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This page pertains to UD version 2.

parataxis: parataxis

The parataxis relation (from Greek for “place side by side”) is a relation between a word (often the main predicate of a sentence) and other elements, such as a sentential parenthetical or a clause after a “:” or a “;”, placed side by side without any explicit coordination, subordination, or argument relation with the head word. Parataxis is a discourse-like equivalent of coordination, and so usually obeys an iconic ordering. Hence it is normal for the first part of a sentence to be the head and the second part to be the parataxis dependent, regardless of the headedness properties of the language. But things do get more complicated, such as cases of parentheticals, which appear medially.

Let 's face it we 're annoyed
parataxis(Let, annoyed)
The guy , John said , left early in the morning
parataxis(left, said)
punct(said, ,-3)
punct(said, ,-6)

An inventory of constructions to which parataxis has been applied

The following material is duplicated in the syntax overview.

Side-by-side sentences (“run-on sentences”)

The parataxis relation is used for a pair of what could have been standalone sentences, but which are being treated together as a single sentence. This may happen because sentence segmentation of the sentence was done primarily following the presence of sentence-final punctuation, and these clauses are joined by punctuation such as a colon or comma, or not delimited by punctuation at all. In a spoken corpus, it may happen because what is labeled as a sentence is more commonly an utterance turn. Even if the treebanker is doing the sentence division, it may happen because there seems to be a clear discourse relation linking two clauses. Sometimes there are more than two sentences joined in this way. In this case we make all the later sentences dependents of the first one, to maximize similarity to the analysis used for conjunction.

Bearded dragons are sight hunters , they need to see the food to move .
parataxis(hunters, need)
punct(need, ,)

This relation may happen with units that are smaller than sentences:

Divided world the CIA
amod(world, Divided)
parataxis(world, CIA)
det(CIA, the)

Paired clauses with non-conjunction connective (“X so Y” etc.)

The relation is also used for clauses connected by a word like so, then, therefore, or however if neither clause is interpreted as modifying the other, and there is no coordinating conjunction:

He claimed to be a wizard ; however/ADV , he turned out to be a humbug .
parataxis(claimed, turned)
advmod(turned, however)
I 'm hungry , so/ADV I 'm getting a bagel .
parataxis(hungry, getting)
advmod(getting, so)

The following, by contrast, are advcl modifiers:

Eat now so/ADV you wo n't be hungry later .
advcl(Eat, hungry)
advmod(hungry, so)
If/SCONJ you build it , then/ADV they will come .
advcl(come, build)
mark(build, If)
advmod(come, then)

Note that if-clauses should almost always be analyzed as subordinate, even when then is present.

Reported speech

When a speech verb interrupts reported speech content, the interruption is treated as a parenthetical parataxis:

The guy , John said , left early in the morning
parataxis(left, said)
punct(said, ,-3)
punct(said, ,-6)

See further discussion of reported speech at ccomp.

News article bylines

We have used the parataxis relation to connect the parts of a news article byline. There does not seem to be a better relation to use.

Washington ( CNN ) :
parataxis(Washington, CNN)
punct(CNN, ()
punct(CNN, ))
punct(CNN, :)

Interjected clauses

Single word or phrase interjections are analyzed as discourse, but when a whole clause is interjected, we use the relation parataxis.

Calafia has great fries ( they are to die for ! )
parataxis(has, are)
punct(are, ()
punct(are, ))
Just to let you all know Matt has confirmed the booking for 3rd Dec is OK .
parataxis(confirmed, let)

In the second example, we treat the second half as the head of the dependency because the first half feels like a whole clause interjection, not like the main clause of the utterance.

Tag questions

We also use the parataxis relation for tag questions such as isn’t it? or haven’t you?.

It 's not me , is it ?
parataxis(me, is)
punct(is, ,)

parataxis in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gsw] [hy] [it] [ja] [kk] [no] [pcm] [pt] [ru] [sv] [tr] [u] [yue] [zh]