Omission / Deletion / Reduction / Ellipsis

Implicit Anaphora

Each of the loaves is exactly one of three kinds: oatmeal, rye, or wheat, and each is either sliced or unsliced.The second “each” = “each of them”

Non-constituent coordination

  • Exactly 7 persons – P, Q, R, S, T, U & V – participate in and finish all of a series of races.

Some theories (such as Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG)) suggest that the two incomplete constituents, “participate in” and “finish all of” first combine to form a larger constituent, and then combine with the argument “a series of races”. Other theories suggest that deletion operators are working here.

Omissions in comparative constructions

  • C is shown earlier than E.   (missing: “is shown”)

Some theories try to compute a semantic representation directly from the overt material without reconstructing “is shown”. The conclusion in chapters 10 and 11 of my dissertation is that this complicates the compositional semantics mechanism too much, and that in fact deletion operators are working here.

Plurality disambiguators

They are sometimes omitted.

  • There are six pegs – E, F, G, H, T, and J – placed in a different one of seven holes.
    • full version: “each placed in a different one of seven holes”.
  • John and Mary weigh 200lbs.
    • full version: “John and Mary weigh 200lbs each.”
    • full version: “John and Mary weigh 200lbs together.”

Partial sentences

  • All of the following could be the first film EXCEPT
    • (A) C 
    • (B) E 
  • Rita must perform only in duets if
    • (A) Kim is in number two

How can we identify that these questions are phrased as partial sentences (simply giving them to the parser confuses the parser).