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A contrastive perspective on French and Italian wh-in-situ. A discourse-pragmatic approach


Garassino, Davide (2022). A contrastive perspective on French and Italian wh-in-situ. A discourse-pragmatic approach. Functions of Language, 29(1):25-57.

Abstract

This paper offers a qualitative and quantitative analysis of French and Italian wh-in situ questions based on spontaneous spoken data. A pragmatic analysis relying on two parameters, propositional activation and pragmatic functions, reveals that the licensing conditions and the use of this structure largely differ in the two languages. While French wh-in situ do not require an activated proposition and can introduce a discourse-new topic, Italian wh-in situ mostly require an activated proposition and, at least in the analyzed corpus data, do not introduce discourse-new topics. An examination of the context also reveals that the different licensing conditions influence the interactional uses of these questions. All in all, both French and Italian wh-in situ require a pragmatic condition, which is their ‘anchoring’ to given, or at least inferable, information in the linguistic context (as is typical of Italian) or to predictable situations in the extralinguistic context (such as expected discourse moves in social interactions, as is the case for French).

Abstract

This paper offers a qualitative and quantitative analysis of French and Italian wh-in situ questions based on spontaneous spoken data. A pragmatic analysis relying on two parameters, propositional activation and pragmatic functions, reveals that the licensing conditions and the use of this structure largely differ in the two languages. While French wh-in situ do not require an activated proposition and can introduce a discourse-new topic, Italian wh-in situ mostly require an activated proposition and, at least in the analyzed corpus data, do not introduce discourse-new topics. An examination of the context also reveals that the different licensing conditions influence the interactional uses of these questions. All in all, both French and Italian wh-in situ require a pragmatic condition, which is their ‘anchoring’ to given, or at least inferable, information in the linguistic context (as is typical of Italian) or to predictable situations in the extralinguistic context (such as expected discourse moves in social interactions, as is the case for French).

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:3 March 2022
Deposited On:15 Sep 2022 07:00
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 02:43
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN:0929-998X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.00037.gar
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)