In many East Asian languages, despite the prevalent occurrence of implicit reference, reference management is largely achieved without recourse to familiar agreement features. For this reason, recovering ellipted reference has been a perplexing problem in the analysis of these languages.
This book elucidates the linguistic mechanisms for ellipsis resolution in Japanese, mechanisms which involve complex processes of inference that integrate grammatical, sociolinguistic, and discourse considerations with real world knowledge. These processes are realised in an integrated algorithm, the validity of which is tested against naturally-occurring written texts.
This book also builds connections between theoretical linguistics and practical applications. The findings not only have theoretical implications for identifying crucial factors in the linguistic encoding of implicitly expressed information, factors which are very different from those found in European languages, but also offer practical applications, particularly for the design of machine translation systems and for learners of Japanese.
Table of contents
Note on the examples xii
List of figures xiv
List of tables xv
Part 1. Japanese and argument ellipsis
1. Introduction 3–39
2. Various approaches to anaphora 41–95
Part 2. Linguistic devices
3. Predicate devices: Argument-inferring morphemes 99–173
4. Sentence devices I: The principle of direct alignment 175–228
5. Sentence devices II: The principles of argument ellipsis 229–265
6. Discourse devices: Ellipsis as the unmarked representation of sameness 267–290
Part 3. The process of referent identification
7. Algorithm 293–353