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De Cat Cécile. French Dislocation: Interpretation, Syntax, Acquisition (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)

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De Cat Cécile. French Dislocation: Interpretation, Syntax, Acquisition (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)
Oxford University Press. 2007. 295 pages. ISBN: 0199230471
The pervasive use of dislocations (as in Le chocolat, c'est bon ) is a key characteristic of spoken French. This book offers various new and well-motivated insights, based on tests conducted by the author, on the syntactic analysis, prosody, and the interpretation of dislocation in spoken French. It also considers important aspects of the acquisition of dislocation by monolingual children learning different French dialects. The author argues that spoken French is a discourse-configurational language, in which topics are obligatorily dislocated. She develops a syntactically parsimonious account, which maximizes the import of interfaces involved with discourse and prosody. She proposes clear diagnostics, following a reexamination of the status of subject clitics and a reevaluation of the characteristic prosody of dislocated constituents. The theoretical arguments throughout the book rest on data that comes from corpora of spontaneous production and from various elitication experiments. This book throws new light on French syntax and prosody and makes an important and original contribution to the study of linguistic interfaces. Clearly expressed and tightly argued it will interest scholars and advanced students of French and of its acquisition as a first language as well as linguistic theorists interested in the interfaces between syntax, discourse, and phonology.
Contents
Introduction
Diagnostics for dislocated elements
Defining the language under investigation: unmarked spoken French
French subject clitics are not agreement morphemes
The prosodic characteristics of Frenchdislocation
Conclusion
Interpretation
Topics
Topics in spoken French
Conclusion
Syntax
A brief overview of the literature
Dislocated topics in spoken French: an overview
French dislocation is not generated by movement
A first-merge adjunction analysis of French dislocation
Reconciling syntax and information structure
Conclusion
Acquisition
Introduction
Identifying early dislocated elements
Dislocations emerge early
Early dislocations and the CP projection
Sentence fragments: mini root projections
Primitives, learnability, and early discourse competence
Conclusion
Concluding remarks
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