Donkey Anaphora
(2,533 words)

“Donkey anaphora” refers to the relation between pronouns such as it and he and their antecedents in sentences like those in (1). 



Every farmer who owns a donkey beats it.



If a farmer owns a donkey, he beats it.

These pronouns do not have a referential pronominal interpretation like that of it in (2), where it refers to the cat mentioned in the previous sentence. 


John owns a cat. Mary likes it very much.

In the case of (1), it d…

Cite this page
Lisa Lai-Shen CHENG, “Donkey Anaphora”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 26 April 2017 <>
First published online: 2015

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