Tohru HIRATSUKA

(Professor at Kyoto-Sangyo University)


  1. The subjectivity of passé simple and the origin of histoire

  2. French tout sauf, English anything but, German alles andere als [Abstract] [Full Text]

  3. Why do Japanese say that Jesus was born in a horse stable? [Abstract] [Full Text]

  4. Why do Japanese say that Jesus was born in a horse stable? [Abstract] [Full Text]

  5. Is jitensha a metonymy for the pedals in the Japanese expression jitensha o kogu ? [Abstract] [Full Text]

  6. Free Indirect Discourse

  7. PP Extraposition from Subject NPs: A Usage-Based Approach

  8. Conceptualization and linguistic expressions of difference: Why one can say different to in British English [Abstract] [Full Text]

  9. Why One Says "Open the Light" to Mean "Turn on the Light" in Many Languages [Abstract] [Full Text]

  10. The Japanese Adjectives of Distance chikai/tooi and the Postpositions ni/kara [Abstract] [Full Text]

  11. The French Preposition dans and Active Zone [Abstract] [Full Text]

  12. Why One Says "to Give an Examination" to Mean "to Take an Examination" in Many Languages [Abstract] [Full Text]

  13. Les syntagmes prépositionnels locatifs qui s'interprètent comme compléments d'instrument [Abstract] [Full Text]

  14. Prepositions Required by Verbs of Suspension and Dependence [Abstract] [Full Text]

  15. Locative Complements of French Prendre-Type Verbs: Non-Linear Cognitive Model of Events

  16. Representation of drinking vessels: French and cross-linguistic variation [Abstract] [Full Text]

  17. Les verbes désignant l'acte de manger et de boire et les compléments locatifs [Abstract] [Full Text]

  18. Stylistic Inversion in French Relative Clauses [Abstract] [Full Text]

  19. Stylistic Inversion in French WH-Questions [Abstract] [Full Text]

  20. Promotion of PP from Object NP in French [Full Text]

  21. Deux inversions de la phrase copulative [Abstract] [Full Text]

  22. L'inversion du type <syntagme adjectival + copule + sujet> [Abstract] [Full Text]

  23. PP Preposing from Object NP in French [Abstract] [Full Text]

  24. Sur un emploi de la construction "c'est NP qui VP" qui met en jeu le contexte ou la situation d'énonciation [Abstract] [Full Text]

The subjectivity of passé simple and the origin of histoire

[Narrative and Subjectivity: Thinking about Discourse and Structure (2022) ]


French tout sauf, English anything but, German alles andere als

Abstract

In French, a new idiom tout sauf expressive of strong negation has come into increasing use. This idiom is similar to the English and German idioms anything but and alles andere als in both structure and meaning. This paper investigates the frequencies of co-occurrence between these three idioms and the words that follow them. This is the first such study of any of the three idioms.
We conclude the following: French tout sauf co-occurs frequently with specific words. These co-occurrences play an important role in the increased use of tout sauf. English anything but similarly started with frequent co-occurrence with specific words, but these connections have since weakened. Finally, German alles andere als has been used longer than tout sauf, but it retains strong connections with specific words and has not yet reached the same stage as anything but.
Keywords: idiom, strong negation, corpus, frequency of co-occurrence, log-likelihood ratio

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 53 (2020) ]

Why do Japanese say that Jesus was born in a horse stable?

Abstract

In Japan, it is often said that Jesus was born in a horse stable. But, in Western Europe, it is in a livestock stable that Jesus was said to have been born. There has been no research into the origin of the horse stable legend in Japan.
In the early Japanese Christian documents, the stable in which Jesus was born was often designated as an "umaya". Etymologically, this word meant a horse stable. But, it was used to designate a cowshed as well. This suggests that, in the early Christian period in Japan, it was used in the sense of livestock stable. I proposed the hypothesis that, after the abolition of the Christianity prohibition, the word "umaya" was understood to mean “horse stable”, which generated the horse stable legend. This process may have been reinforced by other factors: (1) Prince Shōtoku is said to have been born in front of a horse stable. This legend may have influenced the nativity legend. (2) In English, “stable” is used to designate the livestock stable in which Jesus was born. But, this usage is archaic and the word usually means “horse stable”. This is misleading to the Japanese people. (3) As it was difficult to find an appropriate word to refer to the manger in Luke 2, Japanese translations of the Bible, such as the Meiji Version and the Taisho Revised Version, used the word "umabune", which literally meant "horse manger".
Keywords: Jesus, horse stable, umaya, kirishitan, Bible

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 51 (2018) ]

Is jitensha a metonymy for the pedals in the Japanese expression jitensha o kogu ?

Abstract

It has been widely accepted that the noun jitensha “bicycle” is a metonymy for the pedals in the Japanses expression jitensha o kogu “pedal a bicycle” (because it is presupposed that the verb kogu basically takes pedaru “pedals” as its object). But, the expression jitensha o kogu does not simply mean “pump pedals”, but also “propel a bicycle”. It should be thought that the noun jitensha designates a bicycle itself.
Yamamoto (2013) analyzes jitensha o kogu as an instance of S Metonymy. But, this analysis has two problems:
(1) According to this analysis, the noun jitensha designates a bicycle and is a metonymy for its pedals, which is contradictory.
(2) It is not explicitly explained how the expression jitensha o kogu implies “propel a bicycle”.
This article holds that the noun jitensha is not a metonymy and that the verb kogu means metonymically “propel a bicycle (which is the referent of the object) by pumping its pedals”.
This analysis applies to other expressions, such as denkyu ga kireru “a light bulb burns out”, sentakuki o mawasu (lit. “rotate a washing machine”) “turn on a washing machine”, etc. Creation verbs such as nigiru (lit. “hold”) in the expression sushi/onigiri o nigiru “make a sushi/rice ball”, are derived through the same process. There are verbs whose metonymic meanings have undergone further semantic changes: haru "hold (a drinking party)" which comes from haru "spread", kaku "write" which comes from kaku "scratch".
Keywords: metonymy, active zone, polysemy, semantic change, creation verb

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 50 (2017) ]

Free Indirect Discourse

[Free Indirect Discourse: Where Literature and Linguistics Meet (2017) ]


PP Extraposition from Subject NPs: A Usage-Based Approach

[Studies at the forefront of French linguistics, Volume 4: Discourse, Text, and Conversation (2016) ]


Conceptualization and linguistic expressions of difference: Why one can say different to in British English

Abstract

The adjective different is used with from normatively and frequently. But, it is well known that it can be used with than, and, in British English, to. In other words, the standard of difference can be marked as source, standard of comparison, or goal. As far as I have examined, many languages mark the standard of difference as source (ex. English: different from ...) or as accompaniment (ex. Japanese: ... to chigau, lit. "differ with ..." ). The expressions like different than ... are limited cross-linguistically. Few languages mark the standard of difference as goal, and this happens more often with adjectives than with verbs, which prefer marking as source:
English: different from/to ..., but differ from ...
Spanish: diferente/distinto de/a ..., but diferir de ...
Welsh: gwahanol i ..., but gwahaniaethu oddi wrth ...
To explain this bias, I hypothesize that difference is understood metaphorically as distance and the distance is assessed by either of the following two operations: (1) the object which is distant from the standard is represented as moving away from it; (2) the distance between the object and the standard is scanned mentally either (a) in the direction from the standard to the object or (b) in the opposite direction. (1) is relatively dynamic in the sense that the object is represented as moving, therefore prefers lexicalization as a verb, while (2) is relatively static, therefore prefers lexicalization as an adjective. The marking of the standard as source can be motivated by either (1) or (2a) but the marking as goal can be motivated only by (2b). This explains why the marking as goal is observed especially with adjectives and the marking as source is preferred with verbs.
Keywords: difference, metaphor, fictive motion, mental scanning, verb/adjective

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 48 (2015) ]

Why One Says "Open the Light" to Mean "Turn on the Light" in Many Languages

Abstract

Many languages use verbs of ignition and extinction to mean to turn on and off electrical appliances: French allumer/éteindre, Japanese tsukeru/kesu, etc. These verbs, which were used for combustion-based light sources, came to be used for electric lamps. From this usage, they were generalized to apply to electrical appliances in general. In this process, electric lamps functioned as the prototype of electrical appliances.
There are also many languages which use verbs of opening and closing to express the same acts: French ouvrir/fermer, Chinese kāi/guān, etc. This usage is based largely on the following mechanism: the acts of turning on and off electrical appliances are represented metonymically by those of starting and stopping the flow of electric current, which, in turn, are conceptualized metaphorically as those of opening and closing a valve.
There are other means to express the acts of turning on and off electrical appliances: verbs with other meanings, phrasal verbs, prefixed verbs. Esperanto is an exceptional case in that it coined a new single verb ŝalti to mean the turning on of an electrical appliance. The concept of turning on an electrical appliance is abstract to some degree, which forces natural languages to resort to some strategy to express it.
Keywords: electrical appliances, verbs of opening and closing, metaphor, metonymy, artificial language and natural language

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 47 (2014) ]

The Japanese Adjectives of Distance chikai/tooi and the Postpositions ni/kara

Abstract

The Japanese adjective chikai can be used with two different postpositions: ni 'to' and kara 'from', as in (1) X wa Y ni chikai (literally "X is near to Y") and (2) X wa Y kara chikai (literally "X is near from Y"), while its antonym tooi usually takes only kara but not ni in modern usage, as in (3) X wa Y { kara / ?ni } tooi "X is far from Y." In order to explain these constructions, I propose the following hypotheses:

H1: The postposition ni is used, when the speaker conceptualizes the situation with the cognitive representation in which X approaches Y to be located near it.

H2: The postposition kara, with the cognitive representation in which a fictive entity moves from Y to X.

These hypotheses explain many data such as:

(a) Kaigan wa boku no ie { ?ni / kara } chikai. "The seashore is near my house."

(b) Watashitachi wa moo gooru { ni / ?kara } chikai. "We are already near the goal."

(c) Koko { ?ni / kara } gooru wa chikai. "The goal is near hear."

(d) Shoogo { ni / ?kara } chikai. "It is near noon."

(e) Aji wa chiizu { ni / ?kara } chikai. "The taste is near (i.e. similar to) cheese."

Keywords: chikai 'near', tooi 'far', postposition ni, postposition kara, fictive motion

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 46 (2013) ]

The French Preposition dans and Active Zone

Abstract

In the French expression parler dans le micro "to speak into the microphone", the prepositional phrase only indicates the inside of the microphone. In equivalent expressions in other languages, the prepositional phrase explicitly expresses the path to the inside of the microphone : English (to speak into the microphone), German (ins Mikrophon sprechen), Czech (hovořit do mikrofonu), Russian (govorit' v mikrofon). But, in French, it is by inference that the inside of the microphone is interpreted as the goal of the path.
In the expression parler dans le micro, what moves, "the voice", is not explicitly expressed, but implicitly implied by the verb parler "to speak". This latent participant corresponds to Langacker's active zone. The prepositional phrase indicates the place, which corresponds to the goal to which the active zone moves. The same explanation applies to other expressions: souffler dans le micro "to blow into the microphone", se moucher dans un mouchoir "to blow one's nose into a handkerchief", vider une bouteille dans l'évier "to empty a bottle into the sink", mordre dans une pomme "to bite into an apple". In these expressions, the active zone is the breath, the nasal mucus, the contents of the bottle, the teeth, respectively.
Keywords: French, prepositional phrase, dans, goal, active zone

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 45 (2012) ]

Why One Says "to Give an Examination" to Mean "to Take an Examination" in Many Languages

Abstract

In English, one says "The student takes an examination." and "The teacher gives an examination." In many languages, however, one says "to give an examination" to mean "to take an examination": Italian ( dare un esame ), Argentine and Uruguayan Spanish ( dar un examen ), Modern Greek ( dino exetaseis ), Persian ( emtehan dadan ), Hindi ( { imtahan / pariksa } dena ), etc. Moreover, in many of these languages, one says "to take an examination" to mean "to give an examination": Argentine Spanish ( tomar un examen ), Persian ( emtehan gereftan ), Hindi ( { imtahan / pariksa } lena ), etc.
These expressions are motivated by the fact that, in an examination, the examinee gives answers to the examiner, or to put it the other way around, that the examiner gets answers from the examinee. This does not mean that the object noun, which literally means "examination", stands by metonymy for "answers" in the expressions in question. It is the verbs which change their meaning when they collocate with the noun meaning "examination" : the verb of giving means "to take it by giving answers to the examiner"; the verb of taking means "to give it by getting answers from the examinee".
Keywords: examination, verb of giving, verb of taking, metonymy, active zone

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 44 (2011) ]

Les syntagmes prépositionnels locatifs qui s'interprètent comme compléments d'instrument

Abstract

Dans les phrases du type "Ils ont transporté le blessé sur un brancard.", le syntagme prépositionnel peut s'interpréter comme complément d'instrument, bien qu'il s'agisse d'une préposition normalement considérée comme locative. Cette observation pourrait amener à penser que ce syntagme a un statut intermédiaire entre le "lieu" et l'"instrument". Le présent article montre cependant que ce syntagme prépositionnel en lui-même désigne un lieu et que s'il peut s'interpréter comme complément d'instrument, c'est grâce à une inférence exécutée à partir des connaissances du monde en général. La relation d'un instrument de transport au procès de transport est constituée par deux aspects :
(a) l'agent localise l'objet par rapport à l'instrument
(b) l'agent manipule l'instrument pour transporter l'objet
En français, les prépositions locatives verbalisent l'aspect (a) en laissant l'aspect (b) à l'inférence. En japonais, la particule (ou la postposition) "de" verbalise (b) en laissant (a) à l'inférence.
mots-clé : instrument, lieu, syntagme prépositionnel locatif, transport, inférence

Full Text

[Bulletin d'études de linguistique française 44 (2010) ]


Prepositions Required by Verbs of Suspension and Dependence

Abstract

In European languages, verbs denoting suspension, such as to hang, may take a preposition indicating source, such as from, or a preposition indicating contact, such as on. Which preposition is used depends on how the situation is construed. In languages where verbs denoting suspension usually take a contact preposition, when prefixes denoting separation are added to these verbs, a source preposition is used.
In many European languages, verbs denoting dependence, such as to depend, are constructed by adding prefixes to verbs of suspension. But, the transition from suspension to dependence is not caused by prefixes, but by the DEPENDING IS HANGING metaphor ( or "suspension metaphor" ), by which the situation of depending on something is understood in terms of the situation of hanging on something.
Verbs of dependence with prefixes denoting separation take a source preposition, because of the meaning of these prefixes. In English, depend once took the source preposition of, but this was replaced by on by analogy with synonymous expressions, because English speakers were usually unaware of the etymology of the verb. In order to understand the selection of prepositions, it is necessary to consider cognitive factors as well as sociolinguistic factors, such as language contact and linguistic purism.
Keywords: verbs of dependence, verbs of suspension, the DEPENDING IS HANGING metaphor, prefix, preposition

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 41 (2010) ]


Locative Complements of French Prendre-Type Verbs: Non-Linear Cognitive Model of Events

[Linguistic and Cognitive Mechanisms: Festschrift for Professor Masa-aki Yamanashi on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday (2008) ]


Representation of drinking vessels: French and cross-linguistic variation

Abstract

In French sentences of the type "Il a bu dans un verre.", the prepositional phrase is often considered to express the source of the movement of the liquid. Yamada (1998a, 1998b, 2005, 2006) asserts that this prepositional phrase has properties between "place" and "means". I argued in Hiratsuka (2006) that the prepositional phrase is a locative complement. The sentence "Où boit-il du whisky ?" is not used to ask from what vessel he drinks, because the interrogative is used to get information on the "location", while the locative complement "dans un verre" gives only information on the "configuration". To use a drinking vessel, we place the vessel and a part of our body, or a tool such as a straw, in a certain configuration, and then transfer the liquid from the vessel into our mouth. The vessel is represented as a "place", a "source", or a "means", according to languages, because we are obliged to select one aspect of this complicated process of drinking from a vessel, in order to give an expression to the role played by the vessel.

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Humanities Series 38 (2008) ]


Les verbes désignant l'acte de manger et de boire et les compléments locatifs

Abstract

Dans les phrases du type "Il a bu du vin dans un verre de cristal.", le syntagme prépositionnel est souvent considéré comme désignant la source du mouvement de l'aliment ou de la boisson. Mais, il y a une théorie selon laquelle ce syntagme prépositionnel ne désignerait pas un lieu proprement dit, mais aurait un statut intermédiaire entre le "lieu" et le "moyen". Le présent article soutient qu'il désigne le lieu impliqué dans l'acte, la préposition indiquant la relation qu'entretient l'agent avec ce lieu. Ainsi, on dit "Il a bu du vin à la bouteille." et non pas "* Il a bu du vin dans la bouteille.", parce que, dans ce cas, l'agent ne fait que toucher la bouteille avec sa bouche. Pour dire "boire dans un récipient", l'agent doit introduire dans ce récipient, soit une partie de son corps, comme la lèvre supérieure, soit un outil, comme une paille.

Full Text

[Bulletin d'études de linguistique française 40 (2006) ]


Stylistic Inversion in French Relative Clauses

Abstract

There is no doubt that an inverted subject is the focus in matrix declarative sentences, however it is erroneous to suppose that the same is true in French relative clauses, because of the following facts: 1) restrictive relatives clauses, whose content is normally presupposed, cannot contain a focus constituent; 2) an inverted subject in relative clauses can be interpreted anaphorically; while one in main clauses cannot; 3) in relative clauses, among one or two words long subjects, proper noun subjects and human singular subjects invert frequently; 4) a prepositional or adverbial phrase can easily appear after the inverted subject in relative clauses. It can therefore be safely concluded that an inverted subject in relative clauses is not the focus.
In relative clauses, individuated subjects invert more frequently than non-individuated ones. This leads to the following hypothesis: in restrictive relative clauses, stylistic inversion is possible if the subject contributes to determining the referent of the antecedent more than the verb and the verb merely expresses the relation between the subject and the antecedent.
This restriction on stylistic inversion in French relative clauses can be understood as a manifestation of the cross-linguistic tendency that, the more an element of a noun phrase contributes to determining its referent, the more rightward it moves, and vice versa. This tendency is observed in the following phenomena: 1) an indefinite pronoun precedes the adjective modifying it in many languages; 2) an adjective precedes the noun it modifies, when it does not reduce the extension of the noun, in Romance languages.

Full Text

[Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis: Foregin Languages and Literature Series 29 (2002) ]


Stylistic Inversion in French WH-Questions

Abstract

It is widely accepted that the subject of stylistic inversion constructions is the focus, but it cannot be the case in French wh-questions because it is inferred from cross-linguistic evidence that it is the wh-word that is the focus in a wh-question. On the contrary, there is sufficient evidence to show that stylistic inversion is applicable to a wh-question when the subject is the topic: a) the indefinite pronoun quelqu'un, which cannot be a topic, is difficult to postpose, b) stylistic inversion is not used when the speaker shows surprise at the presupposition of the question, reappraises it, or denies it. Stylistic inversion in French wh-questions has some similarities to wa-adjunction to the subject in Japanese wh-questions and stress assignment to the subject in English wh-questions.

However, there are phenomena that cannot be explained by the hypothesis that the subject is the topic in French wh-questions with stylistic inversion. A more plausible hypothesis is that stylistic inversion is possible in wh-questions if the subject is important to determining what information the speaker requires and the verb (with a complement connected to it more closely than the wh-word is, if there is one) shows how the subject determines the required information. This hypothesis can explain the following facts in addition to a) and b): c) the demonstrative cela is rarely inverted because its referent is so topical that it is not necessary to activate it in the addressee's mind, d) a direct object NP blocks stylistic inversion, e) stylistic inversion is impossible when the wh-word is pourquoi, f) wh-questions with stylistic inversion can be interpreted as rhetorical questions if the semantic content of the verb is extremely light.

Full Text

[Kyoto University Linguistic Research 20 (2001) ]


Promotion of PP from Object NP in French

Full Text

[Etudes de langue et littrature française 75 (1999) ]


Deux inversions de la phrase copulative

Abstract

Le présent article a pour but de mettre en lumière la fonction de deux constructions inversives de la phrase copulative : l'une du type (désignée ci-dessous par le terme de construction tripartite) et la seconde du type (désignée par le terme de construction bipartite).

(1) Nombreux sont les mammifères qui hibernent, surtout parmi les rongeurs: marmottes, loirs, hamsters, ...

(2) Plus toxique encore est la vitamine D, dite "antirachitique".

(3) Est correct ce qui correspond à la norme établie par la collectivité

(4) Est membre de la société civile celui qui n'est pas un politicien professionnel.

Comme l'a soutenu Hiratsuka (1996), la construction tripartite a cette particularité qu'elle introduit le référent du sujet dans l'univers du discours. Par contre, la construction bipartite a pour fonction d'identifier l'objet possédant la propriété exprimée par l'attribut avec le référent du sujet. Cela résulte des observations suivantes.

a) La construction tripartite ne peut se mettre à la forme négative, car cela entre en contradiction avec la fonction de présentation du sujet. Au contraire, la négation est possible dans la construction bipartite.

(5) {Nombreux/Rares} sont ceux qui suivent le cours de linguistique.

(6) * {Nombreux/Rares} ne sont pas ceux qui suivent le cours de linguistique.

(7) L'héroïne est donc très dangereuse. Mais, aussi dangereuse est la cocaïne : ...

(8) L'héroïne est donc très dangereuse. * Mais, moins dangereuse n'est pas la cocaïne : ...

(9) N'est pas littérature tout ce qui est écrit

b) La construction bipartite n'accepte pas les adjectifs exprimant la quantité ou un degré comparatif : ces attributs expriment une propriété trop vague pour que l'on puisse identifier l'objet qui possède celle-ci.

(10) Nombreux sont les enfants qui croient aux OVNI.

(11) * Sont nombreux les enfants qui croient aux OVNI.

(12) Le grec est très difficile. Mais, plus difficile est le sanskrit.

(13) Le grec est très difficile.* Mais, est plus difficile le sanskrit.

c) Dans la construction bipartite, le sujet s'accompagne souvent du quantifieur universel tout. Mais, ce quantifieur est exclu de la construction tripartite, parce qu'il est incompatible avec la fonction de présentation.

(14) Sont électeurs en principe tous les citoyens français âgés d'au moins vingt et un ans

(15) Il semble donc que le langage affectif, ou expressif, ... soit facile à définir : serait expressif tout fait de langage associé à une émotion

(16) Les éléphants sont très grands. Mais, plus grandes sont (*toutes) les baleines.

d) La construction bipartite admet une restriction portant sur le sujet, marquée par ne ... que ou seul. L'occurrence de telles expressions est compréhensible, car l'identification de l'objet possédant une propriété avec une chose, implique l'exclusion des autres. En revanche, les expressions de restriction ne sont pas acceptables dans la construction tripartite.

(17) N'est créatif que ce qui est novateur.

(18) Seuls sont pertinents le nombre et l'agencement des arguments.

(19) Nombreux sont les enfants qui croient aux OVNI.

(20) * Nombreux ne sont que les enfants qui croient aux OVNI.

(21) Le grec est très difficile. Mais, plus difficile est le sanskrit.

(22) Le grec est très difficile.* {Mais/Et}, plus difficile n'est que le sanskrit.

Full Text

[Bulletin d'études de linguistique française 31 (1997) ]


L'inversion du type <syntagme adjectival + copule + sujet>

Abstract

Cette étude a pour but d'examiner, parmi les phrases du type <syntagme adjectival + copule + sujet>, celles où l'adjectif exprime la quantité, comme en (1), ou bien est au comparatif, comme en (2).

(1) Nombreux sont les enfants qui croient au Père Noël.
(2) La morphine est donc très dangereuse. Mais, plus dangereuse est l'héroïne : ...

Pour le premier type de phrases, les adjectifs les plus usités sont nombreux, rare, et grand. Ces adjectifs de quantité expriment l'existence ou l'inexistence du référent du sujet, plutôt qu'ils n'apportent des informations sur ses propriétés, ce qui permet de paraphraser (1) par "De nombreux enfants croient au Père Noël." Ils peuvent donc servir à introduire le référent du sujet dans l'univers du discours.
Pour le deuxième type, la propriété exprimée par l'adjectif est explicitement ou implicitement évoquée par le contexte précédent. L'attribut sert donc plus à présenter le référent du sujet, qu'à donner une information nouvelle sur celui-ci.
Ces deux constructions ne peuvent se mettre à la forme négative, parce qu'elles auraient alors la structure informatique topic-comment, qui contredirait leur fonction de présentation.

(3) * Nombreux ne sont pas ceux qui suivent le cours de linguistique.
(4) L'héroïne est donc très dangereuse. * Mais, moins dangereuse n'est pas la cocaïne : ...

Full Text

[Bulletin d'études de linguistique française 30 (1996) ]


PP Preposing from Object NP in French

--- Its Semantico-Pragmatic Restrictions ---

Abstract

The present study concerns sentences in which the prepositional phrase can be interpreted as a modifier of the object following it, as in (1).

(1) Il a dessiné de Jean un portrait caricatural.

Restrictions on this type of sentences (VPNs, henceforth) will be made clear.
First, the object must not be anaphoric. Definite nouns are therefore less acceptable.

(2) ? Il a dessiné de Jean le portrait caricatural.

VPNs admit a definite object, when it can determine its referent independently of the preceding context, due to sufficient modification.

(3) Cette règle présente sur les précédentes l'avantage d'êum;tre exhaustive, [...]

(4) s' il n'avait pas eu de sa fonction la haute idée que l'on sait.

(5) Il a dessiné de Jean le portrait le plus caricatural que je connaisse.

(6) On peut donner de cette opération la représentation suivante: [...]

Second, VPNs prefer verbs which mean the existence or appearance of the referent of the object in the scene, as compared with those which presuppose its existence in the scene.

(7) Il a {dessiné/acheté/? jeté} de Jean un portrait caricatural.

(8) Il a {fait/? critiqué} sur le langage une théorie abstraite.

However, even verbs of the latter kind become acceptable if they bring pragmatically little information because of context.
These facts show that VPNs introduce the referent of the noun into the world of the discourse, as is the case with French IL+VP+NP type impersonal sentences and English existential sentences.

Full Text

[Journal of the Linguistics Society of Japan 109 (1996) ]


Sur un emploi de la construction "c'est NP qui VP" qui met en jeu le contexte ou la situation d'énonciation

Abstract

La présente étude a pour objet d'examiner parmi les phrases du type "c'est NP qui VP" celles qui, à la différence des constructions emphatiques, ne mettent pas le sujet en relief (:CQ). KAWAMOTO (1958-60), en observant dans CQ la nouveauté du NP aussi bien que du VP, lui a appliqué la notion de mudaibun (phrase-sans-thème). D'autres ont soutenu sa théticité, et donc sa synonymie avec "il y a / voilà NP qui VP". D'autre part, ASAKURA (1955) y a vu une explication de la phrase qui précède, et LERCH (1934) est allé jusqu'à affirmer que ce désigne "ce qui précède" (das Vorhergehende).

Nous proposons la thématicité de ce dans CQ. (Le thème ici se caractérise en gros par sa haute activation dans la conscience de l'interlocuteur vis-à-vis des autres parties de la phrase ou du rhème.) Elle se démontre par la comparaison du point de vue distributionnel de CQ à "il y a NP qui VP" (:IQ), qui exprime typiquement l'absence du thème, et à "NP VP" (:SV), qui peut servir même si le sujet est peu thématique.

Ce qui nous frappe, c'est que CQ est, contrairement à IQ et à SV, incapable d'annoncer une information entièrement nouvelle sans liaison avec le contexte ou la situation, ni de servir de réponse à une question qui n'implique pas qu'il soit arrivé ou qu'il arrive quelque chose; par contre CQ est adéquat, comme les deux autres, dans le cas où l'on demande, explicitement ou implicitement, des explications sur un fait concret. Cette différence distributionnelle révèle la référence de ce au contexte ou à la situation, laquelle est corroborée par la possibilité pour CQ de se voir ajouter en tête ce N, et d'admettre comme NP un pronom personnel.

Quoique la référentialité de ce permette de tenir la relative pour explicative, l'intégration solide de celle-ci dans CQ fait préférer la théorie de la pseudo-relative, qui avec l'antécédent constitue une proposition. L'inadéquation de "*Ce bruit est François / quelqu'un qui est tombé dans l'escalier.", ainsi que la différence catégorielle entre le bruit et la chute, nient que ce puisse désigner directement un fait concret: mieux vaudrait dire que le ce de CQ se réfère à ce que le contexte ou la situation a mis en question ou activé et qui peut être précisé par une proposition.

Full Text

[Bulletin d'études de linguistique française 25 (1991) ]