Focal ellipsis (FE) is quite peculiar in that the focal part is missing. In this paper I propose that the silence of the focal part arises from the fact that the content of the focus may be empty, even though the focused phrase usually consists of a focus and its content. More specifically, the missing part of FE is made up of an empty focus and a rising tone, which are interpreted as a variable and a question about the variable, respectively. This approach enables us to explain why the FE construction displays a seemingly contradictory property--the property that it is not an interrogative sentence but it is a question. I have pointed out that the FE construction is not alone with regard to the property; this property is shared by the echo question. I have argued that the FE construction and the echo question have an indicative C, but they are interpreted as a question, since they contain a variable and a rising tone which requires the addressee to specify the content of the variable. The difference between the two constructions lies in whether the variable is realized as an empty focus or a wh-word, and the contrast gives rise to a difference in interpretation.
2. Deletion Approach
3. The Incomplete Sentence Approach
4. The Empty Focus Approach
5. Concluding Remarks