Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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12.2.4 Ellipsis

`Ellipsis' is a disputed notion, as is the exact delimitation of `ellipsis' on the one hand and `brachylogy' on the other. For the various points of view I refer to the textbooks. [16] I understand by ellipsis the absence of one or more constituents in a sentence B that have been expressed in some way in the preceding sentence A or even earlier and that are not omissible, semantically or syntactically, without knowledge of the context. Another term is `zero-anaphora'. Furthermore, constituents are often not expressed that are also clear without being spelled out explicitly, e.g.:

(31) melius Graii atque nostri (sc. iudicant) (`The judgment of the Greeks and that of our people is better (than that of the Persians)', Cic. Leg. 2.26)

I do not regard such instances as ellipsis and leave them out of account. In many cases of ellipsis, the omitted constituent is an argument of the predicate, especially the Subject (from this point of view, the phenomenon has already been mentioned on p. 6), but it is not restricted to arguments. Predicates can be absent as well, just like, for instance, Head constituents of noun phrases, see examples (32)–(37). In (32)–(33) we find omission of the Subject, [17] in (34) of the Object, in (35) of the Indirect Object, in (36) of a predicate, [18] in (37) of a Head constituent of a noun phrase. [19]

(32) Caesar primo … proelio supersedere statuit; cotidie tamen equestribus proeliis quid hostis virtute posset et quid nostri auderent periclitabatur (`Initially Caesar decided against a decisive battle; nevertheless he tested

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in daily cavalry fights the capabilities of the enemy and the courage of his own men', Caes. Gal. 2.8.1–2)

(33) qui clamores tota cavea nuper in … M. Pacuvi nova fabula! … stantes plaudebant in re ficta (`What applause in the entire theatre during the recent performance of a new play by Pacuvius! Standing, they were applauding something that was not really happening', Cic. Amic. 24)

(34) Haec cum pluribus verbis flens a Caesare peteret, Caesar eius dextram prendit; consolatus rogat finem orandi faciat (`When he repeatedly asked Caesar for this in tears, Caesar took his hand; having consoled him, he asked him to put an end to his plea', Caes. Gal. 1.20.5)

(35) Dat negotium Senonibus reliquisque Gallis … ut … se … de his rebus certiorem faciant. Hi constanter omnes nuntiaverunt manus cogi … (`He ordered the S. and the other Gauls to inform him of this. All constantly reported to him that troops were being assembled', Caes. Gal. 2.2.3–4)

(36) at propero :: et pol ego item (`But I am in a hurry :: By Pollux, I am, too', Pl. Per. 224)

(37) vos exemplaria Graeca nocturna versate manu, versate diurna (`Study the Greek models at night, study them by day', Hor. Ars 268–9)

On p. 1 it was pointed out that not only verbs have a certain valency, but adjectives and nouns as well. The constituents required by a noun can often remain implicit. Examples are (38)–(40):

(38) esto, causam proferre non potes (`All right: you cannot name a reason', Cic. S. Rosc. 73)

(39) at regina … caeco carpitur igni. multa viri virtus animo multusque recursat gentis honos; haerent infixi pectore vultus verbaque (`But the queen … is wasted with invisible fire: often the man's (viz. Aeneas') valour and his glorious stock rush back to her heart; his looks and words cling fast within her bosom', Verg. A. 4.1–5)

(40) magnitudines autem ad copiam hominum oportet fieri (`The measures (of a forum), however, must be adapted to the number of people', Vitr. 5.1.2)

A noun like causa always presupposes something of which it is the motive/cause, which can, of course, often remain implicit. Likewise, vultus is always someone's face and magnitudo always the size of something. [20]

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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