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LINGUIST List 24.2097

Fri May 17 2013

Disc: French Terminer de + inf. in Discourse

Editor for this issue: Kristen Dunkinson <kristenlinguistlist.org>

Date: 16-May-2013
From: Nicole Huang <huangyan959hotmail.com>
Subject: French Terminer de + inf. in Discourse
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I am doing research for my master project on different aspectual restrictions imposed by aspectual verbs that express the end in French (finir 'finish', cesser 'cease', arrêter 'stop' and achever 'complete'). For example, finir de can precede an infinitive to describe the end of an event in both written and oral. Terminer 'finish, end' was also one of the verbs that I study

I am using ARTFL (American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language) as my corpus. It seems that terminer de, a quasi synonym of finir de, can only be used in oral, since in my corpus, there are only two sentences that include this construction and no such usage is indicated in Le Grand Robert and Trésor de la langue française. Thus, is terminer de followed by an infinitive a variation of French, which is used only in speaking? What are the differences between finir de and terminer de followed by an infinitive? I am also wondering why terminer de+ infinitive is less frequent than other verbs so that I could explain why this construction is not included in my research.

Here is a short list of the resources that I have used.

Freed, Alice F. 1979. The semantics of English aspectual complementation. Dordrecht : D. Reidel.

Kreutz, Philippe. 2005. Cesser au pays de l’ellipse. Dans Les périphrases verbales, sous la dir. de Hava Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot et Nicole Le Querler, 431–454. Amsterdam et Philadelphia, Pays-Bas et PA : John Benjamins.

Kreutz, Philippe. 2006. Cesser : Aspect, ethos et ellipse. Revue romane 41(2):177–215.

Lamiroy, Béatrice. 1987. The complementation of aspectual verbs in French. Language 63(2):278–298.

Rochette, Anne. 1992. Selectional restrictions and event structures. McGill Working Papers in Linguistics 7(2):141–153.

Rochette, Anne. 1993. À propos des restrictions de sélection de type aspectuel. Langue française 100:67–82.

Rochette, Anne. 1999. The selection properties of aspectual verbs. Dans Beyond principles and parameters, sous la dir. de Kyle Johnson et Ian Roberts, 145–165. Boston, MA : Kluwer Academic.

Tobin, Yishai. Aspect in the English verb : Process and result in language. London et New York : Longman.

Vendler, Zeno. 1967. Linguistics and philosophy. Ithaca : Cornell University Press.

Verkuyl, Henk J. 1989. Aspectual classes and aspectual composition. Linguistics and Philosophy 12(1):39–94.

Verkuyl, Henk J. 1993. A theory of aspectuality. New York : Cambridge University Press.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): French (fra)

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