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Re: Colloquial French resources

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  • And Rosta
    ... Because the view you attribute to your professor is so foolish, I still suspect a misunderstanding, though not out of any obtuseness on your part; you say
    Message 1 of 50 , Aug 30, 2013
      Jonathan Beagley, On 31/08/2013 00:20:
      > 2013/8/30 And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
      >> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets, On 30/08/2013 18:59:
      >>> On 30 August 2013 17:38, Jonathan Beagley <jonathan.beagley@...>**
      >>> wrote:
      >>>> But again, as you've mentioned, I believe there is a strong
      >>>> belief that most Spoken French is simply "wrong". This is a
      >>>> sentiment I heard relatively frequently in my linguistics
      >>>> program, particularly from the syntax prof (Claude
      >>>> Muller).
      >>> Unfortunately, prescriptivism is pretty strong in France (thank
      >>> the Academy for that). But you'd think that linguists, of all
      >>> people, would not fall for it! What kind of a linguist can
      >>> honestly think a form of language used successfully by millions
      >>> of people is "wrong"? What does it even mean?!
      >>
      >> Therefore, my suspicion is that Jonathan misunderstood his professor.
      >
      > I certainly did not misunderstand my professor. He made his point of view
      > quite clear, and other professors, particularly the semantics professor,
      > mentioned his point of view as being "absurd." Luckily, said syntax
      > professor retired this year. I should make clear that he didn't say that
      > all Spoken French was wrong, but he would not hesitate to "throw out"
      > certain examples if he deemed them to be agrammatical.
      >
      > Muller has written a book on French syntax: the examples you will see there
      > are not based on any corpus but are merely created by Muller himself as
      > examples of "grammatical French."
      >
      > As Christophe has mentioned, this kind of viewpoint is quite prevalent in
      > France, even in linguistics departments, although certain profs were
      > certainly not in agreement and expounded the use of corpus-based studies.

      Because the view you attribute to your professor is so foolish, I still suspect a misunderstanding, though not out of any obtuseness on your part; you say he made his point of view quite clear, but did you have the opportunity to enter into dialogue with him to ascertain whether it really was as foolish as it seemed? The foolishness of the view you report lies not at all in eschewing corpus data or inventing or throwing out data, but rather in conflating the category of incontrovertibly "wrong" data, such as is produced by foreign speakers (e.g. me when attempting to speak French), with the category of data consistent with certain dialects of French but not with the dialect under study (e.g. standard written French). I wonder if your professor would accept that such a conflation is invalid, but, perhaps because his focus was on standard written French, was lackadaisical about discriminating among data that was not standard written French. Many's the syntax professor who is la
      ckadais
      ical in that way, saying "In [Language X] you can't say [Y]" when in fact they mean only that you can't say [Y] in the dialect of [X] that's under study.

      --And.
    • Aidan Grey
      Ha! I am killing number distinctions. After all - homme and hommes are homophones. In addition, it s common in many polysynthetic langs, where number is only
      Message 50 of 50 , Sep 9 6:09 PM
        Ha! I am killing number distinctions. After all - homme and hommes are
        homophones. In addition, it's common in many polysynthetic langs, where
        number is only visible on the verb.

        Killing gender in articles / determiners isn't difficult, since most of
        those vowels are unstressed.


        On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 8:12 AM, Basilius <vechernov@...> wrote:

        > On Wed, 4 Sep 2013 08:40:23 +0200, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
        >
        > >On 4 September 2013 04:47, Aidan Grey 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.
        >
        > For agreement marking on verbs, this would seem the most natural option to
        > me, too.
        >
        > However, were I designing a genderless Future French myself, I'd be mostly
        > bothered by elimination of gender agreement within NP's; and especially by
        > getting rid of purely lexical gender, i. e. gender in inanimates; and in
        > doing so, I'd probably get stuck at killing the gender distinctions in
        > articles and other determiners (_le_ vs. _la_; _du_ vs. _de la_; _au_ vs.
        > _à la_; _mon_ vs. _ma_; _ce_ vs. _cette_, etc.).
        >
        > In fact, it seems to me that killing them without simultaneously killing
        > the *number* distinctions would look rather forced and artificial.
        >
        > It could be different if what one is designing is actually a creole.
        >
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