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Ellipsis in cohesion

Ellipsis in cohesion






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    Ellipsis in cohesion Ellipsis in cohesion Presentation Transcript

    • Ellipsis in English Ahmed Qadoury Abed PH D Candidate Baghdad UniversityCollege of Arts English Dept 2012/2013 1
    • Some preliminary considerationsWe find Ellipsis both in spoken and written texts.Especially in face-to-face conversation, we often do not bother to encode information that can be understood from the linguistic or situational context.A: What’re you doingtonight?B: [E] Home. 2
    • Let’s… Define ellipsis Ellipsis vs Substitution Classification of the various syntactic types 3
    • What is ellipsis? 1 SOMETHING UNDERSTOOD. ‘undertood’ in the special sense of ‘going without saying’. We are referring to clauses and sentences ,etc. whose structure is such as to presuppose some preceding item, which then serves as the source of the missing information An elliptical item is one which leaves specific structural slots to be filled from elsewhere. There is a sense of incompleteness associated with it. But it is useful to recognize that this is an over-simplification, and that the essential characteristic of ellipsis is that something which is present in the selection of underlying ‘systemic’ options is omitted in the structure- whether or not the resulting structure is in itself ‘incomplete’. 4
    • What is ellipsis? 2 Halliday& Hassan define ellipsis in relation to another important cohesive device, i.e. substitution, since they embody the same fundamental relation between parts of the text. Joan brought some carnations,and Cathrine (E) some sweet peas. Ellipsis is normally an anaphoric relation. Occasionally the presupposition in an eliptical structure may be it exophoric . If a housewife on seeing the milkman approach calls out Two please! She is using exophoric ellipsis ;it is the context of situation that provides the information needed to interpret this. 5
    • Examples a. This is a fine hall you have here. I’m proud to be lecturing in it (R). b. This is a fine hall you have here. Ive never lectured in a finer one (S). c. This is a ftne hall you have here. Ive never lectured in a finer (E). 6
    • Types of Ellipsis1-Nominal Ellipsis Specific deictics Non-specific deictics Post deictics Numeratives Epithets2- verbal Ellipsis Ellipsis within the verbal group Lexical Ellipsis Operator Ellipsis3- Clausal Ellipsis Modal and propositional No ellipsis of single elements Ellipsis in question-answer and other rejoinder sequences Ellipsis in ‘reporting-reported’ sequences 7
    • Nominal Ellipsis 1 The Nominal Group is (Premodifiers) + Head + (Postmodifiers)Those two fast electric trains with pantographs premodifiers Head postmodifiersModifiers1- Deictic (d) ------those------determiners2- Numerative (n)-----two---- numerals (or quantifier)3-Epithet (e)-----fast---adjectives4- Classifiers (c) ----electric– nouns5- Qualifier (q)---- with pantographs—(Rel Clause or pre phrase)- Adverbs ---so, every, too- Head –(common noun, proper noun, pronoun)—Thing- These are by no means exact. 8
    • Nominal Ellipsis 2 Nominal ellipsis is when Head is omitted and its function is taken on by one of these modifiers. Therefore, it involves the upgrading of a word function not Head from the status of Modifier to the status of Head. Which hat will you wear? a- the best (E) b- the best hat (no E) This is c- the best of the hats (E) d- the best of the three (E) e- the best you have (E) 9
    • Nominal Ellipsis 3 An elliptical nominal group is cohesive; it points anaphorically to another nominal group which is presupposed by it. But how much of the presupposed group is in fact included within the presupposition? Here are my two red silk shirts.I can lend you one if you like.If Head is filled This must be These may beby presupposed: presupposed:Deictic Thing N,E,CNumerative Thing E ,CEpither Thing CClassifier Thing ---- 10
    • Nominal Ellipsis: Deictics 4 There are three types of Deictics: Specific deictics Non-specific deictics Post-deictics 11
    • Nominal Ellipsis:SpecificDeictics 51- Possessives (Smith’s,my father’s, my,your,mine,hers,…)Just ask Janet how to polish the brassware. Hers sparkles.2- Demonstratives (this, that, these, those, which?)Take these pills three times daily. And you’d better have some more of those too.3- The The word the does not operate elliptically since it designates defininteness, but by somettimes requires another items with it as:The one that got away,The two,The small (one),Where it could have occurred elliptically it is replaced by its non-reduced cognate form that. 12
    • Nominal Ellipsis:Non-SpecificDeictics 6Each , every, any, either , no, neither, a, some , all , and bothOf these, all occur as Head of an elliptical nominal except every, but a, and no have to be represented by the forms one and none ,respectively. a. I hope no bones are broken ?-None to speak o£ b. I wont be introduced to the pudding, please. May I give you some? c. Have some milk.- I dont see any milk- There isnt any. d. Write an essay on the Stuart kings. Two pages about each will do. e. His sons went into business. Neither succeeded. 13
    • Nominal Ellipsis:Post-Deictics7 Post-deictics are not determiners but adjectives. These are some thirty to forty adjectives used commonly in deictic function: other ,same ,different, identical, usual, regular, certain, odd, famous, well-known, typical, obvious ,etc. They combine with the ,a or other determiner ,and may be followed by a numerative, unlike adjectives in their normal function as Epithet: Deictic Epithet the identical three questions three identical questions the usual two comments two usual comments a different three people three different people the odd few ideas a few odd ideas the obvious fint place to stop the first obvious place to stop 14
    • Nominal Ellipsis:Numeratives8 The Numerative element in the nominal group is expressed by numerals or other quantifying words, which form three subcategories:1-ordinals2- cardinals3- indefinite quantifiers The ordinals are first, next, last, second, third, fourth, etc; they are often used elliptically. generally with the or a possessive as Deictic:Have another chocolate.- No thanks; that was my third. 15
    • Nominal Ellipsis:Numeratives9Cardinal numerals are also frequent in ellipsis, and may be preceded by any Deictic that is appropriate in number, eg; the three, these three, any three, all three, and also by post- deictic adjectives as in the usual three, the same three.a. Have another-chocolate.- No thanks; I’ve had my three.b. The other messengers called Hatta. I must have two, you know. One to come, and one to go: 16
    • Nominal Ellipsis:Numeratives10 The indefinite quantifiers are items such as much, many, more, most ,few, several. a little • lets, a bit, hundreds, etc; they include numerous transient and more or less slang expressions especially used by children. Like other items with a numerative function, they are very frequently used in ellipsis; being indefinite. they are usually not accompanied by a Deictic, except where a is demanded as in alot, although the comparative forms more, fewer and less may be preceded by no or any. Some of them are specific to either count or mass nouns. a. Can all cats climb trees.?-They all can; and most do. b. You ought to have a wooden horse on wheels., that you ought !. – ‘ I’ll get one’: the Knight said thoughtfully to himself . ‘One or two - several.’ 17
    • Nominal Ellipsis: Epithets 11The function of Epithet is typically fulfilled by an adjective.It is not common to find adjectives occurring as Head in ellipsis:1- colour adjectivesGreen suits you very well.2- oppositesI like strong tea. I suppose weak is better for you.3-AttributeThe rich , the poor, the honest4-comparativeI’ll buy you some prettier.Mary is the cleverer.5- superlativeThey are fine actors. Jones always gets hold of the finest. 18
    • Verbal Ellipsis 1 An elliptical verbal group presupposes one or more words from a previous verbal group. Technically, it is defined as a verbal group whose structure does not fully express its systemic features:1- finiteness (finite or non-finite) If finite :indicative or imperative If indicative: modal or non-modal2- polarity :positive or negative3- voice :active or passive4- tense: past or present or futurea-Have you been swimming? – Yes, I have.b- What have you been doing?- swimmingThe elliptical swimming has the features of finite, positive, active, present in past in present. 19
    • Verbal Ellipsis: Lexical Ellipsis2 Lexical ellipsis is that type in which the lexical verb is missing from the verbal group. Thus, Any verbal group not containing a lexical verb is elliptical. Any verbal group consisting of a modal operator only can immediately be recognized as elliptical: - Is John going to come?- He might. He was to, but he may not, - He should, if he wants his name to be considered. The modals are always finite, and hence always occur in first position in the verbal group. Be, have, and do can be elliptical and substitutes (non- elliptical): -Did Jane know?-No, but Mary did (no E). - Did Jane know?- Yes ,she did (E).Here, the distinction between elliptical and non-elliptical forms has to be recovered from the presupposed clause ,since did is a lexical verb replaced by knew in the first sentence ,while an operator in the latter. 20
    • Verbal Ellipsis: OperatorEllipsis 3 It involves only the omission of operators; the lexical verb always remains intact, and the subject is always omitted from the clause; it must therefore be presupposed: a. What have you been doing? b. swimming. This constitutes the first type of operator ellipsis: sequences such as questions and answers, in which the lexical verb either supplies the answer to ‘do what?’ as in the above example , or repudiates the verb in the question: Has she been crying?- No, laughing . The other type in coordination: Some were laughing and others crying. 21
    • Verbal Ellipsis: Polarity 4 Polarity is normally expressed at the beginning of the verbal group. A negative verbal group, if it is finite, hasnt or not attached to the first word, eg: didnt know. did not know. If it is non-finite, it has not, usually as the first word, eg: not having known. not to have known, although the not may sometimes follow the first verbal operator, eg: having not known, to have not known. Other negative adverbs such as never, hardly, hardly ever, may occur in place of not. The category of negative is not very sharply defined~ but it is revealed by the choice of tag. In lexical ellipsis, whatever else is omitted the first operator is always present. This means that the polarity will always be expressed: Were you laughing?—No, I wasn’t. In operator ellipsis among the items omitted is always the one which carries polarity: What are you doing?- Thinking 22
    • Verbal Ellipsis: Finiteness andModality 5 The Systems of FINITBNBSS and MODALITY are also closely associated with first position in the verbal group. and this largely determines the possibilities of their presupposition by means of ellipsis. A verbal group which is finite always expresses its finiteness in the first word. Either the group consists just of a finite form of the lexical verb, present or past (walk. walks , walked)~ or it begins with a finite verbal operator; the latter is either a tense operator. In lexical ellipsis, the verb group is always explicitly either finite or non-finite: a-What was the point of having invited all those people? In operator ellipsis, since the first word must be omitted,so the verb group cannot express the choice between finite and non-finite:What are they doing now?-Finishing their essays.All that has been said with regard to finiteness applies equally to modality, since modality is a subcategory of modality. 23
    • Verbal Ellipsis: Voice 6 In lexical ellipsis, the rule is quite clear ;the voice selection is always presupposed: They haven’t finished the picture. If it had been(E) ,I would have brought it. In operator ellipsis, the subject is always omitted; It must therefore be carried over by presupposition: a. Were Australia leading England at the time, then? b. No, England were winning. 24
    • Clausal Ellipsis 1 The clause has two-part structure consisting of modal and proposition: The Duke was going to plant a row of poplars in the park Modal PropositionalIn the park the Duke was going to plant a row of poplars .A row of poplars the Duke was going to plant in the park.The elements in circles are the modal 25
    • Clausal Ellipsis 2 Typically ,modal ellipsis occurs in responses to a Wh- questions ‘what (did, does, do): a. What were they doing?- Holding hands.The usual type of non-finite dependent clause is simply a clause with modal ellipsis Typically, propositional ellipsis occurs in responses to statements and yes/no questions, where the subject is presupposed by a reference item: a. The plane has landed.—Has it? b. Has the plane landed?—Yes, it has.Clausal ellipsis may be found unaccompanied by ellipsis in the verbal group when operator ellipsis may be avoided in simple past and present simple; and substitution may be used in most instances of lexical ellipsis:What did he do? Ran away.What do they do? Run away.What does he do? Runs away. 26
    • Clausal Ellipsis: No ellipsis ofsingle elements 3 It is not possible in English to say: Has she taken her medicine?-She has taken. Either we must reply with a full ,non- elliptical clause, or we must omit both ‘her medicine’ and the lexical verb ‘take’, or ‘do’ as substitution: She has taken her medicine. Or She has. Or She has done (S). 27
    • Clausal Ellipsis:Question-Answer 4 The ‘question-answer’ sequence is a standard pattern in language, and the cohesive relation between them has its own characteristic grammatical properties. An observation by a speaker may be followed by an observation by another speaker that is related to it in a cohesive tie. This is called rejoinder. A rejoinder can be direct response or indirect response. A direct response as in yes/no question and wh- questions. Has John arrived? –Yes , he has. When did John arrive?- Yesterday. 28
    • Clausal Ellipsis:Question-Answer 5An indirect response can be:1- one which comments on the question (commentary):How did they break in? –I’ll show you how.Is it Tuesday today? – I don’t know.2- one which denies its relevance (disclaimer):Why didn’t you tell John? – I did.When did they cancel the booking?- Did they.3-one which gives supplementary information implying but not actually expressing an answer (supplementary):Did you tell John?- He wasn’t there.Are you coming back today?- This evening. 29
    • Clausal Ellipsis:reporting-reported sequences 6 This is another context for clausal ellipsis, that of reported speech. This type found in the context is closely related to some of the instances that we have already met, particularly the ‘commentary’ type of indirect speech, and the elliptical wh- question as rejoinder. a.(that) he was coming. John didn’t tell(E) me b.if/whether he was coming (or not). c. why he was coming. 30
    • Thanks 31