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LINGUIST List 17.54

Wed Jan 11 2006

Diss: Syntax: Tobback: 'Les constructions à attribut...'

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        1.    Els Tobback, Les constructions à attribut de l'objet et le marquage de la prédication seconde (French object complement constructions and the marking of secondary predication)


Message 1: Les constructions à attribut de l'objet et le marquage de la prédication seconde (French object complement constructions and the marking of secondary predication)
Date: 11-Jan-2006
From: Els Tobback <els.tobbackugent.be>
Subject: Les constructions à attribut de l'objet et le marquage de la prédication seconde (French object complement constructions and the marking of secondary predication)


Institution: Ghent University
Program: French Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Els Lieve Tobback

Dissertation Title: Les constructions à attribut de l'objet et le marquage de la prédication seconde (French object complement constructions and the marking of secondary predication)

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): French (fra)

Dissertation Director:
Dominique Willems

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates French object complement constructions of
two types : the direct object complement : Jean croyait sa mère malade
('John believed his mother to be ill') ; and the object complement
introduced by comme ('as') : Jean considère son père comme un ami ('John
considers his father as a friend').

The first part of the thesis is a critical study of the syntactic analyses
that have been proposed with regard to these constructions in different
theoretical models (HPSG, TGG). The main conclusion it arrives at is that
a purely syntactic approach fails to give a precise account of the
functioning of both object construction types and of their distinct
distribution on the verb lexicon.

The second part studies the formal properties of the object complement
constructions from a semantic-pragmatic point of view. Starting from a
model based on typological studies on copular sentences (a.o. Higgins 1976,
Declerck 1988, Van Peteghem 1991), on Lambrecht's theory (1994) on
Information structure and on Croft's marking theory (1991) on grammatical
categories, it shows that the secondary predication relation contained in
the non introduced object complement constructions presents the formal and
semantic-pragmatic characteristics of the unmarked copular sentence type,
whereas the secondary predication relations which contain comme have
(alternatively) the properties of the different types of marked copular
sentence types. This part also demonstrates the existence of certain
compatibilities between the semantic-pragmatic interpretation of the
secondary predications containing comme or not and the semantics of the
verbs respectively implied in the object complement constructions. This
way it supports the hypothesis that the distribution of the non introduced
and the introduced object complement on the verb lexicon can be explained
by the existence of a semantic selection operated by the verb on the
secondary predication type.

The investigation makes use of a corpus of about 10.000 examples, extracted
from several editions (1994 to 1998) of the Le Monde sur CD-Rom corpus.






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