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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Academic Paper


Title: Le passé surcomposé et la valeur de parfait existentiel
Author: Denis Apothéloz
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://denis.apotheloz.perso.sfr.fr/
Institution: University of Nancy 2
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: L'objectif de cet article est d’établir que dans l'un de ses emplois, traditionnellement qualifié de ‘régional’, le passé surcomposé est une forme verbale qui grammaticalise la valeur habituellement appelée ‘parfait existentiel’. Dans une première partie, on dresse un panorama des principales propriétés du parfait existentiel, tel que l'exprime en français le passé composé, en distinguant propriétés sémantiques et propriétés discursives. On montre en particulier que cette valeur implique un prédicat existentiel lié à un intervalle de validation. Dans une seconde partie, on développe un certain nombre d'arguments établissant que le passé surcomposé grammaticalise cette valeur. On présente un tableau général des principaux emplois du surcomposé, et on analyse plusieurs exemples pour mettre au jour les points communs et les différences entre le passé composé et le passé surcomposé existentiels, notamment dans leur rapport avec les adverbiaux temporels quantifieurs de fréquence. On montre que le passé surcomposé existentiel est fréquemment utilisé pour établir un contraste entre le passé et le présent.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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