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Selected topics in the grammar of Français Tirailleur: A corpus study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This corpus-based study describes some grammatical and lexical features of Français Tirailleur (FT), a pidgin spoken in the French colonial army from the mid-1800’s to the 1950’s. By examining the largest corpus available of the language, this study aims to (1) discern hitherto undescribed or strengthen previous claims about grammatical and lexical features of FT, (2) compare these features with its lexifier language and (3) identify changes over time. The corpus has been manually part-of-speech tagged and all noun phrases have been marked up. The results include a description of the form and function of the FT noun phrase, covering (pro)nouns and their modifiers as well as noun phrases with an embedded prepositional phrase. Furthermore, the apparent diachronic development of the expression même chose is analyzed, along with examples of circumlocution. FT is shown to differ from French in several respects, e.g. in substituting the demonstrative determiners ce(t)/cette with ça, but no signs of substrate influence are found. Contrary to intution about the simplex nature of pidgins, FT appears to follow French in placing certain adjectives before the noun, while postposing others. There remain several interesting aspects to explore in the grammar of FT, among them the elusive, multi-functional items ya and yena. Our further understanding of pidgins would benefit from more data and cross-linguistic comparison.

Abstract [sv]

Denna korpus-baserade studie beskriver några lexikala och grammatiska drag hos Français Tirailleur (FT), ett pidginspråk som talades i franska kolonialarmen från mitten på 1800- till 1950-talet. Genom att undersöka den största tillgängliga korpusen över språket söker denna studie (1) urskilja hittills obeskrivna drag eller styrka existerande hypoteser om språkets natur, (2) jämföra språket med dess lexifierare samt (3) identifiera eventuell diakron variation. Korpusen har ordklasstaggats manuellt och alla nominalfraser har märkts upp. Resultaten innefattar en beskrivning av nominalfrasens form och funktion, en analys av uttrycket même chose och dess historiska utveckling samt ett antal exempel på cirkumlokution. FT skiljer sig från franska i flera avseenden, men inga tecken på substratinfluenser hittades. Trots att pidginspråk brukar kännetecknas av avsevärd förenkling, tycks FT ha bevarat franskans relativt komplexa system med både för- och efterställda adjektiv. Det råder brist på data och tvärlingvistiska jämförelser mellan pidginspråk, men det återstår ännu flertalet intressanta frågor att undersöka i FT-korpusen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Français Tirailleur, pidgin, contact language, noun phrase, même chose, circumlocution
Keywords [sv]
Français Tirailleur, pidgin, kontaktspråk, nominalfras, même chose, cirkumlokution
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144632OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144632DiVA, id: diva2:1115733
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-27 Created: 2017-06-27 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Selected topics in the grammar of Français Tirailleur(816 kB)80 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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