Left dislocation in French

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A number of studies of Left Dislocation (LD) in spoken French within the Interactional Linguistics (IL) framework (de Fornel 1988; Pekarek Doehler 2001; Chevalier 2011b) have been critical of the information-structure analyses of this construction as set forth in Lambrecht (1981, 1994) and Barnes (1985). This discussion attempts to clarify the original information-structure analysis, arguing that the pragmatic definition of LD should be limited to the explicit marking of the sentence-topic and its associated comment. This topic-comment configuration is compatible with a large variety of particular functions with respect to the larger discourse and to speakers’ interactional purposes. Explanatorily useful IL analyses are those that make clear the connection between the topic-comment configuration and the proposed interactional function.


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