Ordre des mots et topologie de la phrase française
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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In this article we show that the distribution of nominal inversion is not the same in all types of embedded adverbial clauses. We present a new descriptive generalization according to which the appearance of postverbal subjects must necessarily be favoured by the presence of a spatio-temporal topic or an indication of the subject’s focal interpretation in asserted clauses (including concessive and causal clauses), but not in non-asserted clauses (including temporal, comparative and final clauses and embedded clauses beginning with sans que). We argue that the factors which must necessarily be present to license nominal inversion in asserted clauses indicate that the subject is not interpreted as the topic with respect to which the clause is asserted. In non-asserted clauses, the postverbal subject can never be interpreted as the topic with respect to which the clause is asserted, and no additional factors are needed for nominal inversion to be acceptable.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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