On the Motivations and Pragmatic Functions of Cataphora in Natural Conversation

  •  Jun Gao    
  •  Lijun Xin    


This paper examines the motivations and pragmatic functions of cataphora in natural conversations. It is found that cataphora is primarily motivated by the speaker and the hearer’s asymmetry of knowledge status about the referent. Other factors are also involved, such as interference, word search, and the tension between the principles of Quantity and Manner. In terms of pragmatic functions, cataphora is used for adding information, emphasis, evaluation, and backgrounding.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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