Research Project: Silent Communication: Interaction through Ellipsis by Native and Non-native Speakers of English

Project leader
Jonathan White
Project Members
Project Period
Project Status
Under planning
Much communication takes place that is not expressed explicitly in language. Ellipsis is a phenomenon where, thanks to the context, we do not need to speak or write complete sentences in order to communicate. So if we ask a question such as “Where did you see him?”, it is perfectly ok to answer “Over there” when you mean “I saw him over there”. The context of the question means we do not need to give a full sentence as an answer – the elliptical answer can be interpreted because of the context of the question.

The way language users interact with one another in terms of how much and how little they explicitly communicate has been studied much within fields like Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis. However, strategies such as ellipsis have not been greatly discussed (see Oh, 2005, 2006 and Scott, 2013 for notable exceptions, though). The interactive characteristics of different genres of language use like computer-mediated communication have also been researched, but again ellipsis has not been taken up. The proposed project links these two areas of research by investigating ellipsis as an interactive strategy in spoken language by native and non-native speakers of English.
interaktion, talspråk, korpus, ellipsis, interaction, spoken language, corpus, ellipsis
Research Profile
Intercultural Studies
Högskolan Dalarna