In this chapter, the researcher will examine the general introduction of ellipsis, define the ellipsis, its general characteristics and describe the difference between ellipsis and substitution. In addition, the researcher will present the history of ellipsis, types of ellipsis with background, and categorization of ellipsis. Moreover, the researcher will provide the brief history of Urdu language, and will explain the structure of the English and Urdu language and their word-order.
2. What is ellipsis?
Language is the combination of sound with meaning while ellipsis is an inequality between sound and meaning, i.e. in ellipsis there is more meaning than sound. According to J. Merchant, 'Ellipsis comprises the ultimate challenge for sound-meaning correspondence.' In ellipsis same meanings are conveyed, this point is mentioned in Encyclopedia Britannica in these words:
The omission of one or more items from a construction in order to avoid repeating the identical or equivalent items that are in a preceding or following construction, as the omission of 'been to Paris' from the second clause of 'I've been to Paris, but they haven't'.
Oxford dictionary also identifies the same characteristic of ellipsis in these words, 'the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are redundant or able to be understood from contextual clues'.
This omission of words as a feature of ellipsis is pointed out in Merriam Webster dictionary as 'The act of leaving out one or more words that is not necessary for a phrase to be understood.' In the Macmillan dictionary ellipsis described as 'The practice of leaving a word or words out of a sentence when they are not necessary to understanding it.'
2.2. Characteristics of Ellipsis
a) Following are the characteristics of ellipsis: Ellipsis can occur in the initial, middle or the last of a sentence.
b) An ellipsis can occur both in subordinate as well as in coordinate clause.
c) It follows the Backwards Anaphora Constraint. When an ellipsis precede the antecedent, it is said to follow Langacker (1966)'s Backwards Anaphora Constraint.
Example: Because Sara did not [e], Wahid ate meat. (VPE)
d) It works on phrasal categories.
e) Ellipsis can occur across utterance boundaries.
Example: A: I heard that Ali likes to study history. (Stripping)
B: Yeah, and [e] mathematics too.
f) An ellipsis can have a realistic antecedent.
g) It is optional yet necessary part of language.
2.3. Ellipsis Vs Substitution
In spoken and written languages, omission and substitution are used as linguistic devices which help specific linguistic structures to be conveyed more efficiently, at the same time maintaining their precision and depth.
2.3.1 Similarity between Ellipsis & Substitution
Ellipsis and substitution are the method of cohesion and both are used in all languages of the world. 'Substitution and ellipsis are both devices for avoiding the unnecessary repetition of words or phrases in speech or writing.' (Foley & Hall 2003: 328). Their universal function is to avoid the burdening repetitions within the discourse, and to make the whole discourse cohere.
2.3.2 Difference between Ellipsis & Substitution
Halliday and Hasan (1976: 142) refer to ellipsis simply as 'substitution by zero'. Ellipsis is a term which has been used widely for many years for the omission of a word or phrases from sentences in a written or spoken text. Ellipsis is a cohesive device and it is used for creating effective sentences in a short form of the message.
Somebody just leaves. Guess who somebody just leaves?
In the above example the small letters show the elided material.
While in substitution, word or phrase is not omitted, as in ellipsis, but is substituted for another, with more general words. 'Substitution is a relation within the text, which could be defined as a form of replacement used instead of repeating certain linguistic categories' 'I do not have a pen. Do you have one'? (Crystal 1987).
'Which shoe would you like'? ''I would like the brown one'.
'One' is used instead of repeating 'shoe. This example shows the substitution in a sentence, the shoe is substituted by one.
2.4. History of ellipsis:
2.4.1 Etymology of the term Ellipsis
The origin of the word ellipsis is Greek, ??lleipsis, which means 'omission'. Ellipsis is the omission from a text of one or more words that are obviously understood and grammatically correct.
2.4.2. Early History
In the 200BC the first ellipsis ware noted in the Old Norse. Due to very strong contextually, this language was well structured and was the first known written language to utilize the ellipsis. All the European languages are linked up with Old Norse so the use of the ellipsis is common throughout the European languages, including English.
2.4.3. In the 19th and early 20th centuries
It comes from the Ancient Greek, and means 'omission' or 'falling short'. During the 19th and 20th centuries, writers utilized an ellipsis to intentionally omit a proper noun. In the early 20th century, it came in handy for omitting expletives.
John Robert Ross a great linguist (1967) describes a transformation which creates gaps in a sentence after a conjunction by eliding a verb which would otherwise recur. It was Ross who identifies the concept of sluicing which is the most frequent type of ellipsis used in all natural languages first time in his paper 'Guess Who'? in 1969. This analysis has been discussed in greater detail by Merchant in 2001. The entire clause except for the wh-element and the demonstrative pronoun is missing from the sentence.
Furthermore, Ross (1967) defined stripping which is another important type of ellipsis described by Hankamer and Sag (1976) as 'a rule that omitted everything in a clause under identity with equivalent parts of the previous clause, except for one component. At the same time as talking about the syntax of ellipsis the work of Ross (1967), Grinder and Postal (1971), Hankamer and Sag (1976), Sag (1977), and Sag and Hankamer (1984) argue that transformational deletion takes place on syntactic structure. While Syntactic models (Sag, 1976; & Williams, 1977) hold that ellipsis is licensed by structural identity between an elided or 'target' verb phrase and its antecedent. The remnant in an ellipsis construction must be focused, as must its correlate in an antecedent clause (Hankamer, 1971; Sag, 1980; Rooth, 1992; Merchant, 2001)
Moreover, Wasow (1972), Partee (1973) and Williams (1977) pursue the idea that elided VPs are terminal nodes with no syntactic or phonological content. McCawley (1993) noted that in coordination which involves in ellipsis in the second clause it is possible to elide the determiner of the subject DP in this clause. An ellipsis can have a realistic antecedent. When ellipsis precedes the antecedent, it is said to follow Langacker (1966)'s Backwards Anaphora Constraint.
Interestingly, not all languages have VP-ellipsis (Lobeck, 1995). Lasnik (1995) proposes that VPE is the result of a deletion rule that applies at the PF level, before Affix Hopping. His analysis is developed in the minimalist program framework (Chomsky, 1993). Lasnik (1995) defines VPE as a deletion process that takes place at the level of Phonological Form (PF) under syntactic identity conditions. According to Kitagawa (1991), VPE is reconstructed and interpreted at the LF (logical form) level by a VP copy rule.
Kester (1993, 1996) builds on Lobeck's (1991, 1992, 1995) theory of nominal ellipsis and Cinque's (1994) proposal on APs as phrasal specifiers of functional heads in the DP. NPE has been argued to be dependent on the presence of agreement on the remnant of ellipsis (cf. Lobeck, 1995; Kester, 1996). Bernstein (1993) based on Harris (1991) proposes that Nominal Ellipsis in Spanish, and Romance in general, is related to a special functional projection of the nominal domain, called Word Marker (WM).
2.4.4. In the 21st century
While talking about ellipsis history in 21st century, Kehler (2000) presents an elegant theory of ellipsis in which a syntactically matching antecedent is required only in cases of coherence, not in cases of causal coherence relations. According to Collins and Hollo (2000:155), ellipsis is the omission of various obligatory clause or phrase elements, which must be recoverable in their precise form from either the immediate context or the surrounding co text or on the basis of our knowledge of the grammar of English.
According to McShane (2005), ellipsis is a universal property of natural language, but its scope and means of realization may vary considerably in different languages. Tao and Meyer (2006) found, after an extensive search of corpora, that gapping is confined to writing rather than speech. Furthermore, in the literature it has been claimed that language uses both strategies to elide redundant material (Depiante, 2000; Van Craenenbroeck, 2010). According to Goldberg (2005), VP-ellipsis (VPE) licensed by a main verb is called V-stranding VPE.
2.5. Types of ellipsis:
There are following types of ellipsis:
1. NP Ellipsis
2. DP Ellipsis
3. VP Ellipsis
7. Pseudo Gapping
8. Comparative Deletion
9. Sub Deletion
2.5.1. NP Ellipsis:
Noun Phrase (NP) ellipsis also known as a noun ellipsis (N-ellipsis) or NPE. The phenomenon of ellipsis in the NP field has received a fair amount of attention in the last few decades. NP ellipsis are a method in which noun or noun phrase is elided, or appears to elide, that can be recovered from context.NP ellipsis occurred limited in English while it occurs in Urdu freely. The idea is that terminal vowels of Romance nouns do not actually belong to the nominal stem but head their own projection in the nominal system.
Because you bought two sweets, I bought three sweets.
2.5.2. VP Ellipsis:
Verb phrase ellipsis (VP-ellipsis or VPE) is a type of ellipsis in linguistics in which a verb or verb phrase is elided. Interestingly, not all languages have VP-ellipsis (Lobeck, 1995). Lasnik (1995) defines VPE as a deletion process that takes place at the level of Phonological Form (PF) under syntactic identity conditions. Hankamer and Sag (1976) classified VP-ellipsis as surface anaphora because it requires a linguistic antecedent. In verb phrase ellipsis the non finite verb is elided instead of finite verb. It is the predominantly recurrent form of ellipsis in English as well as in Urdu. The important trait of VP is that it can occur forward and backward which distinguish it from other form of ellipsis like gapping and stripping. VP ellipsis commonly occurs in tag question.
Ali can play the football; Moiz can play the football, too. - VP-ellipsis
Another important type of ellipsis in sluicing in which interrogative element is considered as a complete question. Sluicing, first named and discussed by Ross (1969), refers to an elliptical structure in a sentence where only a Wh-phrase is overtly pronounced. This analysis has been discussed in greater detail by Merchant in 2001. The entire clause except for the Wh element and the demonstrative pronoun is missing from the sentence (van Craenenbroeck, 2010). It occurs not only in English but also in Urdu language although both languages are different in their word order.
Someone was snoring, but I don't know who?
Somebody just leave. Guess who somebody just leave?
The next type of ellipsis is stripping. This is widely used in many languages, especially in English language. The other name of stripping is bare argument ellipsis. Ross (1967)'s Stripping is defined by Hankamer and Sag (1976) as 'a rule that omitted everything in a clause under identity with equivalent parts of the previous clause, except for one component.'
Many expert take stripping to be a particular demonstration of gapping whereby one remaining element appears in the gapped clause instead of the two remaining material that occur in the instances of gapping. The example of stripping shows that it is bendable to such extent as the remaining material in the stripping clause is not limited in role; it can, for instance, be a subject or an object. The method for this is that it elided everything from a clause except one constituent. It is marked by also, as, well, or too in English and in Urdu language bhi is marked at the end.
Saima watches drama, and watches news too.
Gapping is firstly coined by a linguist John R. Ross in his dissertation, 'Constrains on Variable in Syntax' in 1970. Ross (1970) describes a transformation which creates gaps in a sentence after a conjunction by eliding a verb which would otherwise recur. Gapping is a procedure in which a constituent elided in one sentence under identity with a constituent of the same type in a previous sentence.
It is noticed that gapping occurs only in coordinating clause. The repeated part that is present in the previous clause can be elided in the second clause. In gapping the elided material, usually contain a finite verb in English. This is a true gap which means that the elided material appears in the middle in the non initial conjuncts, with a remaining part to its left and a remaining part of its right. Tao and Meyer (2006) found, after an extensive search of corpora, that gapping is confined to writing rather than speech.
Some like apple and some like mangoes.
2.5.6. Pseudo Gapping:
Another type of ellipsis is Pseudo gapping, in this method the elided part is mostly non finite verb phrase, but it occurs in a comparative and contrastive context. Pseudo gapping was first recognized and investigated by a linguist Stump (1977). Many language experts take pseudo gapping to be a special demonstration of VP ellipsis rather than gapping. It is also introduced by an auxiliary verb like VP-ellipsis.
I will buy the toys today if you will buy the toys tomorrow. ' Pseudo gapping
2.5.7. Comparative deletion:
This is another important type of ellipsis as the name proposes; a comparative clause states a comparison. It is occured in comparative clause begins by than in English and in Urdu it introduced by ki Nisbet. Comparative ellipses are different from other types of ellipsis method to such extent it is necessary.
Denial seems more intelligent than Danish seems intelligent. - Comparative deletion
2.5.8. Sub deletion:
In this type of ellipsis as the name suggest we delete the sub phrase. It is also called comparative sub deletion. It comes under the heading of comparative deletion but the difference is that in comparative deletion there is no remnant left while in sub deletion the remnant is present in the last. In sub deletion the comparison is between two different noun phrases while in comparative deletion the comparison occurs between two same noun phrases.
Junaid read more books than Ali read many books. Comparative deletion
Junaid ate more muphens than Ali ate much cake. Sub deletion
2.5.9. DP ellipsis:
DP stands for determiner phrase. Abney (1986) was one of the first linguists who proposed that the noun phrase is headed by a functional element D (Determiner) and, in such a way, parallels that of the sentence, which is headed by I (inflection). The determiner of a DP in the dependent clause can sometimes be elided under identity with the determiner of the subsequent constituent of the main clause. McCawley (1993) noted that in coordination which involves in ellipsis in the second clause it is possible to elide the determiner of the subject DP in this clause.
Zafer's story about Amjid and Maria's story about Ali both amazed me.
2.5.10. Answer ellipsis:
Another type of ellipsis which is present in both languages is answer ellipsis. Answer ellipsis is also known as answer fragments. We can see examples of this type of ellipsis in question ' answer pair form. By using wh- words the question gives attention on unknown piece of information. The answer provides the missing information but omitted the unnecessary information which is present in the question. It is the most dominant type of ellipsis which we use not only our daily routine conversation but also an effective tool which many authors used in their writing.
A. Who open the door?
B. Ali opens the door. Answer ellipsis
2.6. Classification of ellipsis:
Ellipsis has nine types, noun phrase (NP), verb phrase (VP), gapping, sluicing, stripping, pseudo gapping, comparative deletion, DP ellipsis, answer ellipsis (answer fragments) and sub deletion. These nine types are further divided into two main types of ellipsis which are as following.
' Coordinate clause
' Sub ordinate clause
'Whereas subordination is a relationship between elements that do not have the same syntactic status, coordination ' as the name implies - is a relationship between elements that are of equivalent rank'. (Collins, P. & Hollo, C. 2000:126)
2.6.1. Coordinate clause:
The coordination clause is those in which the two equal clauses or phrase are combined. The clause which can stand alone and a give complete sense of meaning. It is not dependent on main clause. Normally few types of ellipses occur in coordinating clauses such as stripping is limited to coordinate clause. Gapping only occur in coordinate clause. Pseudo gapping also occur in coordinate clause. VP ellipsis, NP ellipsis, and sluicing can occur in coordinate clause
2.6.2. Subordinate clause:
Subordinate clause is also known as a dependent clause. It is a clause that enhances the information of main clause, but it cannot stand alone as a whole sentence or which is able to provide the complete sense of a sentence. Normally, ellipses also occur in subordinating clauses. VP ellipsis can occur in subordinate clause. Comparative deletion and DP ellipsis are types of subordinate clause. Sluicing can also happen in subordinate clause. Sub deletion comes under the heading of sub ordinate clause.
2.7. Urdu Language
Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family, a subclass of the Indo-European languages. 'Hindi' and 'Urdu' are the names given to a standard variety of a Western Indic language spoken in India and Pakistan. 'Urdu' was the name given by the Mughals to the language of the court, and Indo-Muslim literary figures referred to the language of the subcontinent as 'Hindi' as early as the 17th century.
Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and one of the 23 official languages (including English) spoken in India. It is the native language of at least 65.6 million speakers with another 40 million or more who speak it as a second language. Urdu has borrowed its writing script from Persian, which is a modified form of the Arabic script; the Urdu script is thus called Perso-Arabic. Urdu is written from right to left with numbers written from left to right. The morphology of Urdu is similar to other Indo-European languages, e.g. by having concatenative inflective morphological system. Today, Urdu is continuously passing through the method of evolution due to its flexibility. Maybe that's the reason that Urdu has become the third most popular language of the world.
2.8. Ellipsis in Urdu and English
Free or partially word order property of Urdu and semantic markers are very important for computational linguists. Because these two properties provide benefits in some situations and are troublesome in some others.
English and Urdu have different systems in terms of which types of ellipsis are achievable. From a very common viewpoint, there are more grammatical limitations as to which pieces can be left out in English. In Urdu there are more potential which are vaguer in scope. The Urdu approaches see ellipsis as a cohesive device as well, and use it similarly. Both languages belong to the Indo-European language family but both have quite different features in word order and morphology. As well as both languages have different syntactic characteristics. English word order is SVO (Subject-Verb-Object), while Urdu word order is SOV (Subject- Object -Verb). English is a fixed word order language while Urdu is a free or partially word-order language. This language is free word order because of its feature of case markers. In English language subject comes first which precedes verb and in the end object comes. In Urdu language the subject comes first like English language but then object and in the last verb comes.
For example: Following table shows the difference of English and Urdu sentence structure.
The difference of English and Urdu sentence structure
English Sentence Urdu Sentence
Ahmad gave the book to Ali ''?? '? '' '? '? ''??
The book gave Ahmed Ali to '? ''?? ''?? '? '? ''
To Ali Ahmed the book gave '' '? ''?? '? ''?? '? ??
In above example, it is to note that English is not free word order language because by changing their position the meaning has been totally changed, but in Urdu sentence same meanings are conveyed by changing order of words rather constituents. In Urdu this property is present due to semantic markers, which enable it to convey single meaning.
Ali sings song. English word-order SVO
S V O
Ali gana gata ha. Urdu word-order SOV
S O V
The above mention examples shows the difference of word-order in both languages and due to this difference the presence of ellipsis and its types in Urdu language is a big question that it is present or not. With the help of comparative study in both languages the researcher examines the presence of ellipsis and its type in Urdu language. The researcher not take the examples from daily conversation, but take the examples from a book Hairat Kadah written by Ashfaq Ahmad consist of thirteen short stories for ellipsis and its types and used a case study approach for this research.
In this chapter, the researcher will discuss the methodology of the research. The researcher examine that what strategy she will use for data collection, tool for data collection, how the researcher interpret the data and which software will use for data analysis.
The methodology which applied on this research was case study. For this the researcher used the quantitative as well as qualitative i.e. the mixed approach used for this purpose. In quantitative research, data gathered in numerical form, number and statics were used as key research indicators and tools, analysis made through those indicators. It also grabs information from numerous specific occurrences to investigate causal hypotheses. The data which produced through qualitative research had an objective and accurate approach. It might be used by other researchers as well. It shows the authenticity of data that was collected in quantitative research. Validity and reliability of data could be verified by using statistical test.
The current study is shaped with using inductive research design. Saunders et al. (2003) noted that the inductive approach gives the chance to have more explanation of what is going on. The researcher started the research process by exploring and collecting the data from direct observation and document analysis from the novel Hairat Kadah written by Ashfaq Ahmad.
After collecting data the researcher prepared graphs and tables. The data interpreted through qualitatively. The researcher used the case study as a research strategy. This strategy helps the researcher to describe data intensively.
Data collection is a process in which the researcher collects information about some particular topic, about some problem or the issue.
3.2.1 Data type
In this research the researcher used the primary source for collecting data. Primary sources of information are those sources which provide direct information about the certain topics e.g. books, interviews, questionnaires etc. For this study, the researcher collected data from the book Hairat Kadha written by Ashfaq Ahmad which consists of thirteen short stories. Main objective behind to select Ashfaq Ahmad's book was that he is the authentic writer of Urdu literature and get Sitara Imtiaz in this regard. The researcher collected data not only from Hairat Kadha but also collect example on the ellipses and its types from English language. The reason to collect data in two languages was that to verify the ellipsis and its types was present in the Urdu language by comparing with English language.
In this research the researcher used the direct personal investigation method. Basically, the researcher adopts two methods direct observation as well as document analysis.
The researcher used the documentary analysis as a tool for collecting data. The documentary analysis very accurately describes the facts which obtain from books, records, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. This study examines the all nine types of ellipsis present in the Urdu literature.
3.4. Data analysis:
Data analysis is an important source of investigation in almost all areas of research. After collecting the whole lists of data, now the data will be analyzed to find out whether ellipses are present in Urdu or not. The researcher get data by using documentary analysis and then the data was analyzed through SPSS software. The data interpreted in the form of tables and graphs. Every table showed the correct result. For data interpretation 15 tables are made in which 26 tables gives the examples of ellipsis observed in thirteen short stories of Hairat Kadah with their interpretation and also provide the quantity of each type of ellipsis observed in this novel. Moreover, two more tables are also made for analyzing the whole data which explain the each type of ellipsis with their frequency and also show that which type more frequently used in this novel. Along with, two graphs also made for clear interpretation of data.
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