Vol. 6 (2019)
SHORT PAPERS

Le anteposizioni topicalizzanti in francese. Note informativo-testuali e interpuntive

Angela Ferrari
Universität Basel
Published April 20, 2020

Keywords:

punctuation, fronting, online newspaper language, information structure

Abstract

The analysis, based on a 150.000 words corpus of French newspaper articles published online (https://contrast-it.philhist.unibas.ch/en/corpora/contrast-it-corpus/), aims at establishing the morphosyntactic, punctuational, informational and textual properties of constructions with syntactic fronting, i.e. characterized by an argument that is brought to the front of the clause without being referred back by a clitic pronoun. The results are remarkable. From an informational-textual point of view, the construction shows a very regular behavior: the fronted element is always associated to a topic (vs. focus); the topic is mainly given and always “linearized”; its textual function almost always consists in a thematic connection between two text spans thanks to the topic, and in introducing thanks to the end-focus a new referent that is developed in the right co-text. As for punctuation, the presence and absence of the comma after the fronted element show an equal distribution, and no formal or informational-textual explanation can be provided.

References

Author 2003

Author in stampa

Horváth, M. G. 2018. Le français parlé informel. Stratégies de topicalisation. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter.