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A study on ellipsis in ernest hemingway’s short stories with reference to vietnamese equivalents





Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Hanoi, 2016




Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Ngoc Trung

Hanoi, 2016

I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master
in English Language. Except where the reference is indicated, no other
person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of
the thesis.
Hanoi, 2016

Nguyen Quynh Le

Approved by

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Ngoc Trung
Date: ……………………………………

This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support
from a number of people.

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Assoc.
Prof. Dr. Ho Ngoc Trung, my supervisor, who has patiently and constantly
supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas,
expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as
an academic researcher.
A special word of thanks goes to all the lecturers of the M.A course at
Hanoi Open University and many others, without whose support and
encouragement it would never have been possible for me to have this thesis
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my friends for the
sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this academic work.

The thesis deals with the use ellipsis in five short stories by Ernest
Hemingway with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents.
In the thesis, the theoretical background knowledge is based on the
viewpoints of Halliday and Hasan (1976). The data was collected from the
five short stories by Ernest Hemingway, namely A three-day blow, Fifty
grand, The way you’ll never be, The short happy life of Francis Macomber
and The killers. Vietnamese equivalents are then generalized through
translated works by Le Huy Bac, a professor in literary field.
Combinations of methods such as descriptive, statistic, comparative
are used in the research. Accordingly, descriptive method is used from the
beginning of the study in order to build a solid theoretical background. The
statistic method is used to identify and collect elliptical cases occurring in
Hemingway’s short stories and their Vietnamese equivalents. After that, the
comparative method is used to investigate the use of ellipsis in Ernest
Hemingway’s short stories with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents.
Different kinds of English ellipsis (nominal, verbal and clausal) were
discovered together with typical Vietnamese equivalents. Accordingly, not
all English elliptical cases are still translated as ellipsis in Vietnamese which
causes a lot of challenges in learning and teaching this phenomenon.
Related recommendations for learning and teaching ellipsis are suggested
with hope to overcome these drawbacks.

Table 1:Halliday and Hasan’s classification of cohesive devices


Table 2: Types of Ellipsis based on Halliday and Hasan (1976)


Table 3: Percentage of type of ellipsis


Table 4: Percentage of type of nominal ellipsis


Figure 1: Types of ellipsis in Hemingway's short stories


Certificate of originality






List of tables and figures


1.1 Rationale for the research


1.2 Aims of the research


1.3 Objectives of the research


1.4 Scope of the research


1.5 Significance of the research


1.6 Structural organization of the thesis


2.1 Review of previous studies


2.1.1 Previous studies overseas


2.1.2 Previous studies in Vietnam


2.2 Review of theoretical background


2.2.1 Theoretical framework


2.2.2 The concept of discourse


2.2.3 Cohesion

10 Text and its texture

10 The concept of cohesion

12 Grammatical and lexical cohesion

13 Cohesion and coherence


2.2.4 The concept of ellipsis


2.2.5 English nominal ellipsis

16 The structure of English nominal group

16 Types of English nominal ellipsis
2.2.6 English verbal ellipsis

22 structure of English verbal group

22 Types of English verbal ellipsis


2.2.7 English clausal ellipsis

25 Modal ellipsis and propositional ellipsis

25 Ellipsis in question-answer and other rejoinder sequences

27 Ellipsis in ‘reporting-reported’ sequences


2.3 Ernest Hemingway biography and writing style


2.4 Summary


3.1 Research-governing orientations


3.1.1 Research questions


3.1.2 Research setting


3.1.3 Research approaches


3.1.4 Principles/criteria for intended data collection and data


3.2 Research methods


3.2.1 Major methods vs. supporting methods


3.2.2 Data collection techniques


3.2.3 Data analysis techniques


3.3 Summary


4.1 English nominal ellipsis and Vietnamese equivalents


4.1.1. Nominal ellipsis with Deictic functioning as Head


4.1.2 Nominal ellipsis with Numerative as Head


4.1.3 Nominal ellipsis with Epithet as Head


4.1.4 Summary of nominal ellipsis


4.2 English verbal ellipsis and its Vietnamese equivalents


4.2.1 Operator ellipsis


4.2.2 Lexical ellipsis


4.2.3 Summary of verbal ellipsis


4.3 English clausal ellipsis and its Vietnamese equivalents


4.3.1 Modal ellipsis and propositional ellipsis


4.3.2 Ellipsis in question-answer rejoinder sequences

49 Ellipsis in direct responses

49 Ellipsis in indirect responses


4.3.3 Summary of clausal ellipsis
4.3 Pedagogical implications of the thesis


4.3.1 Challenges in teaching-learning English ellipsis


4.3.2 Implication for learning and teaching ellipsis effectively

55 For learning

55 For teaching


4.4. Summary


5.1 Recapitulation


5.2 Concluding remarks


5.3 Recommendations for further research


5.4 Limitation of the research








1.1. Rationale for the research
People convey ideas, thoughts and emotions through language, both
spoken and written. To most writers through decades, what they wanted to
express or touch others’ hearts not only bases on the careful selections of
words but also the assistance of cohesive devices, especially grammatical
The theory and practice of grammatical cohesion have been widely
analyzed by many foreign linguists such as Halliday and Hasan (1976),
Baker (1992), Yule (1996) as well as Valeika and Buikiene (2006).
Abundant works about grammatical cohesion have been written, but it
would seem that further investigation is needed to be taken in the usage of
this phenomenon appearing in the literary works.
Ernest Hemingway, a famous American writer, appears to be the
typical author who frequently used grammatical cohesive devices such as
reference, ellipsis and conjunction in his works. Many researchers overseas
and in Vietnam have still continued to carry out researches on the
contribution of these grammatical cohesive devices in Hemingway’s novels
and short stories. Among all, ellipsis has not been discussed much although
this phenomenon distributes much portion in many of Hemingway’s works.
In many short stories, Hemingway avoided complicated syntax; about 70%
of the sentences are simple sentences – a childlike syntax without
subordination. According to Baker (1972), he believes that Hemingway
learned to “get the most from the least, how to prune language, how to
multiply intensities and how to tell nothing but the truth in a way that
allowed for telling more than the truth”, which sometimes is called “theory
of omission”.
The repetition of this grammatical cohesion device in most of
Hemingway’s short stories has brought a significant feature that strongly

impressed readers because they get addicted to the to-be-told stories in this
special writing style. Therefore, a lot of his works have been translated into
Vietnamese in order to give Vietnamese readers and researchers an ideal
chance to be closer to his writing style as well as to figure out the beauty of
literature. In another point of view,

Mc Carthy (1991) points out that

ellipsis “not only creates difficulties in learning what structural omissions
are permissible but also does not seem to be readily used even by proficient
learners in situations where native speakers naturally resort to it”.
As a result, the author would like to investigate the use of ellipsis in
Hemingway’s short stories to have better understanding of this phenomenon
as well to examine its Vietnamese equivalents to draw out some suggestions
for learning and teaching ellipsis better.
1.2. Aims of the research
This study aims to carry out an investigation into the use of ellipsis in
some of Ernest Hemingway’s short stories with reference to the Vietnamese
equivalents; therefore, to suggest some recommendations for learning and
teaching ellipsis effectively.
1.3. Objectives of the research
In order to reach the set goal, the study has to fulfill three following
- Identifying elliptical cases in Ernest Hemingway’s short stories and their
Vietnamese equivalents.
- Investigating the use of elliptical cases in Ernest Hemingway’s short
stories and their Vietnamese equivalents.
- Offering some suggestions for learning and teaching elliptical
phenomenon effectively.
1.4. Scope of the research
1.4.1. Academic scope

Owning to the limitation of time, the study only investigates five
selected short stories by Ernest Hemingway as A three-day blow, Fifty
grand, The way you’ll never be, The short happy life of Francis Macomber
and The killers as well as their Vietnamese version of translation by Le Huy
Bac. These five above works are the typical ones with the frequent
appearance of different elliptical cases which by no means give the author
the good base for analysis.
1.4.2. Social scope
In the study, the data was collected from five selected short stories
by Ernest Hemingway and their Vietnamese equivalents from Le Huy Bac
who is very famous for literature background knowledge in Vietnam.
Although there are different Vietnamese authors having taken preference in
translating Hemingway works, we have just focused on Le Huy Bac’s
translation because of the limitation of time. In spite of taking data from
literary works as a focus, what will be discussed in the study is hoped to be
the representative of ellipsis as a whole.
1.5 Significance of the research
1.5.1. Theoretical significance
The study was hoped to become a valuable writing paper for those
who are interested in giving further studies on grammatical cohesive devices
in literary works in general and ellipsis phenomenon in particular. From
what have been found in the study, it is desired to be applied to draw out
other researches on any literary works or documents.
1.5.2. Practical significance
Thanks to some recommendations in the study, it was hoped to
bring great benefits for learners of English who want to use this
phenomenon to express any ideas effectively. Moreover, hopefully, it will
help Vietnamese learners overcome difficulties in learning this phenomenon
as well as help Vietnamese teachers teach it effectively.

1.6. Structural organization of the thesis
This graduation thesis is designed with 5 chapters. Chapter 1 gives
the reasons for doing the research, the aims, the objectives as well as the
scope and the significance of the research. Chapter 2 presents the review of
previous studies which contribute to the inspiration of conducting the thesis.
Moreover, it also consists of theoretical background such as discourse,
cohesion and ellipsis. Chapter 3 describes the methods and materials used in
doing the research, including data collection and data analysis techniques.
Chapter 4 presents and analyzes the data collected, then interprets the
results. Chapter 5 wraps with all main ideas discussed in previous chapters
as well as suggests some recommendations for further studies.

Chapter 2
2.1 .Review of previous studies
2.1.1. Previous studies overseas
It was since the 1960s and 1970 when there lived a great development
in the field of discourse analysis that many aspects of discourse, especially
cohesive devices have been discussed in the works of English scholars such
as Pinton (1985), Rosalina (2008), Jamila (2009), Mazeikite (2012),
Amitabh (2015).
In his work, Pinton (1985) drew out an investigation into the great
majority of referential, substitutive and elliptical cohesive items in Conrad
Aiken’s “Silent now, secret snow”. Before arriving at some findings as
shown in tables of the study, the author gave in-depth background
knowledge of discourse analysis, cohesion and types of grammatical
cohesive devices. The writer also affirmed the importance of reference,
substitution and ellipsis contributing to the story by Conrad Aiken.
However, it is suggested that the author focus on one type of grammatical
cohesive devices to deeply analyzed as well as arrives at findings.
Rosalina (2008), in her thesis, conducted a research on the appearance
of cohesive devices (both grammatical and lexical) in 3 short stories by
Hemingway, namely The light of the World, Hills like white elephants, and
A clean-well lighted place. Accordingly, the frequency of cohesive devices
in these writings were focused and categorized and finally arrived at the
answer of the most dominant one. Although this thesis was a great effort of
taking all kinds of cohesive devices in these 3 shorts stories into
consideration, it seems that there was no focus. As a result, my thesis will
deal with ellipsis as a significant cohesive device in five selected short
stories in order to make it a typical one out of other devices.

Jamila (2009) attempted to investigate both grammatical and lexical
cohesion with the data taken from journalistic text and fiction text. The
background framework such as discourse, coherence and cohesion as well
as cohesive devices was provided in order to be the solid background for the
study. However, the data collected from 2 random texts from a newspaper
and story seemed to make the result unpersuasive because the data collected
was in a small quantity. It would be better if the writer added more texts in
order to get valuable findings. Aiming at achieving good data of different
types of ellipsis for analysis, I attempted to analyze five short stories by
Ernest Hemingway, which hopefully help me to arrive at expected findings.
Mazeikite (2012) shared the same ideas as my thesis when she based
on 4 short stories by Ernest Hemingway such as Hills like white elephants,
The killers, Cat in the rain and Canary for one in order to get the data for
further analysis. In this paper, the author attempted to make clear the
concept of cohesion generally and the concept of reference particularly. The
thesis then arrived at analysis of personal reference, demonstratives and
comparative reference from the 4 selected works above.
In another journal, Amitabh (2015) attempted to analyze ellipsis in
two short stories in English (Hills like elephants by Hemingway) and in
Hindi (Jaadu by Munshi Premchand). The two literary works were
considered to be the masterpiece in the two languages has been taken into
consideration. The author illustrated the diversity and complexity of ellipsis
in two works in order to help learners to compare the structures of both the
languages and then get to know how and where the structures of noun
phrases, verb phrases, and appositional phrases might occur and become
elliptical in two languages. The analysis of Hills like white elephants in this
writing will be an enormous contribution to my study. Moreover, the
translation of five selected short stories will also be taken into consideration

with aim to draw out some comparison between the source and the target
In conclusion, it can be understood that cohesion in discourse seems
to be a preferred topic that many researchers overseas have decided to
conduct further studies. They all share the same perspective of the base for
their study such as the theory of discourse, discourse analysis or cohesion.
Consequently, it was applied into analyzing cohesion and any type of
grammatical cohesion contributing to certain documents and works.
2.1.2. Previous studies in Vietnam
Along with overseas studies, many Vietnamese authors have also had
discussion on the theme. Some of the typical ones are Huỳnh Hữu Hiền
(1997), Hoàng Thị Tú Anh (2005), Phạm Văn Tình (2006), Nguyễn Thị
Hoa (2011).
Huỳnh Hữu Hiền (1997) carried out thorough investigation into the
kinds of ellipsis in English and Vietnamese, then drew out valid comparison
between the two languages in ways of using this cohesive device. The data
contributing to the findings and discussions of this thesis was collected from
different sources in both languages, which, in some aspects, took a lot of
time for collection. By taking advantage of what being studied in this paper,
my thesis is desired to mainly focus on ellipsis in Hemingway’s short stories
with the available sources. Accordingly, the author will have more time to
examine and select valuable data for further analysis.
In the study, Hoàng Thị Tú Anh (2005) analyzed ellipsis as a measure
to clarify Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory. She also cited a lot of elliptical
cases from different short stories and novels for further analysis. However,
the study based on Vietnamese version to get the data as well as it tends to
focus on literature area instead of linguistics. As a result, elliptical cases will
be analyzed from the perspective of linguistics in order to help in using and
translating this phenomenon in an effective way.

In another point of view, Phạm Văn Tình (2006) conducted in-depth
analysis on ellipsis in Vietnamese which has given me a good chance to
have better understanding of this phenomenon in Vietnamese style.
Together with knowledge of ellipsis being researched by many authors in
English, I myself can make general comparison of this cohesive device in
the two languages. As a result, the study of the five selected short stories by
Hemingway and the changes in their translation in Vietnamese will
definitely work.
Nguyễn Thị Hoa (2011) presented what grammatical cohesive
devices in English and Vietnamese were and then contrasted them to see
whether there are corresponded grammatical cohesive devices in
Vietnamese to those in English and how these grammatical cohesive devices
differ from each other. The author also arrived at some implications for
readers in order to avoid making mistakes in using grammatical cohesive
devices and translating between these two languages. Seemingly, it took the
author much time because she had to collect data from different sources,
both in English and Vietnamese.
In general, these above researchers collected and analyzed
grammatical cohesive devices from many sources including Ernest
Hemingway as mine. However, none of them discussed about ellipsis as a
focus occurring in Hemingway’s works, especially five short stories I have
2.2. Review of theoretical background
2.2.1. Theoretical framework
The study was conducted basing on the theoretical framework of
discourse analysis, coherence and ellipsis which have been studied for long
decades by foreign and Vietnamese researchers.
In the late 1950s, Harris (1952) was the first person to mention the
term Discourse analysis and Mitchell (1957) actually studied discourse first

through his study on language in social settings entitled “ Buying and
selling in Cyenaica: a situational statement”. It was not until the 1960s and
1970s that discourse analysis had a lot of development with some bestknown works by Austin(1962), Dell Hymes (1964), Searle (1969), M.A.K
Halliday (1973), Grice (1975) and Sinclair and Coulthard (1975).
In Vietnam, linguists started paying attention to discourse analysis at
the end of the 20 century. Some of the famous authors are Tran Ngoc Them
(1985, 1999) , Diep Quang Ban (1998, 2002) , Nguyen Hoa (2002, 2003),
Hoang Van Van (2006).
2.2.2. The concept of discourse
There are some definitions of discourse. According to Crystal (1980),
discourse is a continuous stretch of (especially spoken) language larger than
a sentence, often constituting a coherent unit, such as a sermon, argument,
joke or narrative. While Stubbs (2002) give the definition of discourse as
“language above the sentence or above the clause”. Discourse is a
particular way of talking about and understanding the world (or an aspect of
the world). Discourse is language-in-action, and investigating it requires
attention both to language and to action. According to Halliday and Hasan
(1976), discourse is a language that is functional – language that is doing
some job in some context as opposed to isolated words or sentences.
Discourse can be spoken, written or in any other medium of expression.
Nunan D. (1993) defined discourse as “ a stretch of language consisting of
several sentences, which are perceived as being related in some way.
Sentences can be related, not only in terms of the idea they share, but also
in terms of the jobs they perform within the discourse – that is in terms of
their functions”.
From the definitions above, it can be known that discourse is the
comprehension unit of language. It occurs as a highest or biggest in the
grammatical hierarchy. Sentence in discourse is unreleased but it merges

between preceding and following sentences. The discourse unity is formed
by sentences, which are components of its construction.
Halliday and Hasan (1976) use “text” to actually refer to discourse for
they say a text is unit of language in use and it may be spoken or written,
prose or verse, dialogue or monologue. Brown and Yule (1983) point out
that texts are the representation of discourse and verbal records of
communicative acts. The concept of “text” is, however, confusing and
impractical. According to Widdowson (1979), “one way to sees it as a text,
a collection of formal objects held together by patterns of equivalences or
frequencies or by cohesive devices. The other way sees languages as
discourse, a use of sentences to perform acts of communication which
cohere into larger communicative units, ultimately establishing a rhetorical
pattern which characterizes the pieces the language as a whole as a kind of
communication”. The ability of the speaker to stretch a given discourse can
be said to constitute a text. Cohesion then is a principle factor in
determining texture since it is a means through which we can relate our
utterances or sentences.
Undoubtedly, it causes researched a lot of trouble distinguishing the
two terms “text analysis” and “discourse analysis”. According to Ho Ngoc
Trung (2013), “the term discourse analysis or text analysis refers to a
branch of linguistics that studies discourse/text”.

James (1980)

distinguished them as “we shall view text analysis as concerned with the
formal devices used for establishing inter-sentential connections, and unit
“above” the sentence and view discourse analysis as handling
considerations of use”. Moreover, Widdowson (1979) points out that text
analysis and discourse analysis are different but complementary ways of
looking at language in use.
2.2.3. Cohesion Text and its texture

As for Valeika and Buitkiene (2006), “Language is a means of
conveying and obtaining information” and to achieve this, the units of
language must perform appropriate functions. All languages are formed of
the smaller units – words, which have form and meaning. All languages also
have sentences which similarly have form and meaning and that meaning is
determined by the meanings of the words which it is composed and also
grammatical structure. Those sentences must be bound together to make a
text. A text is the text if there is mutual dependence between sentences. A
number of linguists such as Halliday and Hasan (1976), Breugrande and
Dressler (1981) and Lyons (1995) have characterized what a text is and
what features it has that distinguished it from a collection of unrelated
Halliday and Hasan (1976) refers to a text as “any passage, spoken or
written, of whatever length that forms a unified whole”. In order to create a
text as a unified whole, it is necessary to know what makes text coherent.
Firstly, it can be said that text is not defined by its size, it is not a
grammatical unit and it differs from a sentence. As observed earlier a
collection of random sentences cannot be regarded as the text, it can be said
that “in its deep structure, the text is sequence of mutually related clauses,
which after the application of appropriate textualizing operations, are turned
into text sentences” (Valeika and Buitkiene, 2006). Furthermore, in order to
create mutually connected sentences, the meaning that is semantic relation
of the words is important, because words and context are inseparable. If we
take any word for example, we can make predictions about the textual
environment it can occur, and if we know something about the environment,
then we can make predictions about the words which are likely to occur
there (Stubbs, 2002). The main conclusion, however, is that meaning and
logical relation of words and sentences are important when creating a

coherent text. That is why the text is not composed of sentences it is realized
by sentences (Halliday and Hasan, 1976).
A text distinguishes from a non-text by its texture. Texture is the
particular property that a text possesses and this distinguishes it from
something that is not a text (Halliday and Hasan, 1976). Texture is “the
property that ensures that the text ‘hangs together’” and makes any text
meaningful and coherent (Valeika, 2001). A text without texture would be a
group of unrelated sentences.
The most important feature of the texture is the cohesive relation
called a tie that is a semantic link between two elements. According to
Halliday and Hasan (1976), “the concept of a tie makes it possible to
analyze a text in terms of its cohesive properties, and give a systematic
account of its patterns of textures”. Ties “create links across sentence
boundaries and pair and chain together items that are related (e.g. by
referring to the same entity)” (McCarthy, 1991). Accordingly, ties link
sentences and therefore create cohesion. It is easy to see that language
follows a linear sequence. The last sentence of the previous text will lead
into the beginning of the next and cohesion shows if there is the connection
between sentences in the text. That means it describes the ways in which
components of sentences of a text are mutually connected (grammatically
and lexically). It creates a meaningful text to put it otherwise it defines a
text as text. The concept of cohesion
The term “cohesion” was used by M.A.K Halliday (1976) and later
employed by other linguists such as Hasan (1976), Toolan (1988), Cook
(1994), Lyons (1995) and Yule (1996). Halliday and Hasan (1996) analyzed
relations between adjacent sentences and clauses, they named these relation
cohesive relations. They claimed that cohesion is a semantic relation and
that cohesion exists “where the interpretation of some elements in the

discourse is dependent on that of another”. De Beaugrande and Dressler
(1981) refer to the cohesion as “continuity” meaning that various
occurrences in the text are related to each other. It showed that the syntactic
knowledge is an important part in constructing cohesive relations and
making text the unified whole. It also indicates that cohesion depends upon
lexical and grammatical relationships that allow sentences to be understood
as connected text rather than as unrelated sentences.
Like other semantic relation, Halliday and Hasan (1976) noted that
cohesion can be expressed through the stratal organization of language.
Language as multiple coding systems has three levels of coding or “strata”:
the semantic (meanings), the lexico-grammatical (forms) and the
phonological or orthographic (expressions). Meaning is put into wording
and wording into sound or writing. Wording refers to lexico-grammatical
form, the choice of words and grammatical structures. Cohesion is a
semantic relation and it is realized through the lexico-grammatical system
like all components of the semantic system. Some forms of cohesion are
realized through the grammar and others through the vocabulary (Halliday
and Hasan, 1976). Grammatical and lexical cohesion
According to Halliday and Hasan (1976), cohesion is classified into 2
broad types: grammatical and lexical. While the grammatical type is
realized by various grammatical devices used to make relations among
sentences more explicit, the lexical one is established through structure of
vocabulary; by relating words in terms of their meaning. Both types of
cohesion and their divisions are presented in Table 2.1 on page 14, based on
Halliday and Hasan (1976). Cohesion and coherence
It is known two aspects in forming text unity, they are coherence and
cohesion. Concerning those aspects, some linguists have asserted their

concept about them. According to Widdowson (1979), coherence is a matter
of the contextual appropriacy of linguistic forms (sentences and part of
sentences). While, cohesion is the overt relationship between propositions
expressed through sentences. In other word, cohesion is a propositional
relationship across sentences, without regard to what illocutionary acts are
being performed, by reference to formal syntactic and semantic signals.

Table 2.1: Halliday and Hasan’s classification of cohesive devices (1976)


Exophoric (situational)



Endophoric (textual)





Cataphoric [to

preceding following text]



and Meronymy
General word


Nominal substitution


Verbal substitution
Clausal substitution

Nominal ellipsis
Verbal ellipsis
Clausal ellipsis



Van Dijk (1977) also asserted that coherence is a semantic form in
discourse, which is based on the interpretation of relation inter-proposition.
According to Halliday and Hasan (1976), the concept of cohesion is a

semantic one; it refers to relations of meaning that exist within the text, and
that define it as the text. Cohesion occurs where the interpretation of some
elements in the discourse is dependent on that of another. Furthermore,
Halliday and Hasan said that cohesion in the text is distinguished by
grammatical cohesion and lexical cohesion.
According to the definition above, it is clear that cohesion and
coherence are the important factors in forming the text unity. Text unity is
depending on the interpretation of relation inter-proposition and formal
relation, which is formed by cohesive devices that exist within the text.
However, because of time limitedness, coherence is not analyzed in this
2.2.4. The concept of ellipsis
Ellipsis, a cohesive device, is a universal linguistic phenomenon
which is generally employed without any real awareness of how it is
structured by the language users. Many researchers have defined ellipsis in
many ways.
Mc Carthy (1991) defined “ellipsis is distinguished by the structure
having some ‘missing’ elements. Ellipsis is the omission of elements
normally required by the grammar which the speaker/writer assumes are
obvious from the context and therefore need not to be raised”.
Halliday and Hasan (1976) observed “the starting point of the
discussion of ellipsis can be familiar notion that it is ‘something left unsaid’.
There is no implication here that what is unsaid is not understood; on the
contrary, ‘unsaid’ implied ‘but understood nevertheless’.
Quirk et al (1972) considered “Ellipsis is purely a surface
phenomenon. In a strict sense of ellipsis, words are ellipted only if they are
uniquely recoverable and what is uniquely recoverable depends on the

Kennedy (2003) indicates that “ellipsis is the process by which noun
phrase, verb phrase, or clauses are deleted or “understood” when they are
Ho Ngoc Trung (2013) observes ellipsis as “the omission of elements
normally required by the grammar which the speaker/writer assumes are
obvious from the context and therefore need not be raised”.
In conclusion, it can be understood that ellipsis occurs when some
essentials structural element is omitted from a sentence or clause and can
only be recovered by referring to an element in the preceding text. Halliday
and Hasan (1976) categorized ellipsis into three categories, as illustrated in
Table 2.2 as follows:
Table 2.2: Types of ellipsis based on Halliday and Hasan (1976)
Nominal ellipsis

Verbal ellipsis

The men got back at Have


been Who was going to plant

midnight. All ɸ were swimming?
tired out.

Clausal ellipsis

Yes, I have ɸ.

a row of poplars in the
- The Duke was ɸ.

2.2.5. English nominal ellipsis The structure of English nominal group
Basing on the logical perspective, different authors studying English
shared the same point of view toward nominal group. Quirk el al (1972) and
Halliday and Hasan (1976) view the nominal group (‘noun phrase’ in their
term) as consisting of three components: the head, the pre-modification, and
the post-modification as shown in the following order:

The Head


These three


of co-ownership

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