Glossary of Linguistic Terms



Anaphora is coreference of one expression with its antecedent. The antecedent provides the information necessary for the expression’s interpretation.

This is often understood as an expression “referring” back to the antecedent.


The term anaphora is also sometimes used to include both anaphora, as defined here, and cataphora. When it is used that way, it becomes synonymous with endophora.



In the following sequence, the relationship of the pronoun he to the noun phrase a well-dressed man is an example of anaphora:

  • A well-dressed man was speaking; he had a foreign accent.