Edited by Dennis Kurzon and Silvia Adler
[Typological Studies in Language 74] 2008
► pp. 115–132
Pragmatics of prepositions: A study of the French connectives pour le coup and du coup
Prepositions are rarely described in terms of their pragmatic potential. Yet, some prepositions help build connective locutions, and we show that their general value may then contribute directly to the pragmatics of these locutions. The French complex connective pour le coup − translated as a blend of “at the time” and “as a result” − can be analysed into a complex expression maintaining the core meanings of pour, le and coup, which does not allow too specialized a view of, respectively, prepositions, articles and nouns. When compared to du coup (“and so”) the contribution of pour is mainly pragmatic. That observation is to be added to the many arguments in favour of theories that allow for such plasticity in linguistic meaning.