Dialectal, acquisitional, and diachronic data and investigations on subject pronouns in Gallo-romance

Institutions
  • Department of Linguistics
Publications
  Kaiser, Georg A.; Zimmermann, Michael (2020): Zum Status der Subjektpronomina im Altfranzösischen : Eine Untersuchung anhand von Paralleltexten PATZELT, Carolin, ed., Elton PRIFTI, ed.. Diachrone Varietätenlinguistik : Theorie, Methoden, Perspektiven. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020, pp. 131-155. Studia romanica et linguistica. 59. ISBN 978-3-631-79133-2. Available under: doi: 10.3726/b16352

Zum Status der Subjektpronomina im Altfranzösischen : Eine Untersuchung anhand von Paralleltexten

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This paper looks into the morpho-syntactic status of subject pronouns in the earliest documented period of the French language. By drawing on hitherto ignored insights as well as by reviewing on the basis of a diachronic parallel text corpus various pieces of evidence put forth in support of either prominent view, the paper fundamentally argues that Old French had two paradigms of, respectively, strong and weak subject pronouns. This state of affairs is eventually considered strongly suggestive of an alternative analysis of this stage of French in terms of a non-null-subject language.

Origin (projects)

  Oliviéri, Michèle; Kaiser, Georg A.; Palasis, Katerina; Zimmermann, Michael; Faure, Richard (2020): Quand la diachronie, l’acquisition et la dialectologie se parlent : Étude comparative des pronoms sujets en français et en occitan SIBILLE, Jean, ed.. La microvariation syntaxique dans les langues romanes de France : Actes du colloque Symila, Toulouse, 11 et 12 juin 2015. Limoges: Lambert-Lucas, 2020, pp. 81-98. ISBN 978-2-359-35213-9

Quand la diachronie, l’acquisition et la dialectologie se parlent : Étude comparative des pronoms sujets en français et en occitan

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The combined points of view of dialectology, diachrony and language acquisition shed new light on the statuses of subject pronouns in Gallo-Romance. We carry out proven tests on new data from these three domains, in order to describe the morpho-syntactic behavior of these pronouns in Occitan, Medieval French and Modern French, and compare their statuses synchronically and diachronically. Subject clitics seem to have emerged as syntactic arguments as early as Old French, and are still syntactic arguments in standard Modern French. Concomitantly, clitics in oral Modern French behave as preverbal agreement markers, possibly since the 17th century, which points to possible diglossia in France. Northern Occitan subject clitics form incomplete and broadly variable paradigms, which reveal successive stages of their diachronie evolution. They currently behave as syntactic arguments, similarly to subject clitics in Old French.

Origin (projects)

  Zimmermann, Michael (2016): The status of subject pronouns in Modern Standard French revisited CARRILHO, Ernestina, ed. and others. Romance languages and linguistic theory : selected papers from 'Going Romance' 28, Lisbon. Amsterdam [u.a.]: Benjamins, 2016, pp. 305-324. Romance languages and linguistic theory. 10. ISBN 978-90-272-0390-8. Available under: doi: 10.1075/rllt.10.15zim

The status of subject pronouns in Modern Standard French revisited

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This paper readdresses the long-standing debate on the morpho-syntactic status of subject pronouns in the contemporary formal variety of French by reinvestigating this issue along with those of the number of their paradigms and the null subject property. On the basis of the discussion of proposals challenging what has emerged as the received view on these issues, the paper essentially argues that a structural differentiation of prosodically weak subject pronouns as a function of their occurrence regarding the finite verb is unwarranted. From this and various other evidence which underpin the fundamental plausibility of the received view the paper concludes that Modern Standard French has two paradigms of prosodically strong and, respectively, phonologically clitic subject pronouns and represents a non null subject language.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Sachbeihilfe/Normalverfahren third-party funds research funding program 460/12
Further information
Period: 01.04.2012 – 31.08.2015