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On 4 September 2013 02:32, Jonathan Beagley <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>
> This seems very realistic to me. I have a friend who often writes "tain"
> instead of "putain", so it makes sense to me to see the first syllable
> disappear.
>
>
Yeah, since the French stress is noun-phrase-final, and French is happy
with relatively complex initial clusters, it's common for the vowel of the
first syllable of words and phrases to get shortened to the point of
disappearance, in which case the accompanying consonants may follow as well
(although not necessarily).


> This is perhaps already happening to a certain extent in Spoken French. You
> will from time to time here sentences of the following style (featuring
> dislocation):
>
> Les gamins, ça sert à rien
> Les femmes, ça pue
> Des arbres, ça attire les oiseaux (this example comes from the article
> linked below)
>
> Even though "les gosses" and "les femmes" are both gendered nouns, they can
> be referred to with neuter "ça". This, arguably, has a dehumanizing effect
> and I find that when used with people, in particular, it is derogatory, but
> I am not a native speaker, so this judgment may not be accurate. ;)


I believe it is. _ça_, after all, is normally strictly inanimate. I've
heard such sentences as well, but when used with people they are always
derogatory (i.e. you will never hear them being used to make a compliment
:P).


> This
> is, however, a relatively common phenomenon in Spoken French.
>
>
Agreed. With inanimate referents, it might even more common than using _il_
or _elle_.


> (For an academic article on this phenomenon, check out this:
>
> http://books.google.fr/books?hl=fr&lr=&id=4aZ73desIZsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA95&dq=%C3%A7a+g%C3%A9n%C3%A9rique&ots=mvDkZO4be6&sig=wCvQQUq7btnA-b1sjGVSLk5pW0s#v=onepage&q=%C3%A7a%20g%C3%A9n%C3%A9rique&f=false
> )
>
>
> My intuition is that the "default" liaison in French would be /z/ for oral
> vowels and /n/ for nasal vowels. If you take the example _trop_, you will
> find that the standard liaison is, of course, with /p/. However, in Spoken
> French you will occasionally hear this realized as /z/ instead. Nasal
> vowels will, inevitably, take /n/ as their liaison.
>
>
Agreed. You will even sometimes hear /n/ liaison when one would expect /z/
instead. Children, especially, are known to mess up their liaisons quite
often (another piece of evidence that it is a grammatical rather than
phonological feature). This can also be done tongue in cheek, like the
title of a great theatre comedy from the 90's: _le gros n'avion_ ("the Big
Plane". the _n'_ indicates /n/ liaison instead of the expected /z/ liaison.
The effect is somewhat childish, and thus comical :)).

Lots of effects can be achieved in Spoken French by misapplying,
over-applying or omit liaison :). I bet there must have been some
linguistic article about that somewhere :).


> > >
> > Yeah, that's an awkward one. The official solution is to make "médecin"
> > epicene, i.e. you're allowed to say "la médecin". If you still find that
> > awkward, you could always use the feminine form of "docteur":
> "doctoresse".
> > Although that form is not often used.
> >
> > I wasn't aware that the official solution was "la médecin". I could try
> it, but I'm sure my friends will balk at that one. ;)
>
>
Could be, but they will probably accept it faster than "assureuse" as the
feminine of "assureur"!

Typical of those changes imposed by the Academy, right? :P


>
> > I'm not aware of those. I'm aware of some cases of vocalic gemination,
> but
> > they are all expressive, i.e. purely prosodic effects rather than
> > grammatical markers.
> >
> > I unfortunately have no solid reference to confirm this.
>
>
Oh, it *could* be happening. I've just never heard it. I am aware of final
vowel gemination for emphasis (which competes with /əː/-paragoge, a
phenomenon that can also happen with words ending in consonants), but I've
never heard the feminine -e of words like _virée_ actually pronounced. It
could be happening though, I've not been everywhere in France :P.


> >
> > > You will also get things like:
> > >
> > > Standard Written French: Je lui ai demandé ce qu'il avait fait
> > > Spoken French: Je lui ai demandé qu'est-ce qu'il avait fait
> > >
> > >
> > That one, however, is relatively common as far as I know.
> >
> >
> Ironically, I would've said the opposite! I had learned to watch out for
> this second construction, but I rarely encounter it myself.
>
>
Strange. I've often heard indirect speech using _est-ce que_. It's pretty
normal where I come from (Normandy). But not using question words as
conjunctions in indirect speech is something I'm not aware of. It doesn't
sound far-fetched, just not something I've heard.


>
> Agreed. In certain (particularly southern) dialects you may also find the
> order of the pronouns inverted, leading to sentences like: "Donne-moi-le"
> or "Je lui l'ai dit" instead of "Donne-le-moi" or "Je le lui ai dit".


Yes, such inversions happen indeed. AFAIK speakers tend to stick with one
order, i.e. a speaker who says "donne-le-moi" will normally never be heard
saying "donne-moi-le", and vice versa (well, except that a speaker in the
"donne-moi-le" camp may be heard saying "donne-le-moi" when reading
something in Standard Written French, but I count that as code-switching
:P). Per speaker the order of personal markings is strict. It just varies
from speaker to speaker.


> I
> would agree with Christophe though that the most common solution is to
> simply replace "le" or "la" with "ça".
>
>
Yep.

On 4 September 2013 04:47, Aidan Grey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> > I would agree with Christophe though that the most common solution is to
> > simply replace "le" or "la" with "ça".
> >
> >
>  I am thinking to have la and sa as 3rd sg., but different cases, one nom,
> one acc/dat., or some combination thereof.
>

Could happen. I'm not sure about the distribution of _ça_ with an expressed
noun phrase, i.e. whether it's more common in subject or object position.
My gut instinct says object position, but I could be wrong. Also, I'm not
aware of _ça_ used in object position to refer to persons (if it happens,
it's probably very markedly pejorative, even more than _ça_ as subject with
a person as referent).

If you lose the gender distinctions otherwise, you might keep them in
verbal agreement markings only, and actually introduce a
masculine/feminine/neuter distinction there à la English he/she/it. It
would probably (for the subject agreement prefixes anyway) sound like
i/e/sa.
-- 
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/