LINGUIST List 11.2698

Wed Dec 13 2000

Sum: French Interrogatives

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>


  1. Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, French interrogatives

Message 1: French interrogatives

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 11:48:27 +0100
From: Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen <>
Subject: French interrogatives

Dear colleagues,
A while ago, I posted a query to the list concerning interrogative
structures in varieties of French outside of France.

The following people were kind enough to respond:
Helene Ossipov
Annabel Cormack
Phaedra Royle
Isabelle Barriere
Bernadette Plunkett
Marc Picard
Sylvain Neuvel
Richard Waltereit
Robert A. Papen
Pierre Larriv�e
Melanie Sellar
Julie Auger
Philippe Barbaud
St�phane Goyette
Marielle Lange
Malcah Yaeger
- Many thanks to all of you!

Here are the references I was given:

Barbarie, Y. 1982. Analyse sociolinguistique de la syntaxe de
l'interrogation en fran�ais qu�b�cois. Revue qu�b�coise de linguistique
12(1): 145-167.
Barbaud, Ph. 1998. Dissidence du fran�ais qu�b�cois et �volution
dialectale. Revue qu�b�coise de linguistique 26(2).
Fox, C.A. 1989. Syntactic variation and interrogative structures in
Qu�b�cois. Ph.D.-dissertion, Indiana U.
L�ard, J.-M. 1982. Essai d'explication de quelques redoublements en
syntaxe du qu�b�cois. Revue qu�b�coise de linguistique 11(2): 127-150.
L�ard, J.-M. 1995. Grammaire qu�b�coise d'aujourd'hui. Comprendre les
qu�b�cismes. Montreal: Gu�rin. (Chapter 3)
L�ard, J.-M. 1996. Ti-tu, est-ce que, qu'est-ce que, ce que, h�que, don :
des particules de modalisation en fran�ais ? Revue qu�b�coise de
linguistique 24(2): 105-124.
Lefebvre, Cl. 1981. The double structure of questions in French: A case
of syntactic variation. In: Proceedings of NWAVE 1979.
Lefebvre, Cl. 1982. La syntaxe compar�e du fran�ais standard et populaire
: approches formelle et fonctionnelle, vols. 1-2. Langues et Soci�t�,
Gouvernement du Qu�bec.
Lemieux, M. & H.J. Cedergren. 1985. Les tendances dynamiques du fran�ais
parl� � Montr�al, vols. 1-2. Langues et Soci�t�, Gouvernement du Qu�bec.
Noonan, M.B. 1992. Case and syntactic geometry. Ph.D.-thesis. McGill U.
Picard, M. 1991. Clitics, affixes, and the evolution of th equestion
marker -tu, in Canadian French. Journal of French language studies 1:
Picard, M. 1992. Aspects synchroniques et diachroniques du tu
interrogatif en qu�b�cois. Revue qu�b�coise de linguistique 21(2): 65-75.
Picard, M. Submitted. L1 interference in second language acquisition: the
case of question formation in Canadian French. Journal of French language
Vinet, M.-Th. 1997. Tu-pas en fran�ais qu�b�cois : identification
grammaticale. in: L. Lapierre, ed., M�langes de linguistique offerts �
Rostislav Kocourek. Halifax, NS, Presses d'Alfa.
Vinet, M.-Th. 2000. Feature representation and tu(-pas) in Quebec French.
Studia linguistica 54 (3).

Homepage of the sociolinguistics research group at the U. of Ottawa:
Homepage of Belgian linguists from the ULB:

Most people mentioned the -tu(pas) construction as perhaps the dominant way
of forming yes/no questions in Qu�b�cois. This construction appears to be
analogous to the dialectal -ti construction which is found in metropolitan
French, in as much as it originates in a reanalysis of an inverted
subject-clitic: 'Il veux-tu venir ?' The construction is apparently odd in
the 2nd person plural.

It was also mentioned that inversion in Y/N-questions is frequent in
Qu�b�cois in the 2nd person, but apparently impossible in the 1st and 3rd
person, and that intonation questions are much rarer in Qu�be�cois than in
metropolitan French.

Some people pointed to constructions of the type 'Qui qui es venu ?', found
in WH-questions. This does exist in metropolitan French, but is apparently
particularly prevalent in Qu�b�cois.

Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French linguistics
Dept. of Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen
Njalsgade 80, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
Tel.: (+45), Fax: (+45)
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