Ordre des mots et topologie de la phrase française
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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The article gives an introduction to the concept of an independent topological level of description as developped by Danish grammarians. According to this approach topology (the linear ordering of constituents) and syntax (the hierarchical ordering of constituents) constitute two different levels with a certain, but not necessary, isomorphy between their elements. The topology of Danish and Old French, two V2 languages, is described and confronted with a proposal for a topological description of Modern French. It is proposed that whereas the verb constitutes the topological centre or pivot in V2 languages, it is the (nominal) subject which has this role in Modern French. Some consequences of this proposal are examined and it is shown that a description of word order based upon the syntactic structure necessarily amounts to a topological description because the syntactic trees needed to describe certain word order phenomena are so « flat » that they become indistinguishable from the linear and unidimensional sequence of topology.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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