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A crowdsourcing approach to the description of regional variation in French object clitic clusters


Avanzi, Mathieu; Stark, Elisabeth (2018). A crowdsourcing approach to the description of regional variation in French object clitic clusters. Belgian Journal of Linguistics, 2017(31):76-103.

Abstract

Our contribution is dedicated to the empirical testing of alleged regional variants of object clitic clusters in modern French in France, Belgium and Switzerland. We provide some intriguing new insights into the regional distribution of non-standard variants and discuss one hypothesis on their nature and two hypotheses to explain their coming into being: language-contact (with Francoprovençal, Occitan and Oïl dialects, H1) and/or analogical leveling (H2), on the one hand, and their postsyntactic, rather than syntactic, nature, on the other (H3). Our main results reveal that the three non-standard variants where order in object clitic clusters is concerned are not regionally well-distributed, i.e. the observed distribution does not correspond to any cohesive area. In contrast, only one variant where the selection of the form (me vs. moi) is at issue seems to be regionally confined: it is found in French-speaking Switzerland, in Gascony, plus some rare attestations of it in the North of France. All in all, variation in object clitic clusters indicates a genuinely new geographical articulation of regional French that does not coincide with traditional dialectal areas.

Abstract

Our contribution is dedicated to the empirical testing of alleged regional variants of object clitic clusters in modern French in France, Belgium and Switzerland. We provide some intriguing new insights into the regional distribution of non-standard variants and discuss one hypothesis on their nature and two hypotheses to explain their coming into being: language-contact (with Francoprovençal, Occitan and Oïl dialects, H1) and/or analogical leveling (H2), on the one hand, and their postsyntactic, rather than syntactic, nature, on the other (H3). Our main results reveal that the three non-standard variants where order in object clitic clusters is concerned are not regionally well-distributed, i.e. the observed distribution does not correspond to any cohesive area. In contrast, only one variant where the selection of the form (me vs. moi) is at issue seems to be regionally confined: it is found in French-speaking Switzerland, in Gascony, plus some rare attestations of it in the North of France. All in all, variation in object clitic clusters indicates a genuinely new geographical articulation of regional French that does not coincide with traditional dialectal areas.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:07 Jun 2018 13:31
Last Modified:07 Jun 2018 13:34
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN:0774-5141
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/bjl.00004.ava
Related URLs:https://benjamins.com/catalog/bjl.31 (Publisher)

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