Two types of NP preposing in French




We contrast two types of sentences with a preposed NP in French in a construction based HPSG grammar. They differ with respect to different grammatical aspects (syntax, semantics, pragmatics and phonology), which cluster uniquely into constructions. Both are colloquial, a reason why they have been recognized only recently (see Zribi-Hertz 1986, 1996, Sabio 1995, 2006). Accordingly, we rely for the data on spoken corpora (Corpaix, CFRP) as well as on our intuitions. Both constructions involve a partitioned semantics but this mode of composition is associated with different effects. One construction is characterized semantically: the preposed NP is the theme of a categorical proposition. The other construction is characterized pragmatically: it is associated with an independent declarative clause, a typical use of which is to signal a break in the interaction.


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Abeillé, Anne & Godard, Danièle & Sabio, Frédéric. 2008. Two types of NP preposing in French. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar 306–324. (doi:10.21248/hpsg.2008.18) ( (Accessed May 26, 2024.)