Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Donkey Anaphora
(2,557 words)

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

1. a. Every farmer who ons a donkey beats it.

    b. If a farmer owns a donkey, he beats is.

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. 

2. John owns a cat. Mary likes it very much.

In the case of (1), it does no…

Cite this page
Lisa Lai-Shen CHENG, “Donkey Anaphora”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 21 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000137>
First published online: 2015

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