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The local population in Venice has roughly halved over the past 30 years. So, over the past two decades, has that of Dubrovnik in Croatia, an old walled city best known as King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones”. Academics now worry that services for ordinary residents, such as cheap cafés and doctors’ surgeries, will collapse if populations continue to fall.

In the above excerpt, what's the meaning of- So, over the past two decades, has that of Dubrovnik in Croatia, an old walled city best known as King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones”.

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    "So" means "In the same way..." and refers to the sentence before it. It's a short version for "The population of Dubrovnik [...] has also halved over the last 20 years." – oerkelens Oct 28 '18 at 12:07
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    By the way, this sentence is a bit of a chore even for native speakers, and it has a strong smell of the lamp about it. "So" is able refer to nearly any type of thing in a previous sentence. It is only after reading the parallel structure of the rest of the sentence, which effectively eliminates other possibilities, that we can deduce so is anaphoric to roughly halved and that is anaphoric to local population. Over the past 20 years, the same thing has happened in Dubrovnik – Phil Sweet Oct 28 '18 at 13:52
  • @DavidRobinson Done. – Phil Sweet Nov 4 '18 at 13:21
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By the way, this sentence is a bit of a chore even for native speakers, and it has a strong smell of the lamp about it. "So" is able refer to nearly any type of thing in a previous sentence. It is only after reading the parallel structure of the rest of the sentence, which effectively eliminates other possibilities, that we can deduce so is anaphoric to roughly halved and that is anaphoric to local population.

Over the past 20 years, the same thing has happened in Dubrovnik

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so (adverb) = "in the same way, also" Collins

The population of Venice has halved. So has the population of Dubrovnik.

The population of Venice has halved. The population od Dubrovnik has also halved.

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