Object Omission in Persian: A Role and Reference Grammar Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 ِDepartment of Linguistics University of Isfahan

2 Department of Linguistics University of Isfahan


The aim of this research is to investigate object omission based on Role and Reference Grammar. Object omission is a valency-reduction process in which a verb which is transitive in nature, appears without its object. This study, will indicate semantic, syntactic and pragmatic representation of the aforementioned construction with respect to the presented concepts in Role and Reference Grammar including the layered structure of the clause, logical structure, semantic macroroles, information structure, activation status of the referents and linking algorithm. Explaining object omission in the framework of RRG, indicates one of the advantages of this grammar. Although RRG attends to the interaction between form and function, it declines the abstract layers or elements in the syntactic analysis. Accordingly, in this grammar the syntactic structure of the clause is represented based on what is explicitly applicable. Therefore, RRG is not faced with any restriction in explaining object omission and regarding what is explicitly presented in the sentence, it behaves with transitive verbs which omit their objects as intransitive ones. The most specific attainments of investigating object omission in the framework of RRG are as follows: In the layered structure of a clause with omitted object, one of the arguments of the core will be reduced and the syntactic representation will be like an intransitive verb with just one argument (subject) in the core. The logical structure of such verbs, likewise, will be represent with just one argument (x), unlike transitive verbs which has two arguments (x, y) in logical structure. Regarding the aktionsart type of the verbs, the findings indicate that activities are the most frequent verbs in object omission construction. the reason is that the second argument of activity verbs is not a macrorole and therefore can be omitted. Describing object omission with regard to information structure and activation status of the referents in RRG shows that as in the aforementioned construction the object is omitted, it cannot be a focal or topical element and its referent can be considered as an accessible one. Since it is the hearer’s knowledge of the world that makes it possible to understand the notion of the omitted object. Moreover, in this study, regarding object omission construction, linking algorithm from semantic to syntax and from syntax to semantics has been provided. The bidirectional diagrams show that the linking principles of selecting and linking undergoer in both directions will not exist in the objectless sentences.


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 24 January 2022
  • Receive Date: 04 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 27 November 2021
  • Accept Date: 24 January 2022
  • First Publish Date: 24 January 2022