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Thanuir
12 days ago
*What to do with elliptical expressions*

A fine example, but let us discuss the general case: https://tatoeba.org/dan/sentences/show/748252 , or "If I had brushed my teeth..."

I personally have a mild preference for allowing such in the corpus, but only a mild one.

* They might not be complete sentences (the example is not), in the sense of a having a main clause and maybe some other stuff, since the main clause can be implied, as in the example.
On the other hand, there are many other things, such as greetings and other interjections, which are also not complete sentences, but still an established part of the corpus.

* They are valid utterances that are and can be used in conversations and in literacy. Often the context implies the omitted part of the sentence.
One could, as always, say that the context should be added as a part of the sentence. But most sentences and "sentences" are always improved by adding context and more material, yet this is not a corpus of books.

* They add marginal linguistic content, since the ellipsis is an accepted part of many languages. Also, based on the linked sentence, there seems to be some variety in how the ellipsis is expressed, though not much. (Japanese is different and Spanish may be different, if having the spaces there is right.)

Summarising:

I do not see a compelling reason for removing such utterances, though also little reason to encourage contribution of them.

But please provide other perspectives on this.
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AlanF_US
11 days ago
> I do not see a compelling reason for removing such utterances, though also little reason to encourage contribution of them.

I agree with you. I don't add them myself. However, I wouldn't remove one unless there were some other issue with it.
CK
CK
11 days ago - 11 days ago
> * They are valid utterances that are and can be used in conversations and in literacy. Often the context implies the omitted part of the sentence.

This problem can be solved by following the first rule on our Rules and Guidelines page.
https://en.wiki.tatoeba.org/art...how/guidelines

This shows one example of how context can be added to show usage of non-sentence expressions.

Can you think of a dialogue in which the item at #748252 would naturally fit?
If so, I'd suggest that you add it, so we have a good example.



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Thanuir
11 days ago
For this particular sentence, I would imagine a situation where there is something wrong with one's teeth, and this could have been avoided by brushing them. Though I would add the word "only" to the sentence. I'll leave writing natural English dialogue to those who are more skilled at it.

Could you be more explicit about the harm the "sentence" is causing so as to merit its deletion?
Thanuir
11 days ago
(I added a couple of uses of ellipsis but with unrelated meaning. https://tatoeba.org/dan/sentences/show/8166172 and https://tatoeba.org/dan/sentences/show/8166177

The first is more natural than the example here and the second should be complete by any measure.)
Thanuir
11 days ago
From the comment thread of the sentence, by @CK:
"Note that since there is no context, the Japanese could refer to more than one tense and the subject could also be something other than "I.""

This is not very relevant. For example, many English sentences with "you" do not have sufficient context to determine if it is the singular, the plural or the general "you", or the degree of formality. This leads to several different translations in many other languages.
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Thanuir
11 days ago
Further by @CK, copied here because I see it as relevant for the general case:

"It's "relevant" because this is not complete and the context is not given, so this is not a complete thought. On the other hand, complete sentences are felt to be "complete", at least in some sense, so alternate translations make more sense, doesn't it?"

I do not see, yet, the hard line between this and "Take a shower before you go swimming." in terms of ambiguity. (I obviously see the hard line in terms of grammar.)

Both could be uttered in a number of different circumstances. The grammatically incomplete example at least specifies the subject, whereas the alternative, above, might be a general principle of hygiene, or something said to a single person or to several people.

Is the completeness here a matter of grammar, or is there somethign else at play?
Thanuir
11 days ago
Relevant blog post from Trang, as linked by @brauchinet in the comments:

https://blog.tatoeba.org/2010/0...f-content.html

A quote:

"
As far as I'm concerned, I think Tatoeba can handle a loose definition of "sentence". We don't strictly need to have an entity with at least a verb. To me, when spoken, everything is a sentence. When written, the main difference between a sentence and a non-sentence is punctuation. That's all. For the rest, as long as people can imagine context where the "sentence" can be expressed, then it's a sentence.
So yes, I'm roughly saying that you can take all the words in the dictionary, add punctuation and perhaps a capital letter, you'd turn it into a sentence. I don't encourage it because it's not useful (dictionaries do that already), but one-word sentences are still tolerated. I'll trust people's common sense for adding only one-word sentences that are significant (for instance, "Hello" is, "House" isn't).
"