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What is a zero?



Here are two senses for zero:

  1. A zero is a constituent proposed in an analysis to represent an element held to be present at an abstract level but not realized in the data.
  2. A zero is a unit proposed as a contrast to an element that might otherwise be present.
Examples (English)
  • A zero morph (Ø) proposed for the plural of sheep.
  • A zero conjunction proposed for he said Ø he was coming, in contrast with he said that he was coming.
  • A zero realization of a semantic argument proposed for the second clause in I eat breakfast before 7 A.M.; John eats Ø about 8 A. M.

Crystal 1980 388


Fleming 1988 41

  A zero is a kind of

Crystal 1980 388


Robins 1971 note, 212


Fleming 1988 41

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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