LINGUIST List 12.2410

Fri Sep 28 2001

Books: Romance Linguistics

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  1. LINCOM.EUROPA, Romance Linguistics: Introduction to French Linguistics

Message 1: Romance Linguistics: Introduction to French Linguistics

Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 00:41:54 +0200
Subject: Romance Linguistics: Introduction to French Linguistics

Introduction to French Linguistics

Louisiana State University

This textbook targets advanced undergraduate students and graduate
students in French Departments in the United States. Most of the time,
this introductory course is the first contact of the students with
Therefore, the book will provide, through the study of French
linguistics, the main concepts of general linguistics. Very often,
linguistic textbooks are at pain to contrast linguistics with
normative grammar and to provide the best formal criterion,
morphological or distributional, as opposed to the notional criteria
of school grammars, to define the grammatical categories of noun, word
or subject. Written in the framework of Cognitive Grammar, a more
recent approach to linguistics, this book takes a more conciliatory
Indeed, according to Cognitive Grammar, linguistic categories are not
defined by one necessary and sufficient condition like mathematical
categories but by a set of characteristic features. Prototypical
members share all the characteristics while marginal members may
violate some properties and are connected to the category by a family
resemblance. Therefore, notional and formal criteria contribute to the
definition of the main concepts in linguistics. Thus, the student
learns all the criteria advocated by the different linguistic schools
without having the painful impression of entering a battlefield where
her/his first task is to forget what (s)he had been taught before.
In the first lessons, French will be located in space, compared to the
typology of other languages, and in time, compared to Latin and to the
different phases of its evolution. The student will realize that
French, typically described as an agglutinative language with a
subject-verb-object word order, shares, in its less canonical aspects,
characteristics with different types of languages. For example, in
contrast to the typical word order in 'Ferdinand mange sa soupe', the
sentence 'Ferdinand la mange' illustrates a subject-object-verb word
order. Afterwards, the main steps in the history of French linguistics
will be presented: the French Academy, Vaugelas, Port-Royal (XVIIth
century), the Encyclopedia (XVIIIth century) and Ferdinand de Saussure
(beginning of the XXth century).
Rather than a shallow exhaustive presentation of the structures of
French, the main part of the book will select a few "causes c�l�bres"
in French linguistics. In phonology, particular attention will be paid
to nasal vowels, schwa or 'e' caduc and liaison. In morphology, the
book will focus on the feminine of adjectives and on compound nouns
and synapsies. The syntax section will delve on the place of
adjectives, before or behind the noun; on the syntax of the pronouns y
and en and on the syntax of presentatives in 'il y a un arbre/c'est un
arbre'. In contrast with most textbooks, a fourth section will be
devoted to the semantic study of French. As an illustration of
polysemy, the students will be presented with the case of the
preposition 'de'. As a partitive article, 'de' may also introduce mass
terms. The book will finish with an analysis of the conjonction
'mais', which will introduce the students to pragmatics and the
analysis of discourse.

ISBN 3 89586 780 2. 
LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 21. 
Ca. 320pp. USD 44 / EUR 46.70 / � 28.

NEW: LINCOM electronic n.e.w.s.l.e.t.t.e.r. Monthly up-dates. 
Go to

A Students' and course discount of 40% is offered to the above title. 

Free copies of LINCOM'S newsflashes 26 & 27 are now available from

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany;
FAX +49 89 62269404;
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Monday, July 23, 2001