The Categories of Grammar

French lui and le

| The City University of New York
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027230331 (Eur) | EUR 144.00
ISBN 9781556193828 (USA) | USD 216.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027281975 | EUR 144.00 | USD 216.00
 
This book offers an analysis of the French clitic object pronouns lui and le in the radically functional Columbia school framework, contrasting this framework with sentence-based treatments of case selection. It suggests that features of the sentence such as subject and object relations, normally taken as pretheoretical categories of observation about language, are in fact part of a theory of language which does not withstand empirical testing. It shows that the correct categories are neither those of structural case nor those of lexical case, but rather, semantic ones. Traditionally, anomalies in the selection of dative and accusative case in French, such as case government, use of the dative for possession and disadvantaging, its use in the faire-causative construction, and other puzzling distributional irregularities have been used to support the idea of an autonomous, non-functional central core of syntactic phenomena in language. The present analysis proposes semantic constants for lui and le which render all their occurrences explicable in a straightforward way. The same functional perspective informs issues of cliticity and pronominalization as well.

The solution offered here emerges from an innovative instrumental view of linguistic meaning, an acknowledgment that communicative output is determined only partially and indirectly by purely linguistic input, with extralinguistic knowledge and human inference bridging the gap. This approach entails identification of the pragmatic factors influencing case selection and a reevaluation of thematic-role theory, and reveals the crucial impact of discourse on the structure as well as the functioning of grammar. One remarkable feature of the study is its extensive and varied data base. The hypothesis is buttressed by hundreds of fully contextualized examples and large-scale counts drawn from modern French texts.

[Studies in Language Companion Series, 30]  1997.  xiv, 379 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
xi
Introduction
xiii
1. The Problem of lui and le
1
1. Traditional Grammatical Categories
1
2. The Problem to Be Solved
3
3. Language-specific Grammatical Categories
9
4. The Goal of this Study
11
5. The Framework of the New Analysis
14
5.1. The Theoretical Background
14
5.2. Linguistic Meaning
16
5.3. Syntax? Semantics? Pragmatics?
19
5.4. Signals
19
5.5. Substance and Value
20
6. Columbia School Contrasted with Other Meaning-based Schools of Analysis
22
7. Grammatical Categories as Hypotheses
24
8. Lui versus the à Phrase
25
9. Precursors to this Analysis
29
2. The System of Degree of Control
30
1. Participants and Events
30
2. Degree of Control
31
3. The Status of the Highest Controller
32
4. The Satellite Relationship and Degree of Control
34
5. The Assigning of Roles via Degree of Control
36
6. Where the Roles Come From
38
7. Meaning Not in the Sentence
40
8. Precision as a Factor in Choice of Meaning
41
9. Strategies of Exploitation
42
10. A Look Ahead
43
11. Participants in the Event vs. Non-participants
44
11.1. Participants in Events vs. Circumstances of Events
44
11.2. Participants vs. Prepositional Phrases
51
11.3. Participants vs. Possessive Adjectives
64
3. Semantic Substance
83
1. Types of Involvement Associated with the Mid Controller
83
1.1. Interactor
85
1.2. Expediter/Enabler
87
1.3. Causer
103
1.4. Motivator
104
2. Lui- with “Predicate” Nouns and Adjectives
114
3. Illusory Categories of Fractional Meaning: “Dative of Possession” and “Dative of the Disadvantaged”
124
3.1. The “Dative of Possession”
124
3.2. “Beneficiary” and “Maleficiary”
138
4. Linguistic Value
160
1. Substance and Value in Linguistic Analysis
160
2. Validating the Opposition between lui- and le-
162
3. The Superagent: A Striking Manifestation of Value
164
3.1. Harmer's Examples with faire
167
3.2. Other Instances of the Superagent
178
4. Three- versus Two-participant Messages
180
5. Animacy Skewing in Two-participant Messages
182
6. Low Level of Activity with le-
183
7. Wider Exploitation of the Control Opposition in Two-Participant Messages
185
8. Occurrences of lui- and le- with Semantically-Defined Verb Classes
188
9. The Network of Oppositions: Verbs of “Commanding”
199
5. Networks of Oppositions
206
1. The System of Participants
206
1.1. The Grammatical Interlock
207
1.2. Focus
208
1.3. The Focus-Control Interlock
208
1.4. The First and Second Persons
209
1.5. Deixis
210
1.6. Communicative Motivation for Paradigmatic Structure
211
2. The High Controller in Two-Participant Messages
212
3. Interaction of the High- and Non-High Controller Strategies
215
4. Case Study: Verbs of “Asking”
219
5. The Pseudo-Phenomenon of “Government”
230
Appendix A: Verbs Included in Counts of Tables 5.3 and 5.4
254
Appendix B: Additional Charts Showing Control Level in Relation to “Government”
255
6. The Theory of the Sentence and the Traditional Canon
257
1. Lui- and le- as a Linguistic Problem
257
2. The Theory of the Sentence
258
2.1. Deductively Motivated Categories
259
2.2. The Tripartite Relationship
260
2.3. Testing the Theory of the Sentence: The Appendix
261
3. Traditional Grammar and Generative Grammar
264
4. Direct and Indirect Object in the Grammar of French
266
5. Notional or Formal Categories?
267
6. A Morpho-syntactic Approach: Blinkenberg
270
7. The Notion of “Transitivity”
273
8. Transitivity as an Explanatory Construct
276
9. The Traditional Canon of Categories
280
10. A Functionalist View: Hopper & Thompson
282
11. Linguistic Resources vs. Linguistic Products
284
7. A New Perspective on the Notions “Pronominalization” and “Cliticity”
288
1. The “Pronoun” as a Grammatical Category
288
1.1. The Problem of Pronominalization
289
1.2. Taking the Morphemes Seriously
290
1.3. The Term “Dative” and the Problem of the Dative
292
2. A Columbia-school approach to à phrases
293
2.1. Degree of Control with Nouns
294
2.2. Choice of Preposition
298
2.3. The Contribution of à
299
2.4. From Circumstance to Control
301
2.5. The Precision Factor
302
2.6. A vs. par: An Exploitation of Relative Precision
306
2.7. Summary
315
3. The Function of Cliticity
315
3.1. Ordering among the Clitics
318
3.2. Combinatory Skewings among Clitics
318
3.3. Word Order in Imperative Messages
319
8. The Categories of Grammar
321
1. Grammar as Explanation
321
2. Language, Thought, and Communication
324
3. Functionalist Schools of Grammar
328
4. The Nature and Role of Linguistic Theory
333
5. The Acquisition and Use of Language
334
6. Observations and Hypotheses in Linguistics
337
7. The Human Factor in Language
339
Notes
342
Bibliography
360
Abbreviations
368
Abbreviations of Texts Cited
368
Index
371
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  96047128