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This page pertains to UD version 2.

orphan: orphan-to-orphan relation in gapping

The orphan relation is used to provide a satisfactory treatment of ellipsis (in the case of gapping and stripping, where a predicational or verbal head gets elided) without having to postulate empty nodes in the basic representation. This is something that was lacking in earlier versions of SD and provides a basis for being able to reconstruct dependencies in the enhanced representation of UD.

The orphan relation connects one orphaned dependent of a missing predicate to another in the basic dependency representation.

Marie went to Paris and Miriam to Prague
nsubj(went-2, Marie-1)
obl(went-2, Paris-4)
case(Paris-4, to-3)
conj(went-2, Miriam-6)
cc(Miriam-6, and-5)
orphan(Miriam-6, Prague-8)
case(Prague-8, to-7)

The orphan relation is used when no predicational material is present. In contrast, in right-node-raising (RNR) and VP-ellipsis constructions in which some kind of predicational or verbal material is still present, the orphan relation is not used. In RNR, the verbs are coordinated and the object is an obj of the first verb:

John bought and ate an apple
nsubj(bought-2, John-1)
conj(bought-2, ate-4)
cc(ate-4, and-3)
det(apple-6, an-5)
obj(bought-2, apple-6)

In VP-ellipsis, we keep the auxiliary as the head, as shown below:

John will win gold and Mary will too
nsubj(win-3, John-1)
aux(win-3, will-2)
obj(win-3, gold-4)
conj(win-3, will-7)
cc(will-7, and-5)
nsubj(will-7, Mary-6)
advmod(will-7, too-8)

See further discussion of ellipsis.

orphan in other languages: [bm] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [fi] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gsw] [hy] [it] [kk] [no] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ro] [ru] [sl] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [vi] [yue] [zh]