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Cataphora

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Cataphora

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Cataphora occurs where a word used is not initially clear and is explained by a subsequent word or words.

Example

If you like it, you can stroke the puppy.

This is John. He's the teacher you wanted to meet.

Discussion

Cataphora is a form of forward reference where vital information is initially omitted, only to be added in subsequent text.

When something is started but not completed, we feel the tension of the Zeigarnik effect as we seek closure. The inadequate information in the initial word thus causes increased attention.

Classification: Omission.

See also

Zeigarnik effect, Closure principle, Attention principle

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