Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0035-3906
  • E-ISSN: 1600-0811
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This article focuses on the development of the French adverbials au fait, de fait and en fait. Although they share the same origin, the three cognates are not interchangeable in present-day French which suggests that they have followed divergent paths of language change. A contrastive analysis is of interest for several reasons: (1) A comparison of the development of the three cognates can help capture the differences in their use; (2) On a theoretical level, the evolution of au fait, de fait and en fait is of particular interest to the study of the relation between lexicalization, grammaticalization and pragmaticalization. The modern uses of au fait, de fait and en fait are indeed the result of three different grammaticalization processes.


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