and second person forms are normally

interpreted exophorically, directly referring to the person or object in the situational context. Cataphoric pronouns are found both within and across sentences. For the former cases, they are subject to specific constrains; and for the latter, they contribute to certain stylistic features . These are the major aspects to be studied in the following parts, compared with the Chinese equivalents respectively. 2. Cataphoric pronouns on the sentence-level 2.1 Constraints in English 2.1.1 Cataphors in formal sentences ---- a GB account The fact that cataphoric reference occurs less frequently per se suggests that cataphor is under more strict constrains than anaphor. To find out what they are, first we will see some examples from Quirk (1985). (2) Before hei joined the Navy, Geraldi made peace with his family. (3) Melville well knew that to the men who sailed in heri, a whaleri was anything but a pleasure boat. (4) On hisi arrival in the capital, the Secretary of Statei declared support for the government. (5) As soon as hei heard the news, Johni passed out. Observing the above sentences proposed by Quirk, we could find something common . That is, all of them contain a subordinate clause where a pronoun appears and refers forward to the full lexical NP in the superordinate clause. It seems to us that a pronoun can be used as cataphor IFF it is contained in the subordinate clause, which is initially positoned. This condition is clarified by Quirk in his A Comprehensive Grammar of English as Cataphoric reference generally occurs only when the pronoun is at a lower level of structure than its antecedent. Here level refers to the levels of branching on the tree diagram, which can be simplified into a scale towards a lower position in the construction structure of the sentence: Sentence Clause Phrase Words Morphemes Therefore, while the antecedent is placed in the main clause, the pronoun he in (2) is a constituent in an adverbial clause, her in (3) a relative clause, and his in (4) appears as part of the complement of an initial prepositional phrase.

The condition of subordination well explains why co-refrentiality is valid in Jacqueline thinks she understands me but not in She thinks Jacqueline understands me. (She and he must be understood as referring to two different people.) While laying down the principle of subordination, Quirk points out that there are exceptions. In journalistic writing, in particular, there is occasional use of cataphoric pronouns which appear in non-inferior positions. (6) Failure of hisi latest attempt on the world record has caused heavy financial loss to the backers of daredevil balloonist Felix Champi. This simple sentence, in which the level of his is no lower than that of John, is clearly a derivation from Quirks account. Taling sentences like the following into consideration, we will find exceptions go far beyond journalistic writing. (7) His mother loved Johni/j.[1] Various proposals have been formulated to account for sentences like this, among which Reinharts c-command model is the most successful. It essentially states that, if the first branching node dominating the pronoun within the syntactic tree also dominates the full noun phrase, corefrence is ruled out. The c-command condition has since been incorporated as pricinple C into the Binding Conditions, which are at the core of the GB theory. The Binding conditions include three parts: A. An anaphor must be coreferential with a NP (in its local domain) that c-commands it; B. A pronoun must be disjoint with the NP (in its local domain) that c- commands it; C. A referential expression must be disjoint with all the NPs that c-command it. Among these three conditions, C is most closely associated with my discussion in this paper, from which two sub-principles can be deduced: a. If c-commands, they must be in disjoint reference; b. Ifdoes not c-commands, they may or may not be co-referential. (In fact, these two are two sides of the coin, in a complementary distribution to each other. The optionality of b which invloves pragmatic factors will not be covered in this paper that is intended for a general syntactic framework.) Now, with the syntactic conditons, we can probably explain the cataphoric reference in situations other than subordination. Referring back to example (7), I will give another sentence below with similar construction for comparison. (7) Hei loved Johnj.

(7) Hisi mother loved Johni/j. By intuition we can figure out that in (7) he and John cannot refer to the same individual. To achieve co-refrentiality, it should be revised as He loved himself. Or John loved himself, because the reflexive pronoun, typical of the anaphor, must be bound by its antecedent. (See condition A.) The following tree diagrams are sketched out to reveal their respective syntactic structures. Hei loved Johnj. Hisi mother loved Johni/j. The two NPs in the sentence are circled to foreground their positions in reference to each other. The tree diagram for (7) shows that the NP he c-commands the VP node and its inferior nodes, thus c-commanding the NP John. This relationship of commanding accounts for the disjoint refrence between two NPs. On the contrary, the NP his of example (7) c-commands nothing but its neighboring node N. In other words, his does not c-command John; this relationship of non-commanding brings his and John to a same refrence. The criterion of c-commanding provides an easy interpretation for complex sentences in which the subordinate clause is regarded as an adverbial, because adverial, as shown below, does not c-command the node of the lexical NP. 2.1.2 NP tags ------ a functional analysis While the binding conditons account for the cataphoric reading from a syntactic perspective, they fail to interprete the cataphoric use of pronouns in some syntactically informal circumstances. (8) Theyi are good, these peachesi. (9) I know themi, meni. (10) I wouldnt trust himi for a moment, that ladi. It is easy to claim co-refrence between pronouns and lexical NPs in these cases, where an amplificatory NP tag is added to the end of a sentence, repeating and clarifying the meaning of a pronoun within it. This construction, occurring frequently, is considered as sub-standard. Even more familiar are cases where the operator is included in the NP tag. (11) Sheis a lovely girl, is Anni. (12) Hei likes a drink now and then, Jimi does. Then, what is the motivation behind? Halliday and Hasan (1976) labelled the pronoun here as substitute theme.

To illuastrate this point, first a brief review of the Theme-Rheme construction is in demand. As we all know, the usual discourse takes a linear order of theme-rheme pattern. Theme, of course, is the element, which serves as the point of departure of the message with which the clause is concerned. The remainder of the message, the part in which Theme is developed, is called in Prague school terminology Rheme. It is believed that the movement from Theme (or Given Information) to Rheme (or New Information) reveals the pattern of human thinking. And, in terms of tone unit, the new information that is reserved to the end is regarded as enf-focus where the nucleus lies. However, the direction from theme to rheme is not always be followed in our daily communication, especially when in a haste, in which utterances like They are good, these peaches. are common. This kind of reverse has its two-fold reasons. On the part of addressors, they tend to say first the newer information, which is more important, for the sake of communicative economy. While on the part of addressees, studies have shown that their attention is mostly focused on the beginning part of an utterance. This is why we tend to place initially what is more important. Coming back to cataphor, we may wonder what role it plays in the reverse process. As a substitute theme, as Halliday names it, the pronoun is required more by grammar than by refrence need, for it does not take any effort for us to recognize it as co-refrential with the NP tag placed finally. For this reason I propose that cataphors in such context be called grammaticalized cataphors. The previously cited example is labelled below with its formal version recovered. Theyre good, these peaches. Rheme theme Grammaticalized cataphor New given 2.2 Cataphoric pronouns in Chinese 2.2.1 Cataphors in written Chinese Like English, Chinese has a large number of pronouns either anaphoric or cataphoric. Examples are picked up from both modern and classical Chinese. (13) i, i. (<<.>>) (14) , i , i ( <<>>) (15) i , i .

(16) i, i . (<<.>>) The first two are cases for anaphor, while the rest, for cataphor. Obviously, both the two cataphoric pronouns are in the adcverbial clause, which, in the syntactic construction, do not c-command the lexical NPs in the principal clauses. Therefore, a first glance seems to indicate that the binding principles still hold as rules with Chinese. However, counter-examples arise, implying that a syntactic approach such as Chomskys GB theory is inadequate in explaining catophoric phenomena in Chinese. (17) i j. (Hisi mother loved Johni/j.) While his and John are likely to refer to the same individual, and absolutely have different refrences, although the former does not c-command the latter. Similar disjoint refrence occurs with the following sentences, which are the Chinese translations of some previously cited examples: (2) () i , j . (5) i , j . All this points to binding conditions as invalid with Chinese. Then, in what other ways are cataphoric refrences expressed in Chinese? The following sentences, as modified versions, provide some hints: (2)i , i (5)i , i . As are implied by these examples, in the places that are filled by cataphoric pronouns in English, Chinese relies on an empty to refer forward to the lexical NP. The empty, named zero cataphor and symbolized as , is widely used in both classical and modern Chinese. (18) i , i , i , i . (<<. . >>) (19) i , i : ? ! (<<.>>) (20) i , i .

(<<>>) (21) i ,, i . (Abid) Therefore, two conclusions can be drawn: A. Chomskys binding pricinple C, while valid in English, does not hold as a rule of grammar with repect to Chinese; B. Although there are some rare cases of cataphoric pronouns in Chinese, more often than not, zero cataphors are used to ensure a co-refrential reading. In the same places, English may have optional forms, either pronouns or zero-cataphors.1[2] 2.2.2. NP tags in oral Chinese Like English, Chinese also has NP tags in some informal circumstances. (22) : i ---- i? (<<>>) Sentences like this can be traced to the same causation as English ones. That is, to highlight what is more important, theme of the information structure is reserved in the end, while rheme moves to the initial position. Also like in English, the pronoun in the initial part of the sentence serves as a grammaticlized cataphor. As the word grammaticalized itself implies, the pronoun here has not only its cataphoric function, but also serves as an element to make the whole sentence well formed. Therefore, here arises an important difference between English and Chinese, that is, while the grammaticalized cataphor is essential in English sentences, it is not in Chinese, in which an empty often takes its place. (23) i i (24) i i (25) i i Apart from these examples that are correspondent to English ones analyzed in the preceding parts, there are further examples in Chinese in which the interpretation of refrence is strongly context-dependent. i i

i i Mainly involving pragmatic factors, such cases will not be covered in my paper. In all, as is pointed out by Yan Huang, Chomskys binding theories are inadequate in interpreting corefrence in Chinese, in which the situation is more complicated. 3. Cataphoric pronouns on the discourse-level After examining cataphors within sentences, we will extend our horizons beyound sentences to see what part cataphoric pronouns play in discourse. Halliday and Hasan points out that pronouns contribute a lot to establishing cohesive relations between sentences so as to bring about a continuity of meaning. However, pronouns in discouse not only function as cohesive devices but also display certain stylistic features. (26) Shei knows the trip will be useless, but what else can she do? Once a week the former mathematics professori, the mother of two school-age children, trudges through the sun-baked streets of Hebrat. Like every other woman who ventures into public in the western Afghan City, she wears a burqa, a shrowdlike, head-to-toe garment with only a gauze-covered slit enabling ger to see. To wear anything less would be a risk arrest or a beating by the Taliban militiamen who have ruled Heart for more than a yeat. At the gate of the university where she used to teach, she speaks to the bearded Islamic cleric who now rules the school. May I have my job back? She asks. No, he always replies, Its against the Koran. (Newsweek, Oct.14, 1996) In this paragraph, the pronoun she heading the whole text refers to the former mathematics professor that presents itself later. The cataphoric use of pronoun creates anticipation, pushing the reader to read on so as to find out who she is and what happens to her. As a rhetoric device, the cataphoric pronoun is widely used in novels, poems, journalistic reports and advertisement writings. The following passage is an advertisement for a certain brand of watch. (27) Pretty, isn't shei? But you wouldnt expect her to be tough and super-accurate, too. Until you know that beneath this feminine exterior beats a heart of pure Seiko Quartz. Even if you keep her in the jewel box, shell never need winding and always be right on time. This is just one of Seikos new generation of Ladies Quartz Watchesi. Seiko Ladies know what it means to be fashionable. Combined with personification, the initial pronoun she, repeatedly occurring, arouses suspense in the reader and thus leaves a foregrounded impression. (28) It was now lunchtime and theyi were all sitting under the double green fly of the dining tent pretending that nothing had happened.

Will you have time juice or lemon squash? Macomberi asked. Ill have a gimlet, Robert Willsoni told him. (The opening sentences from Hemingways The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber) In these sentences, the use of they, together with the use of definite articles, helps to sympathetically involve the reader as a participator in the story. As a usual technique of novels, it is called in medias res (in the known). Up to this point, I have given a general introduction of the use of cataphors and the stylistic effects they create in English discourse. In Chinese, in fact, the situation is more or less the same. The following example is taken from (29) i i (<>) The above examples indicate that both English and Chinese use cataphoric pronouns as a sort of rhetoric as well as cohesive device in discourse. This provides a good argument against s Hallidays view that pronouns make no contribution to textual cohesion . 4. Conclusion To wind up the loose ends, first I will give a brief review of the whole paper. Personal pronouns, including the nominative, accusative and possesive cases, are widely used in cross-refence. As contrast to anaphors, they are called cataphors when referring forward to certain lexical NPs. Cataphoric pronouns are found on both sentence and discourse level. The first part of my paper deals with cataphors within sentences, which are subclassified according to formality of the utterances. In formal sentences, cataphoric pronouns occur in quite limited circumstances, subject to Chomskys Binding Principles. While in familiar ones, they serve as grammaticalized cataphors and a part of rheme in the information structure, which is accouted for by functional grammar. The corresponding Chinese pronouns, while showing similarities, are different in many aspects, among which the frequent use of zero-cataphors is the most striking.

In the second part, I have studied cataphors across sentences. My study shows that in both English and Chinese, the co-refrential role of cataphoric pronouns contributes to cetain stylistic effects as well as textual cohesion. On the basis of the above analysis, it can be concluded that cataphoric refrences are never marginal cases for cross-refrence; instead, they are widely used in English and Chinese, constrained by certain conditions, syntactic or pragmatic. The use of cataphoric pronouns can be a strong support for language universality. Meanwhile, the aboundance of zerorefrence in Chinese points to Chinese as a parataxis language, as contrast to English, which is generalized as hypotaxis.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------[1] The marker i/j suggests his and John may or may not be co-refrential. This seems to be an evidence for Levinsons scale, though it is set up for anaphoric readings: Lexical NP > Pronoun > Disjoint-------co-refrential 1.Under some circumstances in English, zero cataphor can also occur as an alternative to pronoun. E.g. Before he joined the army, Gerald made peace with his family. Before joining the army, Gerald made peace with his family. Since this is a short paper, such cases will not be touched upon in length.

Definition: The use of a pronoun or other word or phrase to refer to someone or something outside the text. Adjective: exophoric.

Examples and Observations:

"That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. . . . "Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [Member of audience says, 'intellect.'] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's

rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?" (Sojourner Truth, "Ain't I a Woman?" 1851)

"In discourse in general, the third person pronouns may be either endophoric, referring to a noun phrase within the text, . . . or exophoric, referring to someone or something manifest to the participants from the situation or from their mutual knowledge ('Here he is,' for example, on seeing someone who both sender and receiver are expecting). . . . "In songs, 'you' . . . is multi-exophoric, as it may refer to many people in the actual and fictional situation. Take for example: Well in my heart you are my darling, At my gate you're welcome in, At my gate I'll meet you darling, If your love I could only win. (Traditional) This is the plea of one lover to another. . . . The receiver of the song is apparently overhearing one half of a dialogue. 'I' is the singer, and 'you' is her lover. Alternatively, and most frequently, especially away from live performance, the receiver projects herself into the persona of the addresser and hears the song as though it is her own words to her own lover. Alternatively, the listener may project herself into the persona of the singer's lover and hear the singer addressing her." (Guy Cook, The Discourse of Advertising. Routledge, 1992)

Definition: The use of a pronoun or other linguistic unit to refer ahead to another word in a sentence. Adjective: cataphoric. See also:

From the Greek, "backward" + "carry"

Examples and Observations:

"It was a country in which families routinely disappeared, trailing bad checks and repossession papers." (Joan Didion, "Slouching Toward Bethlehem")

"In 'The Pendulum Years,' his history of the 1960s, Bernard Levin writes of the 'collective insanity which seized Britain.'" (The London Evening Standard, Feb. 8, 1994, quoted by Katie Wales in Personal Pronouns in Present-Day English. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996)

A few weeks before he died, my father gave me an old cigar box filled with faded letters.

"If she were alive today, [Barbara] Tuchman would surely be preparing to pen fresh furious pages tonight, as the president seeks to rally his faltering domestic popularity with summonses of support." (Martin Kettle, "If He Resists the Siren Voice of Folly, Blair's Legacy Is Secure." The Guardian, June 25, 2005)

Too scared to buy before they sell, some homeowners aim for a trade.

"[S]ome prescriptive grammarians have gone so far as to condemn the practice [of cataphora], for reasons of clarity and, more blandly, 'good style.' So H.W. Fowler declares 'the pronoun should rarely precede its principal,' a view echoed by Gowers . . .. This has led to problems in terminology. The term antecedent, for example,is commonly used to refer to a coreferential NP in an anaphoric relation; there is no equivalent expression for the *postcedent NP, however. But by an odd semantic license, some grammarians, and of different schools of thought, use antecedent in this sense." (Katie Wales, Personal Pronouns in Present-Day English. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996)

anaphora (grammar)
Definition: A grammatical term for the use of a pronoun or other linguistic unit to refer back to another word or phrase. Adjective: anaphoric.


From the Greek, "carrying up or back"

Examples and Observations:

"If a man has talent and can't use it, he's failed." "If a man has talent and can't use it, he's failed." (Tom Wolfe)

"No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother." (Margaret Sanger)

"In contemporary linguistics [anaphora] is commonly used to refer to a relation between two linguistic elements, wherein the interpretation of one (called an anaphor) is in some way determined by the interpretation of the other (called an antecedent). Linguistic elements that can be employed as an anaphor include gaps (or empty categories), pronouns, reflexives, names, and descriptions. "In recent years, anaphora has not only become a central topic of research in linguistics, it has also attracted a growing amount of attention from philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and artificial intelligence workers. . . . In the first place anaphora represents one of the most complex phenomena of natural language. . . . Secondly, anaphora has for some time been regarded as one of the few 'extremely good probes' in furthering our understanding of the nature of the human mind/brain and thus in facilitating an answer to what Chomsky considers to be the fundamental problem of linguistics, namely the logical problem of language acquisition. . . . Thirdly anaphora . . . has provided a testing ground for a number of competing hypotheses concerning the relationship between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics in linguistic theory." (Yan Huang, Anaphora: A Cross-Linguistic Approach. Oxford Univ. Press, 2000)