Title: French Dislocation
Subtitle: Interpretation, Syntax, Acquisition
Series Title: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Author: Cécile de Cat
Paperback: ISBN: 019923048X 9780199230488 Pages: 320 Price: U.S. $ 45.95
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 is also considers important aspects of the acquisition of dislocation by monolingual children learning 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 re-examination of the status of subject clitics and a reevaluation of the characteristics 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 light on French syntax and makes important and original contributions 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.