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Sociolinguistic factors &#8232;and the pragmaticalization of <i>bon</i> in contemporary spoken French

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Abstract

The multifunctional nature of discourse-marking <i>bon</i> (well) is well-attested in the literature (Auchlin, 1981; Winther, 1985, Hansen, 1998a and b, Jayez, 2004). Its adverbial and interjective uses can, according to Hansen (1998a), be related to its canonical adjectival use (as in &#8216;<i>C&#8217;est bon</i>&#8217; &#8216;It&#8217;s good&#8217;), its discourse-marking and hedging uses being more peripheral extensions of this.Beeching (2007c) charts the remarkable increase in rates of <i>bon</i> usage in both real and apparent time from 1968&#8211;2002. The present paper establishes the extent to which <i>bon</i> is pragmaticalizing by investigating its sociosituational variation and distributional frequency in the <i>Corpus de R&#233;f&#233;rence du Fran&#231;ais Parl&#233;</i>. The rise in frequency of the compound expressions mais bon and parce que bon suggests a shift towards increased intersubjectivity.

References

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