2018, Mai : Reduction, densification, ellipsis : forms and discourse functions
International Conference, May 25-26, 2018, Clermont-Ferrand

2018, Mai : Reduction, densification, ellipsis : forms and discourse functions

Important dates :

  • Submission of abstracts : January 30, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance : March 1, 2018
  • Conference : May 25-26, 2018, Clermont-Ferrand

Registration : https://reduction.sciencesconf.org/


Final programm
Book of abstracts


This conference will revisit the forms of reduction, densification and ellipsis of language material that locutors use to express their communicational intentions. It will focus on the various reduced, elided and densified forms in different languages, on their morphosyntactic and semantic properties, and on their function in discourse. On the hypothesis that these forms are complementary, and permit a range of discourse processes, we aim to compare the roles of the different forms, and to highlight those factors that determine their use in discourse. We will also address the strategies used by interlocutors in understanding these forms.

The conference will cover three approaches :

  1. Historiographical, addressing the history of linguistic thought concerning the reduction, elision and densification of utterances,
  2. Typological, in which the different forms and processes of reduction, elision and densification in one or more languages are described and compared,
  3. Discursive, emphasising the use of these forms/processes in discourse, and highlighting the linguistic, discursive and interlocutory factors that determine their choice in a given communicational context, including literary discourse.

The following aspects can thus be addressed (among others) :

  • Types of production conducive to the use of reduced forms,
  • Conditions for elision and reduction of language elements and outcome for the comprehension of utterances,
  • Complementarity or competition among different forms of reduction (anaphora, ellipsis, null elements, etc.) in discourse, together with the locutor’s communicational aim with regard to the interlocutor when using these forms,
  • The role played by the structure of the information (presupposition, focalisation, etc.) in the reduction processes,
  • The role played by oral analysis for understanding of the reduced forms,
  • The role of silence, suspension points, parenthesis, short interpolations, etc.,
  • The motivations for the reinterpretation of short forms (nominal utterances, prefabricated expressions etc.) as non-elliptical forms,
  • The managing of non-comprehension of reduced forms by the interlocutors,
  • The contribution of contextual visual elements for understanding reduced forms.

More specifically, in the historiographical approach :

  • Besides the notion of ellipsis and its different theoretical frameworks, from the grammarians’ ‘flaw’ to the rhetorician’s elegant concision, more pragmatic approaches placing special emphasis on the communicational aim of particular forms of reduction, densification or elision,
  • A study of examples provided by authors to identify and understand those types of reduction that are of greatest interest,
  • Evolution in how reduced forms are treated in both school and scientific grammars.

Keynote speakers

Gerda HAßLER (Université de Potsdam)
Jean-Christophe PITAVY (Université Jean-Monnet-St-Etienne & Université Galatasaray)

Conference site

Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH)
4 rue Ledru
63000 Clermont-Ferrand

Submission procedure

Submit an abstract no longer than two pages (including examples and bibliography), in French or English, to :


Abstracts will be anonymously refereed by two reviewers.

A publication of selected papers is planned at Nodus (Münster, Germany).

Conference fee

80 € / 25 € for students.

Scientific committee

Colette BODELOT (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Frédéric CALLAS (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Anne DAGNAC (Université Toulouse-Jean-Jaurès, France)
José DEULOFEU (Université de Provence, France)
Ton van HAAL (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Gerda HAßLER (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Hana GRUET-SKRABALOVA (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Lidia LEBAS-FRACZAK (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Stefanos MATHAIOS (University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Henning NØLKE (University of Aarhus, Danemark)
Cordula NEIS (University of Flensburg, Germany)
Jean-Christophe PITAVY (Université Jean-Monnet-St-Etienne, France & Université Galatasaray, Turkey)
Günter SCHMALE (Université Lyon 3, France)
Friederike SPITZL-DUPIC (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)

Organization committee

Hana GRUET-SKRABALOVA and Friederike SPITZL-DUPIC (Université Clermont Auvergne)

Selected references

ASHER, N., HARDT, D. & J. BUSQUETS (2001) Discourse parallelism, ellipsis and ambiguity, Journal of Semantics, 18, 1-25.

BÄR, J. A., ROELCKE, Th., STEINHAUER, A. (eds) (2007) Sprachliche Kürze : konzeptuelle, strukturelle und pragmatische Aspekte. Berlin / New York, De Gruyter.

BERRENDONNER, A. (1991) Pour une macro-syntaxe. In D. Willems (ed.), Données orales et théories linguistiques, Paris / Louvain, Duculot, 25-31.

BLANCHE-BENVENISTE C. (1990) Le français parlé, études grammaticales, Paris, Éditions du CNRS.

CHAO, W. (1987) On Ellipsis. PhD. dis. University of Massachussets.

CHEVALIER, F.H. G., (2008) Unfinished Turns in French Conversation : How Context Matters. Research on Language and Social Interaction 41/1, 1-30.

CULICOVER P. & JACKENDOFF R. (2005) Simpler syntax. Oxford, OUP.

DALRYMPLE, M. (2001) Against reconstruction in ellipsis. In R. Elugardo & R.J. Stainton (eds.), Ellipsis and Nonsentential Speech, 31-55.

DEBAISIEUX J. M. (2000) Vous avez dit inachevé : de quelques modes de construction du sens à l’oral. In Le français dans le monde, n° spécial Oral : variabilité et usages, 53-62.

DEHE, N., KAVALOVA, Y. (eds), 2007. Parentheticals. Amsterdam / Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

DEULOFEU J. (2010) La greffe d’un énoncé sur une construction : une combinaison originale de parataxe et de rection. In Beguelin M.-J. & G. Corminbeuf, La Parataxe, Bern, Peter Lang, 175-209.

DÖRING, S. (2017) Vorschlag einer syntaktischen Analyse von Parenthesen. In Spitzl-Dupic, F. (ed.) Parenthetische Einschübe, Tübingen, Stauffenberg, 207-223.

FOX, D. (2000) Economy and semantic interpretation. Cambridge, MIT Press.

FUCHS, C. (éd.) (1983) L’Ellipse grammaticale : Études épistémologiques et historiques, Histoire Epistémiologie Langage (HEL) 5.

GRETSCH, P. (2000) Fokale Ellipsen in Erwachsenen- und Kindersprache. Tübingen, Niemeyer.

GRUET-SKRABALOVA, H. (2016) Ellipsis in sequences of multiple wh-words. Linguistica Brunensia 64.1, 57-69.

GRZESIKOWSKI, St., MÜLLER, St. (2008) Sogenannte Ellipsen in gesprochener Sprache. München, GRIN Verlag.

GÜNTHNER, S. (2006) Grammatische Analysen der kommunikativen Praxis – ‚Dichte Konstruktionen‘ in der Interaktion. In Deppermann, A., Fiehler, R. / Spranz-Fogasy, Th. (eds), Grammatik und Interaktion. Radolfzell, Verlag für Gesprächsforschung, 95-122.

HANKAMER, J. & SAG, I.A. (1976) Deep and surface anaphora. Linguistic Inquiry 7(3), 391-428.

HARDT, D. (1999) Dynamic interpretation of verb phrase ellipsis. Linguistics and Philosophy, 22, 185-219.

HENNIG, M. (ed.) (2013) Die Ellipse. Berlin, De Gruyter.

KEHLER, A. (2002) Coherence, reference and the theory of grammar. Stanford, CSLI Publications.

KLUCK, M., OTT, D., de VRIES, M. (eds.) (2014) Parenthesis and Ellipsis. Cross-linguistic and Theoretical Perspectives. Berlin, De Gruyter.

LECOINTRE, C. (1979) Figure ou chimère ? Histoire Epistémiologie Langage (HEL) 1.1, 27-32.

LEFEUVRE, F. , BEHR, I. (eds) (2011) Énoncés averbaux autonomes entre grammaire et discours. Paris, Ophrys.

LEJEUNE, P. (2011) Le journal, genèse d’une pratique. Genesis [en ligne] 32 (17/09/2012), URL : http://genesis.revues.org/310.

MATUSCHEK, S. (1994) Ellipse. In G. Ueding (éd.). Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik, vol. 2, Tübingen : Niemeyer, 1017-1022.

MARILLIER, J.-F. / VARGAS, E. (eds), (2016) Fragmentarische Äußerungen. Tübingen, Stauffenberg.

MERCHANT, J. (2001) The syntax of silence : Sluicing, islands, and the theory of ellipsis. Oxford, OUP.

MERCHANT, J. (2004) Fragments and Ellipsis. Linguistics and Philosophy 27.6, 661-738.

MEYER-HERMANN, R., RIESER, H. (eds), (1985) Ellipsen und fragmentarische Ausdrücke. 2 t., Tübingen, Niemeyer.

MITUM, M. (2005) On the assumption of the sentence as the basic unit of syntactic structure. In Z. Frayzingier, A. Hodges & D. S. Rood (eds.), Linguistic diversity and language theories. Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 169–183.

ORTNER, H.1(987) Die Ellipse. Ein Problem der Sprachtheorie und der Grammatikschreibung. Tübingen, Niemeyer.

PITAVY, J.-C. & M. BIGOT (eds) (2008) Ellipse et effacement. Du schème de phrase aux règles discursives. Publications de l’Université Saint-Etienne.
SAG, I. (1976) Deletion and Logical Form. PhD diss, MIT.

SAG, I.& J. HANKAMER (1976) Deep and surface anaphora. Linguistic Inquiry, 7, 391-428.

SANDERS, G. (1977) A functional typology of elliptical coordinations. In F. R. Eckmann (ed.), Current themes in linguistics : Bilingualism, experimental linguistics, and language typologies, New York et al., Hemisphere, 241-270.

SELTING, M. (1997) Sogenannte ‚Ellipsen‘ als interaktiv relevante Konstruktionen ? Ein neuer Versuch über Reichweite und Grenzen des Ellipsenbegriffs für die Analyse gesprochener Sprache in der konversationellen Interaktion. In Schlobinski, P (éd.) Syntax des gesprochenen Deutsch. Opladen, Westdeutscher Verlag, 117-155.

SHOPEN, T. (1973) Ellipsis as Grammatical Indeterminacy. Foundations of Language 10, 65–77.

SPITZL-DUPIC, F. (2016) Zur Analyse der Ellipse : eine historiographische Untersuchung (18.-19. Jahrhundert). In Marillier, F., Vargas, E. (des), Fragmentarische Äußerungen, Tübingen, Stauffenburg, 57-78.