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Endophoric Reference

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English

Endophora is the use of a word or phrase in a text to refer to something within the immediate text. Endophora is the opposite of exophora (a word/phrase referring to something outside of the text).

Endophoric reference meaning

An endophoric reference is a reference in a text to something else inside the text. For example:

If you want one, I've left some cupcakes on the counter.

In this example, 'one' is being used to refer to something later in the sentence, ‘cupcakes.’ We as readers fully understand the context because it is provided in the discourse. This contrasts with exophora, which leaves the readers without full context as to what is being referenced.

Endophoric Reference Image of man looking through book pages StudySmarterEndophoric references refer to things inside the text (Pixabay)

Types of endophoric reference

There are two primary types of endophora:

Anaphora and cataphora.

Let's look at each of these in more detail!

Anaphoric reference

An anaphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned earlier in the text or discourse.

Mary went out for drinks. She returned at 7 o'clock.

Here, the anaphoric reference is 'She'. As it is obvious that the pronoun 'she' refers to Mary, there was no need to repeat her name in the following sentence.

What is anaphora?

Linguistically, anaphora refers to the use of an expression that relies on another antecedent expression. In other words, it is an expression that can only be contextually understood by a prior expression (antecedent) in the text or discourse. Typically, an anaphor is a proform or used deictically. This means that it is often used to avoid repetition where the context is clear.

In the example above, the sentence 'She returned at 7 o'clock’ can only be understood when accompanied by the antecedent expression that came before it: 'Mary went out for drinks.'

  • The anaphoric term/expression 'She', is called an anaphor.
  • The antecedent term/expression 'Mary', was necessary for the anaphoric reference to occur.

Endophoric reference examples - anaphora

When I looked at the dog, it barked at me and ran off.

'Dog' is the antecedent, 'it' is the anaphor.

John lied, and that upset his family.

John is the antecedent, 'that' is the anaphor. Without the first phrase 'John lied', the following phrase cannot be understood.

I was starving, and so was Sarah.

'I' is the antecedent, 'so' is the anaphor because the context of the first phrase is needed to understand the second phrase.

Cataphoric reference

A cataphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned later in the text/discourse.

The first example of an anaphoric reference given earlier was ‘Mary went out for drinks. She returned at 7 o'clock.’ The antecedent was Mary, and the anaphor was She.

Now, take this example:

Before she returned at 7 o'clock, Mary went out for drinks.

In this sentence, the pronoun ‘she’ is still referring to Mary, the subject. However, as 'she' is referencing the subject which is mentioned later in the sentence, ‘she’ is a cataphor.

By simply rearranging the sentence, the anaphor 'she' has become a cataphor, and the antecedent 'Mary' has now become the postcedent, as it is now after the pro-form (a word that substitutes another word).

What is cataphora?

Linguistically, cataphora is the use of an expression that relies on another postcedent expression to be contextually understood. In other words, cataphora is an expression that can only be understood when accompanied by another expression in the text/discourse that stands after it.

Endophoric reference examples - cataphora

After she was sure of herself, the gymnast approached the pole.

'She' is the cataphor and 'gymnast' is the postcedent. We do not know who ‘she’ is until the second half of the sentence.

If they would like some, there are snacks in the next room.

'Some' is the cataphor, 'snacks' is the postcedent.

As he entered the room, the man caught everyone's attention.

'He' is the cataphor, 'man' is the postcedent.

To confirm whether a word or phrase is a cataphoric reference, ask yourself whether the word/phrase can be understood without the context of a postcedent. If it can, it is not a cataphore. If it cannot be fully understood without the additional context of a postcedent, then it is indeed a cataphor.

In literature, a cataphoric reference does not have to be a sentence with a cataphor and a postcedent. It could be an idea foreshadowed early on in the text that is then made clear by a revelation later in the text.

Study tip: The antecedent comes before the anaphor and the postcedent comes after the cataphor.

Endophoric Reference - Key takeaways

  • Endophora is the opposite of exophora. Endophora is the use of a word/phrase to refer to something within the immediate text.

  • An endophoric reference is a reference within a text to something inside the text.

  • There are two primary types of endophora: anaphora, cataphora.

  • An anaphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase makes reference to a thing or idea mentioned earlier in the text/discourse.

  • A cataphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase makes reference to a thing or idea mentioned later in the text/discourse.

Endophoric Reference

An endophoric reference is a reference within a text to something inside the text.

An exophoric reference is a reference in a text to something outside of the text, while an endophoric reference is a reference in a text to something inside the text.

An anaphoric reference is when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned earlier in the text/discourse.

A cataphoric reference is when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned later in the text/discourse.

The two types of endophoric references are: anaphora and cataphora.

Final Endophoric Reference Quiz

Question

_______ is the use of a word/phrase to refer to something inside of the immediate text. 


Show answer

Answer

Endophora

Show question

Question

Why is this not an example of endophora? ‘I managed to pick one up a few hours ago, it was the last one left.’

Show answer

Answer

This isn’t an example of endophora because ‘one’ is being used to refer to something that isn’t explained in the sentence.

Show question

Question

Anaphora, cataphora, and deixis are the three types of endophora.

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Answer

False

Show question

Question

Which of these sentences is an endophoric reference and why?


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Answer

I found it on your doorstep.

Show question

Question

Is this an example of exophora or endophora? 


She is still here. Jane just won’t leave.


Show answer

Answer

It is endophora, as ‘she’ refers to ‘Jane’, which is another word within the text/sentence.

Show question

Question

Is this sentence an example of anaphora, or cataphora? 


I’ve just made some dinner if you’d like some.

Show answer

Answer

Anaphora, as the antecedent is ‘dinner’ and ‘some’ is the anaphor.

Show question

Question

_______  is an expression that can only be contextually understood in the text/discourse that occurred before it. 

Show answer

Answer

Anaphora

Show question

Question

In this example, what literary device is being used? ‘She knew you would be upset, but Anne never intended to hurt you.’


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Answer

Anaphora

Show question

Question

Is this sentence an endophora or exophora? ‘I’m coming to London next week, are you still going to be there?’

Show answer

Answer

It is an example of endophora. ‘London’ provides the context needed to understand what ‘there’ refers to. 

Show question

Question

In this example, what is the italicised word an example of? ‘If you didn’t tell her, Jane would have never known.’


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Answer

Cataphor

Show question

Question

While ______ is when a reference is made to something appearing later in the text, _______ is when a reference is made to something appearing earlier in the text.

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Answer

cataphora, anaphora

Show question

Question

Is this sentence an example of exophora or endophora? ‘Maria couldn’t get over what the President had said.’

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Answer

It’s an example of exophora because ‘the President’ has not been referred to within the text/sentence.

Show question

Question

In this example, what is the italicised word an example of? ‘Meet me on the bridge, it is the one with the large sign on it.’


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Answer

Anaphor

Show question

Question

An exophoric reference is a reference within a text to something ______ of the text, while an endophoric reference is a reference within a text to something ________ the text. 

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Answer

outside; inside

Show question

Question

If a word/phrase can be understood without the context of a postcedent, can it be considered a cataphor? 

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Answer

No, in order for a word/phrase to be considered a cataphor it must be followed by a postcedent.

Show question

Question

What is the opposite of endophora?

Show answer

Answer

Exophora

Show question

Question

What are the two types of endophoric references?

Show answer

Answer

Anaphora and cataphora

Show question

Question

Fill in the blank:


An anaphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned ______ in the text or discourse.

Show answer

Answer

earlier

Show question

Question

Fill in the blank:


A cataphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase references a thing or idea mentioned _____ in the text/discourse.

Show answer

Answer

later

Show question

Question

Is the following sentence an example of an anaphoric or cataphoric reference?


Before she returned at 7 o'clock, Mary went out for drinks.

Show answer

Answer

Cataphoric reference

Show question

Question

Is the following sentence an example of an anaphoric or cataphoric reference?


Mary went out for drinks. She returned at 7 o'clock.

Show answer

Answer

Anaphoric reference

Show question

Question

Fill in the blank:


Anaphora is often used to avoid _________.

Show answer

Answer

repetition

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Question

True or false?


In literature, a cataphoric reference has to be a sentence with a cataphor and a postcedent.

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Answer

False

Show question

Question

In the following sentence, which word is the antecedent?


John lied, and that upset his family.

Show answer

Answer

John

Show question

Question

In the following sentence, which word is the anaphor?


When I looked at the dog,  it barked at me and ran off.  

Show answer

Answer

it 

Show question

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