Scientific article
Open access

Preverbal subjects with a partitive article : a comparison between Aosta Valley Francoprovençal and French

ContributorsIhsane, Tabeaorcid
Published inStudia linguistica, 37
Publication date2021-11-24
First online date2021-11-24

In this paper, we focus on two constructions that allow preverbal subjects headed by a so-called partitive article in French, that is, sentences with a stage-level predicate and generic emphatic constructions. The aim is to explain why their counterparts were generally not accepted by speakers of Francoprovençal, an endangered and understudied Gallo-Romance language, in a translation task carried out in fieldwork in the Aosta Valley in Italy (Ihsane 2018, Stark & Gerards 2020). To account for our results, we propose that preverbal subjects in the two languages have different statuses and develop the typology of languages postulated by Dobrovie-Sorin & Laca (2003): we argue that there are more than two types of languages when it comes to the status of preverbal subjects and that Francoprovençal differs not only from French (Ihsane 2018), but also from languages like Spanish: it generally has topical subjects like Spanish but also allows some subjects that represent new information to occur preverbally. In contrast to French, however, this option is restricted to nominals that reach a certain degree of referential givenness (Gundel 2003).

  • Preverbal indefinite subjects
  • Partitive articles
  • French
  • Francoprovençal
  • New information
  • Referential givenness
  • Fieldwork
  • Quantitative study
  • Fonds National Suisse - DiFuPaRo [100012L_172751]
Citation (ISO format)
IHSANE, Tabea. Preverbal subjects with a partitive article : a comparison between Aosta Valley Francoprovençal and French. In: Studia linguistica, 2021, p. 37. doi: 10.1111/stul.12180
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0039-3193

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