Definition of cataphora in English:



mass nounGrammar
  • The use of a word or phrase that refers to or stands for a later word or phrase (e.g. the pronoun he in he may be approaching 37, but Jeff has no plans to retire from the sport yet).

    Compare with anaphora
    • ‘The notion of cataphora that I have adopted is a broad one, which encompasses cataphores au sens large.’
    • ‘Cataphora is permitted in certain constructions involving subordinate clauses, although it is not in compound or paratactic ones’
    • ‘This kind of usage, common in journalism, is perfectly acceptable, despite the fact that inter-sentential cataphora is often ignored by grammarians.’


1970s: from cata- on the pattern of anaphora.