« Meaning and the analysis of variation and change in French grammar »
[b] the identification of standard equivalents of non-standard variants, in cases of structural mismatch of standard and non-standard sub-systems of the grammar (e.g. the non-standard Passé Surcomposé in main clauses: J’ai eu aimé sortir; maintenant j’aime beaucoup moins);
[c] the identification of subsets of the variable data (defined semantically or pragmatically) which display categorical (or near-categorical) use of one or other variant (e.g. the use of the Futur Simple or the Futur Périphrastique with habitual, rather than future meaning);
[d] identification of pragmatic factors thought to exert an influence on the variation, and which are subsequently analysed in either quantitative or qualitative terms (e.g. ‘emphasis’ and the presence/ absence of the negative particle; ‘communicative function’ as an influence on the choice of Interrogative structure; ‘information status’ and the use of Subject Doubling, Compound Disjunctive pronouns (e.g. nous autres) and of WH in-situ interrogatives.
Is it entirely predictable that different types of morphosyntactic variable raise different semantico-pragmatic issues?
The paper will draw on case studies of grammatical variation in French spoken in both European and North American contexts.
Aidan Coveney is a long standing member of AFLS and has served on various committees since 1996. He has served as co-editor of JFLS, and member of editorial boards of various journals. He is currently Associate Professor of French Language and Linguistics at the University of Exeter (Modern Languages). His areas of expertise and research include the sociolinguistics (especially variation and change) and sociopragmatics of French and varieties of French. His long-standing interest in varieties of French is reflected in his book Variation et francophonie. He entertains research links with sociolinguists based in Poitiers, Neuchatel, Paris and Orléans. His publications include four books and many articles on the syntax and morphology of spoken French, as well as on varieties of French.