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Is the following question title grammatical or not, despite some missing articles?

Way of obtaining Chomsky normalform, does it influence performance of CYK parser?

P.S.: is there an English grammar web site that shows the used "it" pronoun pattern or a similar pattern? Maybe something along Participial Phrase?

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Thanks for all the answers (2) so far. Unfortunately I cannot yet upvote them, since I don't have enough marks. – j4n bur53 Jun 24 '11 at 10:59
Burse, Hello and welcome to EL&U! When you find an answer that was the most helpful to you, you can click the check mark to the left of the answer to mark it as your "accepted" answer. While everyone (who has enough reputation) can upvote, only the question's author can accept an answer — so you should do this once you are satisfied with one of the answers :) – aedia λ Jun 24 '11 at 14:36
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Leaving the question of articles aside, in your example "it" is a pronoun that refers to the entire first clause, so there's nothing objectionable about it.

The comma seems a little weak there for a question title, however. I would probably prefer a colon instead:

Way of obtaining Chomsky normalform: Does it influence performance of CYK parser?

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Use of "it" in this case is not wrong (a kind of "anastrophe"); the "it" is referring to "way of obtaining Chomsky normalform"

However, I would rephrase the title, so that, not only does it eliminate "it", it makes it easier to read :

Does the way of obtaining Chomsky normalforms influence performance of CYK parser?

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I agree about rephrasing. It is somewhat humorous that the OP found the use of "it" potentially a problem, but did not find "Way of obtaining Chomsky normalforms" awkward or problematic. – horatio Jun 24 '11 at 15:53
There's a problem with that rephrasing as an article headline, in that the subject under investigation is "hidden" by putting "Does the" in front of it. A list of technical or scientific article abstractions is usually pretty dense, and panning for gold in one can be annoying. The problem lies in trying to recover normal grammar at all; a better restatement would probably have been something like "Chomsky normalform method: CYK parser performance implications?". In running speech, it would probably indicate aphasia, but as a "search key" it says it all. – bye Jun 24 '11 at 19:23

It is used to used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified.

We will sleep in a room with two beds in it.
This approach is refreshing because it breaks down barriers.

In your example, it is referring to way of obtaining Chomsky normalform, previously mentioned in the sentence.

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The use of "it" is fine; the comma-splice isn't.

Divide those independent clauses with a semi-colon, colon, or n-dash, eh?

Also, it's fine to ellipse words whose meaning is implicit ("Way of", if there's only one way), but not determiners (e.g. "the" and either a determiner or something else to identify a particular "way of"):

"Obtaining Chomsky normalform: Does it Influence the Performance of the CYK Parser?"


"My Super-duper New Way of Obtaining Chomsky normalform: Does it Influence the Performance of the CYK Parser?"


"Obtaining Chomsky normalform my Super-duper New Way: Does it Influence the Performance of the CYK Parser?"

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