|dc.description.abstract||Ellipsis is a phenomenon whereby constituents which are normally
obligatory in the grammar are omitted in actual discourse. It is found
in all types of discourse, from everyday conversation to poetry. The
omitted constituents can range from one word to an entire clause, and
recovery of the ellipted item depends sometimes on the linguistic and
sometimes on the non-linguistic context. From a practical point of
view, the contribution of ellipsis in the context is twofold. First, it is
one of several important means of achieving cohesion in a text.
Secondly, ellipsis contributes to communicative appropriateness
determined by the type of linguistic activity (e.g., narrative, casual
conversation), the mode of communication (e.g., written / spoken) and
the relationship between participants.
The aim of this research is to provide a description of the functions of
elliptical utterances – textual and interpersonal – in English and
Japanese, based on a cross-linguistic analysis of dialogues in the
English and Japanese map task corpora. In order to analyse ellipsis
in relation to its two key functions, elliptical clauses in the map task
dialogues were examined.
I discuss how ellipsis is used to realise cohesion in the map task
dialogues. The findings challenge the well-known claim that topics
are established by full noun phrases, which are subsequently realised
by pronouns (English) and null pronouns (Japanese). Rather, the
results suggest that full noun phrases are used for topic continuity in
Constituents which are ellipted in an utterance are identified and
related to the moves types which the utterance realises within the
exchange structure. The ellipted elements will be categorised
according to the constituent types (Subject, Finite, Predicator,
Complement and Adjunct), using the systemic functional approach.
This analysis reveals that whereas in the English dialogues the most
common types of ellipsis are that of Subject and Finite elements, in
the Japanese dialogues the most common type is that of Subject.
Types of ellipsis are also correlated with speech acts in the dialogues.
The relation between types of ellipsis and particular speech acts
associated with them is strikingly similar in the English and Japanese
dialogues, despite the notable difference in grammar and pragmatics
between the two languages. This analysis also shows how these types
of ellipsis are associated with interpersonal effects in particular
speech acts: ellipsis of Subject and Finite can contribute to a sharp
contrast in the question and answer sequence, while Subject ellipsis
in Japanese can contribute to modifying the command-like force in giving instructions. These effects can be summed up as epistemic and
deontic modality respectively. Ultimately, it is argued that some types
of ellipsis can serve as modality expressions. Additionally, in
comparison to the way of realising the speech act of giving
instructions in the English dialogues, it emerges that the Japanese
speakers exploit ellipsis, which seems to be associated with lowering
the degree of the speaker’s commitment to the proposition.
As implications for pedagogical settings, I present pedagogical
descriptions of ellipsis for Japanese learners of English and English
learners of Japanese. Since the description is for specific learners, the
approach which takes the difference in grammar and pragmatics
between the two languages is made possible. Although descriptions
state some detailed facts of ellipsis in English and Japanese, primarily
highlighted is the importance of raising awareness of elliptical forms
for particular functions in particular contexts. As ellipsis is a product
of forms, functions and contexts, it is a most remarkable feature of
spoken language. Spoken language is claimed by some researchers to
show similar linguistic features among languages because of the
restrictions inherent in the medium on communication. In the form of
pedagogical description, I show the similarities and differences in
ellipsis which derive from the grammar and pragmatics of each
language, which are observed in the preceding linguistic research.
Through the presentation of the findings which are modified for
learners, learners will know how languages show convergence and