Article published in:Constructions in French
Edited by Myriam Bouveret and Dominique Legallois
[Constructional Approaches to Language 13] 2012
► pp. 257–282
From grammaticalization to expressive constructions
The case of histoire de + inf.
My concern is the relationships between grammar and expressivity which have always remained represented a minority, if not a marginal, interest in linguistics. The paper deals with the construction ‘P, histoire de inf.’ (Prends quelques jours de repos, histoire de te changer les idées ‘take a few days’ rest, just to have a break from everything’). It is shown, from a diachronic perspective, that the construction expresses an attitudinal meaning, the speaker’s stance. The paper argues that, although expressivity and attitude meaning have usually been relegated to a secondary role by the prevailing formal grammatical approach to language, they have long been viewed as relatively important by certain linguists (for example, Bally). Expressivity is part of the grammatical system to a much larger degree than is usually presumed.
Published online: 19 December 2012
Cited by 2 other publications
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