In a sentence like "Will you, Maria?" where there is cataphora, can you be both deictic and cataphoric? In general, can a term be both anaphoric and deictic?

1 Answer 1


Yes, depending on what it means for "a term to be both anaphoric and deictic". You is both referring to a context-specific thing (deictic) and also refers to a term that appears later in the sentence (cataphoric).

It could reasonably be thought that you carries a [+deictic] property since any sentence with you will necessarily reference something in the context. However, you does not seem to carry a [+cataphoric] property since you can come in a sentence where there is no cataphora.

  • You are smart.

In the above sentence, there is no cataphora since you does not refer to any term/phrase that appears later in the sentence. Cataphora seems to be a relationship between terms in a sentence, and thus the term itself is not cataphoric.

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