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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Les monoreferentiels temporels en Français moderne, writing in French Ralalaharimanitra, Simone

Abstract

Temporal monoreferentials in French (hier, aujourd'hui, demain, the names of the days and the names of the months), although used frequently, were never the subject of a comprehensive study before Curat (1999), resulting in imprecision and inconsistency in their classification. Defining their status is thus at the centre of this study, which shows that hier, aujourd'hui, demain and the names of the days are substantives, but unlike other substantives, they can, in themselves, refer to a «sole individual* and play the role of noun phrases without a determiner. Their usage without a determiner depends on their link to the nexus ego-hic-nunc (they are defined by the time of their enunciation) and the unicity of their referent. They do, however, require the presence of a determiner once detached from that nexus or when they refer to several referents (real or not). A more or less strong lexical predisposition for «nynegocentric» (i.e speaker referential) deicticity allows their lexeme to have a special link with the nexus ego-hic-nunc, and the nexus thus imposes the monoreferential constraint - hence the use without a determiner. In first place on the scale of nynegocentric deicticity are the terms which make up the enunciative framework (je, tu, ici, etc.). Hier, aujourd'hui and demain are placed second: they but rarely accept the presence of a determiner. Next are the names of the days, which may be used with or without a determiner, followed by the other substantives which require the presence of a determiner for reference purposes. One can thus conclude that hier, aujourd'hui, demain and the names of the days make up a subcategory of common nouns. The operation of the names of the months differs from that of the names of the days in terms of both syntax and reference (they seldom vary in number, refer to one individual, and function without a determiner most of the time, independently of any link with the nexus ego-hic-nunc); it more closely reflects that of proper nouns. They form a subcategory of proper nouns. The approach used, based primarily on the work of Kleiber and Curat, was grammatical, semantic and deictic.

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