I'm a patent translator (Japanese to English), and I want to know how to use the term "respective" without ambiguity or redundancy in patent documents (or technical writings).
The other day, a claim expression that I had translated from Japanese to English was corrected as follows by a non-native checker (* the wordings are replaced by "member" and "unit" in the following examples).
(original) each of the plurality of members includes a unit
(corrected) the plurality of members include respective units
I think that the correcter did that because she wanted to make the "unit" plural, but I feel a little strange about the corrected expression because the "units" included in the "members" are not mentioned before and not distinguished from one another. The expression is just intended to inform that each member includes one unit (not zero, two or more units) without exception.
(Q1) The corrected sentence is acceptable to native speakers of English, in formal style ?
In Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "respective" is defined as "belonging or relating to each one of the people or things that have been mentioned", and specifically as particular, separate.
This makes me think that the respective units have to be distinguished from one another.
Moreover, I learned that the use of "respectively" requires parallelism, that is, a direct one-to-one correspondence.
(1) The first and second members include units A and B, respectively. (This is okay)
(2) The members include units, respectively. (This is grammatically wrong)
(Q2) The rule is also applicable to "respective" ?
(In informal style, (2) may be sometimes okay depending on the context, but I want to know formal and not misleading expression)