Reflexive Marking in the History of French

| Newcastle University
ISBN 9789027205940 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027273673 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
While French reflexive clitics have been widely studied, other forms of expressing co-reference within the clause have not received much attention. This monograph offers a diachronic study of the wider system of clause-mate co-reference in French, including the stressed pronouns, their suffixed form {soi/lui/elle}-même, and also the intensifier use of the latter. Its empirical backbone is a corpus analysis of the gradual replacement of stressed reflexive soi with the personal pronoun lui/elle from Old to Modern French. Apart from offering insights into the history of the language, this is important for current issues in theoretical linguistics, in particular binding, specificity, and the interaction of grammar and discourse. Within a cognitive-semantic framework, a number of analyses will help elucidate some long-standing puzzles in the study of French reflexives, while contributing to the wider theory of reflexivity and related issues. This book is of interest to the fields of French linguistics, semantics, discourse studies, and historical linguistics.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 127]  2012.  x, 225 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This monograph by a rising star of grammaticalization studies is a significant contribution to the understanding of the relations between grammar and pragmatics. Providing a wealth of data from the historical to the contemporary, from the literary to the conversational, and taking great care to situate itself with respect to both formal and functional perspectives, the work offers an elegant approach to complex facts and debates. It will no doubt reach the large audience of researchers concerned with the problem of language change and its causes.”
“This contribution to diachronic research demonstrates the importance of the dynamics of language use, by which a marked form over time becomes the unmarked option. Presenting an impressive range of contemporary and historical data, the study makes a very strong case for the significance of pragmatics in grammar change.”
“The reader will find […] a fascinating, corpus-based study illustrating how soi and soi-même have gradually been replaced by the personal pronouns […]. Waltereit explains why the change from soi to lui occurred, arguing for a case of secondary grammaticalization (generalization of an already grammatical form), which he aptly relates to the evolution of predicate negation in French. […] [T]his corpus-based study of French is a significant contribution to historical linguistics.”
“The volume, which comes complete with a brief concluding chapter largely summarising the results, a bibliography, an appendix with tables detailing statistics of anaphoric soi/lui in individual contexts, and a brief index, offers a focused and often penetrating study of an intricate area of French syntax. The author is to be thanked for a valuable contribution to the field.”
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Cited by 1 other publications

2016. Genre: une mode récente mais qui vient de loin. Journal of French Language Studies 26:1  pp. 85 ff. Crossref logo

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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF/2ADF – Linguistics/French
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012013955 | Marc record