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Academic Paper

Title: Socio-stylistic reflexes of syntactic change in Old French
Author: Bryan Donaldson
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: French, Old
Abstract: This paper analyses aspects of the loss of verb-second (V2) in Old French in a historical sociolinguistic perspective. Data come from sequences in which a main declarative is preceded immediately by a tensed subordinate clause (Vance, Donaldson, and Steiner, 2010). Following Romaine (1982), represented speech and narrative are considered to represent distinct registers within a single text. An analysis of intra-textual variation between narrative and represented speech reveals stylistic variation, in that represented speech evinces higher rates of surface subject-verb-(object) orders in main clauses than narrative passages within the same text. The data also reveal gender variation, as the represented speech of women tends to be more linguistically conservative than that of men.


This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 24, Issue 3.

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