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Toward a global approach to discourse uses of conjunctions in spoken French

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to describe the behavior of conjunctions and their syntactic relation to the main clause predicator. The study is based on two corpora of spontaneous spoken French and focuses on the conjunction parce que 'because' with some cases of puisque 'since'. We argue in favor of a division of the syntactic component into two sub-components, each with its own type of units and combinatorial system, and show that discourse uses of the conjunctions can be dealt with at a syntactic level, not restricted to combinations of heads and phrases (the microsyntactic subcomponent) but extended to pragmatic dependency relationships between utterances as discourse units (the macro-syntactic subcomponent). We show for parce que 'because' that constructional and configurational uses were already available in the early stages of French and argue that the polyfunctionality of conjunction is a structural feature based on underspecified semantics. We conclude that it is not necessary to postulate a change of category and bleaching of meaning to account for both types of use of the conjunction.
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Contributor : Jeanne-Marie Debaisieux <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 20, 2017 - 12:08:30 PM
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Jeanne-Marie Debaisieux. Toward a global approach to discourse uses of conjunctions in spoken French. Language Sciences, Elsevier, 2016, Adverbial Patterns in Interaction 58, pp.79 - 94. ⟨10.1016/j.langsci.2016.04.001⟩. ⟨hal-01424659⟩



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