Edited by Mirella Conenna and Éric Laporte
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes 26:1] 2003
► pp. 15–31
Summary Two broad categories of frozen adverbial complements may be distinguished, organised around the noun propos in terms of the meaning taken on by this noun within these complements: namely, either «words expressed», «what is said», or «discourse topic», «what is being talked about». In the sense «words expressed», the noun propos is freely allowed in argument positions, and gives rise to the adverbial complement à (ce + ces) propos (‘in this/these connection(s)’), a topicalised temporal, or temporal-causal complement which is synonymous with à (ce + ces) mots ‘with these words’, and does not correspond to any postverbal complement. In the sense «discourse topic», the noun propos, which occurs as an argument only as complement of a small number of verbs (sortir, s’éloigner, revenir à son propos ‘diverge from, come back to one’s topic’), allows the construction of an adverbial complement à ce propos ‘in this connection’ which is found in postverbal position essentially with verbs of saying (where it is distinct in the modern language from the adverbial structure à propos de N ‘on the subject of N’), and in initial position in its function as topicaliser or utterance-level marker.
Article language: French
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