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The use of a linguistic unit, such as a pronoun, to refer ahead to another unit, for example, the use of him to refer to John in the sentence Near him, John saw a snake.

cat′a·phor′ic (kăt′ə-fôr′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Grammar) grammar the use of a word such as a pronoun that has the same reference as a word used subsequently in the same discourse. Compare anaphora
[from cata- + Greek pherein to bear]
cataphoric adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kəˈtæf ər ə)

the use of a word or phrase to refer to a following word or group of words, as the use of the phrase as follows. Compare anaphora (def. 1)
(cata- + (ana) phora]
cat•a•phor•ic (ˌkæt əˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They've accepted the whole scheme." Here, the word "it" is cataphorically resolved by the entire next sentence, explaining what the speaker would never have believed.
utterance, indicating cataphorically both her own position on the stage
These lines convey two plausible but antithetical constructions of meaning, depending on whether the adjective "dead" is parsed anaphorically in the more regular Subject-Verb-Object + Modifier sequence, or cataphorically in the inverted sequence of Modifier-Verb-Subject.
A first example is the adjective frech (impudent), which appears between two substantives without punctuation and can thus be read both anaphorically or cataphorically, as if it referred to both:
The reference to these horrific teachings (25) refers cataphorically to violent teachings (27) two sentences later.
In its most common form, it cataphorically marks a verb for some aspect of an event or verb to come.
For instance, it is well known that demonstrative this can be used both anaphorically and cataphorically, whereas that can only be used anaphorically.
The adverbial mientras que conveys the meaning "as long as" and thus cataphorically advises there is more to come regarding this proposition.
(19) However, in certain cases the ellipsis works cataphorically, i.e., it gets resolved by reference to the text that follows; and the present passage with the strong coordination of clauses 4, 5 and 6 provides one with enough evidence to claim that this is the case here, (20) and the subject is the same as in clause 6, i.e., the prosecutor.
The reason for the use of the definite article in (22d) could perhaps be seen in the fact that the paragraph topic "baobabs" is preceded here by a cataphorically referring pronoun (but see also [28a] further below).
Syntactically, Catharina uses an anticipatory esconstruction to refer cataphorically to the content of her positive appreciation.