On 19 November 2012 20:27, Leonardo Castro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I have heard that "Disais-je" is still used in Switzerland...
Could well be. It might also be used as a set phrase, fossilised in this
form, like "n'est-ce pas".

> The position of interrogative pronouns is relatively free in Portuguese
> too.
> "Onde você achou essas chaves?"
> "Você achou essas chaves onde?"
> "Você achou onde, essas chaves?"
I unfortunately know little about Portuguese, except its personal
infinitives and the bewitching fado genre. I've always said I'd learn
Portuguese one day, but I'm still trying to perfect my Modern Greek at the

I've got a Brazilian friend coming to the Netherlands this weekend by the
way. Might get to hear some Brazilian Portuguese again :P .

> What's really strange is the use of French "là". In same cases, it seems
> that "là" means "ici", while I would expect them to have opposite meanings.

I believe your analysis is mistaken. In the question "T'es où là ?", "là"
refers to the position of the listener (the position that is enquired
about), not of the speaker, and thus fits neatly with the meaning "there"
(as I wrote, it's the type of questions that would happen mostly on the
phone, so the listener is away from the speaker). As Ray wrote, it's
basically pleonastic, referring to the same (unknown) referrent as the
question word "où". Why it's present at all, given that it's optional, is a
mystery to me too, and I use it as well!
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.