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Journal Articles Journal of Pragmatics Year : 2016

The pragmatics of marked configurations: Negative doubling in French

Abstract

A recurrent assumption is that marked grammatical configurations associate to pragmatic values that differentiate them from the default option in a category. How do we know whether a marked configuration indeed has a pragmatic value, and what the nature of that value is? An answer to these questions is proposed in this article by the analysis of the pragmatic value of negative doubling in four varieties of French. Whether the joint use of post-verbal negation with a n-word–illustrated by There wasn’t nobody meaning that nobody was there – is amenable to pragmatically-relevant contextual constraints is examined on the basis of real usage. The results demonstrate that negative doubling is characterised by a pragmatic value, that there is a need to distinguish two types of pragmatic values (activation and emphasis), and that the absence of a categorical pragmatic value is linked to the relatively higher frequency of the configuration in a variety.
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Dates and versions

hal-01883906 , version 1 (28-09-2018)

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Pierre Larrivée. The pragmatics of marked configurations: Negative doubling in French. Journal of Pragmatics, 2016, 95, pp.34-49. ⟨10.1016/j.pragma.2016.02.002⟩. ⟨hal-01883906⟩
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