Referential opacity

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Referential opacity is a property of words which entails that it is impossible to 'see inside' them, and refer to their parts by using an anaphoric device such as a pronoun.


There cannot be an anaphoric relation between it and tea in the compound teapot. Therefore, if the sentence he took the teapot and poured it into the cup means that he poured the tea into the cup, the fact that it refers to the tea does not arise through the anaphoric relation that is possible in he took the tea and poured it into the cup. Referential opacity is closely related to the property of lexical integrity.