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Les localisateurs dans les constructions existentielles: approche comparée en espagnol, en français et en italien

(2009)
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(UGent)
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Abstract
This dissertation sets out a contrastive study of the most frequent existential presentational constructions in Spanish, French and Italian, respectively hay, il y a and c’è. It is divided into two major parts, both consisting of four chapters. The first part presents a status quaestionis of the existing literature on existential constructions. From this review I conclude that it is mainly the status of the locative complement (clitic and/or PP) in this construction which has led to controversy, not only from a morphological (chapter 1), but also from a discursive (chapter 2), semantic (chapter 3) and syntactic perspective (chapter 4). Therefore the second part offers an empirical analysis of the locatives which appear in these constructions in the three studied languages. The investigation is based on a systematic statistical corpus study of contemporary newspaper articles. Different parameters are taken into account: the frequency of the locative complement, its position, its discursive status, its semantic properties and its internal structure. It is shown that all three existential verbs behave very similarly as to the distribution of the locatives (chapter 5). Moreover, it appears that in all three languages the position of the locatives is fundamentally driven by communicative dynamism. In addition, the analysis reveals various language-specific tendencies. In particular, the studied languages clearly differ with respect to the preferred position of these locatives. Whereas Italian c’è and Spanish hay prefer preverbal position for their locatives, in French the locatives appear systematically after the existential il y a construction (chapter 6). This language specific tendency is confirmed for several other kinds of locatives in existential constructions (chapter 7). It is argued that this divergent (preferential) word order can be explained in terms of a different degree of grammaticalization (chapter 8). Hence, I suggest that French il y a functions to a larger extent as a topic-introducing device. Conversely, Italian c’è and Spanish hay are shown to rather function as lexical predicates with an existential meaning.
Keywords
existential constructions, presentational constructions, thetic constructions, grammaticalization, locative

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Meulleman, Machteld. 2009. “Les Localisateurs Dans Les Constructions Existentielles: Approche Comparée En Espagnol, En Français Et En Italien”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
APA
Meulleman, M. (2009). Les localisateurs dans les constructions existentielles: approche comparée en espagnol, en français et en italien. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Meulleman M. Les localisateurs dans les constructions existentielles: approche comparée en espagnol, en français et en italien. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy; 2009.
MLA
Meulleman, Machteld. “Les Localisateurs Dans Les Constructions Existentielles: Approche Comparée En Espagnol, En Français Et En Italien.” 2009 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{806402,
  abstract     = {This dissertation sets out a contrastive study of the most frequent existential presentational  constructions in Spanish, French and Italian, respectively hay, il y a and c{\textquoteright}{\`e}. It is divided into two major parts, both consisting of four chapters.
The first part presents a status quaestionis of the existing literature on existential constructions. From this review I conclude that it is mainly the status of the locative complement (clitic and/or PP) in this construction which has led to controversy, not only from a morphological (chapter 1), but also from a discursive (chapter 2), semantic (chapter 3) and syntactic perspective (chapter 4). 
Therefore the second part offers an empirical analysis of the locatives which appear in these constructions in the three studied languages. The investigation is based on a systematic statistical corpus study of contemporary newspaper articles. Different parameters are taken into account: the frequency of the locative complement, its position, its discursive status, its semantic properties and its internal structure. 
It is shown that all three existential verbs behave very similarly as to the distribution of the locatives (chapter 5). Moreover, it appears that in all three languages the position of the locatives is fundamentally driven by communicative dynamism. In addition, the analysis reveals various language-specific tendencies. In particular, the studied languages clearly differ with respect to the preferred position of these locatives. Whereas Italian c{\textquoteright}{\`e} and Spanish hay prefer preverbal position for their locatives, in French the locatives appear systematically after the existential il y a construction (chapter 6). This language specific tendency is confirmed for several other kinds of locatives in existential constructions (chapter 7). It is argued that this divergent (preferential) word order can be explained in terms of a different degree of grammaticalization (chapter 8). Hence, I suggest that French il y a functions to a larger extent as a topic-introducing device. Conversely, Italian c{\textquoteright}{\`e} and Spanish hay are shown to rather function as lexical predicates with an existential meaning.},
  author       = {Meulleman, Machteld},
  language     = {fre},
  pages        = {XVII, 341},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Les localisateurs dans les constructions existentielles: approche compar{\'e}e en espagnol, en fran\c{c}ais et en italien},
  url          = {http://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/001/367/458/RUG01-001367458\_2010\_0001\_AC.pdf},
  year         = {2009},
}