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English has a rich vocabulary and literature.

 
 
WBYeats
 
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2013 07:46 am
In my dictionary is a sentence:

-English has a rich vocabulary and literature.

This ellipsis can be technically interpreted in two ways:

-English has a rich vocabulary and [a rich] literature.
-English has a rich vocabulary and [English has] literature.

In English tradition, LITERATURE usually is not used with A, and I don't think the first sentence is unusual in this case, so it should not be the correct interpretation; the second seems correct, but semantically its strange - why is there the need to tell people the existence of English literature?

Do you think that sentence in my dictionary has typing mistakes?
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2013 07:56 am
@WBYeats,
Quote:
In English tradition, LITERATURE usually is not used with A


It is definitely possible to precede "literature" with an indefinite article ("a"). English has a literature. It is called "English literature".

"It has been remarked that the tendency of literature in all countries today is towards what is called realism, or that method which deals with human life and action as it is rather than as it should be, as under the method of the purely romantic. This is especially true of the literature of Germany, of France, of Russia, and of America — if we can properly say that America has a literature."

"Yet when we turn to Taoism, we find that this too has a literature of its own — a most remarkable literature, and a most remarkable history."

"The result shows that Kanarese has a literature of vast extent, reaching back till its beginnings are lost in the mists of time."

"In 1919 George Abraham Grierson wrote that Kashmiri is the only one of the Dardic languages that has a literature."
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2013 08:43 pm
@WBYeats,
Quote:
-English has a rich vocabulary and literature.

This ellipsis can be technically interpreted in two ways:

-English has a rich vocabulary and [a rich] literature.
-English has a rich vocabulary and [English has] literature.


I'd say that the intended meaning is the first one.

Quote:
In English tradition, LITERATURE usually is not used with A,


I agree.
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WBYeats
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2013 09:56 pm
Thanks JTT for agreeing~

Thanks Contrex for the excellent explanation~
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