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The Difference of Ellipsis between Japanese and English

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  • 日本語と英語における省略法の相違について

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Language may be said to be the art of saying part of what we mean and of setting up clear implications of what else we mean without saying it. Ellipses are found in every language, but the ways of omission may be different. In this essay we gave a definition on ellipsis at first, and then explained the fundamental structures of the Japanese sentence and the English. The structure of Japanese is Adverbial modifiers + Predicate, and the latter is the main element of the sentence. Subject, object and complement are all essentially adverbial modifiers. The structure is simple, and not structural but situational. So ellipses in Japanese are all situational; that is, words are omitted on situational basis. On the contrary the English sentence has the fundamental structure: Subject + Predicate, and there is a relation of dominating each other between the two elements. Moreover, as it has other independent elements: object and complement, the structure is rather complicated. Therefore, ellipses in English are structural; that is, words are omitted on structural basis. So we tried to demonstrate the situational ellipsis in Japanese and the structural one in English, giving a number of examples.


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