Pragmatics of prepositions: A study of the French connectives <i>pour le coup</i> and <i>du coup</i>
Prepositions are rarely described in terms of their pragmatic potential. Yet, some prepositions help build connective locutions, and we show that their general value may then contribute directly to the pragmatics of these locutions. The French complex connective <i>pour le coup </i>− translated as a blend of “at the time” and “as a result” − can be analysed into a complex expression maintaining the core meanings of <i>pour</i>, <i>le </i>and <i>coup</i>, which does not allow too specialized a view of, respectively, prepositions, articles and nouns. When compared to <i>du coup </i>(“and so”) the contribution of <i>pour </i>is mainly pragmatic. That observation is to be added to the many arguments in favour of theories that allow for such plasticity in linguistic meaning.