A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the elided phrase "has provide":
"He was chosen to provide leadership, and provide leadership he has."

This strikes me as a completely idiomatic phrase, and furthermore, it seems to me it's not a case of an idiom, but the result of some grammatical rule. First, do you agree that the sentence sounds fine? If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
1 2
"Raymond S. Wise" (Email Removed) wrote on 19 Feb 2004:
A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the ... sounds fine? If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

I don't know any rule against it, but I'd say that "and provided leadership he has" is equally acceptable and idiomatic. IMHO, the elision is the missing "done" at the end of the sentence the OP objected to and that the sentence with "provided leadership" is a sentence with an extraposed(1) subject and aux.
(1) "extraposition", a linguistic term, is not in MW11. Here's the definition: "Extrapostion is the process or result of moving an element from its normal place to a place at the end or near to the end of a sentence." It appears to come from: Crystal, David. 1997.A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 4th edition. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
426 pages. It seems to be the opposite of "topicalization" or"fronting".
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A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the ... case of an idiom, but the result of some grammatical rule. First, do you agree that the sentence sounds fine?

Sounds fine to me. Nothing improper about it, at least not in English. (Was the original in French?)
If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

I don't consider it an idiom, not really. And I don't know of any specific grammatical rule it follows, but I would put the sentence construction in a category that might be called "that which emphasizes" and/or "that which expresses agreement."
Your own name, Ray, lends itself to a sentence of this type. ("Someone said that's Mr. Wise, and by God, he sure is." )
Maria Conlon
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"He was chosen to provide leadership, and provide leadership he has." This strikes me as a completely idiomatic phrase, and ... case of an idiom, but the result of some grammatical rule. First, do you agree that the sentence sounds fine?

Not really, though I'd let it pass in speech without comment. It seems to be cheating with respect to "provide"/"provided".

And yet, if it were "He was chosen to provide leadership, and that he has," I don't think I'd object.
How logical is that?

Michael West
A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the ... strikes me as a completely idiomatic phrase, and furthermore, it seems to me it's not a case of an idiom,

I don't know about your question but it seems strange to me to say it is completely idiomatic but it's not an idiom.
but the result of some grammatical rule. First, do you agree that the sentence sounds fine? If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

s/ meirman If you are emailing me please
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A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the ... sounds fine? If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

Congratulations, you've just discovered "V'-Preposing" (pronounced Vee-Bar-Preposing, aka Predicate Phrase Preposing), which is a rule that moves a V' (pronounced Vee-Bar, i.e, a phrase headed by a Verb or VP, as it used to be known) to the beginning of a clause. Note that you have to leave behind some Auxiliary Verb(s), to keep the V' slot filled. But other V-bar's governed by it can be moved. McCawley (1998; 'The Syntactic Phenomena of English') talks about it on pages 179 and 188.

This is a good example of a 'syntactic rule'.
It's idiomatic, in the sense that it's used and recognized by native speakers without a second thought, but it's not an idiom, in the sense that it's not unpredictable from the meaning of its parts. It is predictable, provided you use syntactic rules as part of your prediction mechanism. In this it resembles thousands of other syntactic rules, like for example Passive.
-John Lawler http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler Michigan Linguistics "The relation between having a language and a set of sentences is not unlike the relation between having a car and a set of trips to the supermarket." James D. McCawley
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A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an example of an improper ellipsis (he thinks it suggests the ... sounds fine? If so, do you consider it an idiom or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

The phrase doesn't strike me as idiomatic. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to be a case of ellipsis or elision, but of inversion.

Had the sentence been 'He was chosen to provide leadership, and provide leadership he will', that would be a correct example of inversion of the phrase 'he will provide leadership'. Without inversion, the given sentence would be 'He was chosen to provide leadership, and he has provided leadership'. The correct inversion would be 'provided leadership he has'. I don't think I'd feel comfortable with that, but I don't see any way around it if you want inversion.
Gerald Smyth
A poster to fr.lettres.langue.anglaise suggested that the following is an ... or can you identify the rule which might permit it?

Congratulations, you've just discovered "V'-Preposing" (pronounced Vee-Bar-Preposing, aka Predicate Phrase Preposing), which is a rule that moves a V' (pronounced ... beginning of a clause. Note that you have to leave behind some Auxiliary Verb(s), to keep the V' slot filled.

I think the original poster's intention was to question the use of auxiliary "have" in this instance.
Moving the verb or verb phrase here with a verb in the infinitive to the beginning of the clause would seem to imply that the auxiliary cannot be any auxiliary, but only one which can be followed by an infinitive verb.
But other V-bar's governed by it can be moved. McCawley (1998; 'The Syntactic Phenomena of English') talks about it on ... unlike the relation between having a car and a set of trips to the supermarket." James D. McCawley

Isabelle Cecchini
Congratulations, you've just discovered "V'-Preposing" (pronounced Vee-Bar-Preposing, aka Predicate Phrase ... behind some Auxiliary Verb(s), to keep the V' slot filled.

I think the original poster's intention was to question the use of auxiliary "have" in this instance. Moving the verb ... to imply that the auxiliary cannot be any auxiliary, but only one which can be followed by an infinitive verb.

Wow! Thank you. I missed that completely.
Which, I suppose, argues for Raymond's point that it seems idiomatic. It also points to a possible explanation for the occurrence and its seeming grammaticality basically, processing lag.
When you (the listener) encounter the preposed infinitive V' "provide leadership", you've just finished processing the grammatical infinitive "to provide leadership", and you recognize this is preposed, so its grammaticality depends on what structure it's moved from. Note that "do", for instance, would make this grammatical:
He was chosen to provide leadership, and provide leadership he did.

In effect, your parser issues an IOU for an infinitive-licensing structure at the end of the sentence. By the time you get there, however, this is largely a formality, since you've already got the semantics processed (the second 'provide leadership' is just a repetition, after all, so it needs no extra processing), and you're expecting something grammatical like "did"; since the "has" is effectively synonymous with "did", the fact that the IOU isn't actually redeemed can be overlooked by many auditors (but not by all, apparently). Call it the Enron model, if you like.

Note that if, instead of simply repeating the infinitive, we use a non-verbal anaphor like "that", the sentence works no matter what auxiliary is used.
He was chosen to provide leadership, and that he did. He was chosen to provide leadership, and that he has.

Technically, the "that" should be simply an anaphor of the infinitive, and thus the IOU is still not being redeemed with "has", but here the fact is buried under the details of pronominalization. Sort of like hiding the deficit by an off-books transaction.
Very interesting stuff.
Thanks again, and a belated (blush) for missing the point.

John Lawler http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler U Michigan Linguistics Dept "Once you have the cap and gown all you need do is open your mouth. What ever nonsense you talk becomes wisdom and all the rubbish, good sense." Moliere
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