<i>Les aventures de Max et Eve, j&#8217;ai aim&#233;</i>

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It is generally considered that in French, unlike English, the phenomenon of topica-lisation applied to a direct object, as in <i>This book, I have read</i>, does not exist. In fact, constructions such as this are common in oral language and are also encountered in written language. I shall nevertheless show that, appearances to the contrary, in a sentence such as <i>La tarte, j'ai aimé</i>, the NP <i>la tarte</i> is not a direct object and that, in consequence, this construction is not an instance of topicalisation (it should be recalled that the canonical example of topicalisation is <i>Le chocolat, j'aime</i>). My demonstration is based on comparisons between the orthographic, intonational, distributive and syntactic properties of utterances such as <i>La tarte, j'ai aimé</i> and <i>Trois enfants, j'ai eus</i>.


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