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Towards a unified account of the phonology of preverbal clitic pronouns in French.

The Linguistic Society invites everyone with an interest in English phonology to a talk by Dr Ros Temple (University of Oxford) at 1pm on Wednesday 2nd March in Hel 310 about French phonology and preverbal clitics. Please come along and discover the mystery behind the most prestigious English vowel!

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Towards a unified account of the phonology of preverbal clitic pronouns in French.

By Dr Rosalind Temple

MA, MPhil (PhD, Wales)
University Lecturer in French Linguistics and Fellow of New College, Oxford University.

Talk organised by ARC Romance Linguistics

Abstract

The preverbal clitic pronouns of French manifest in their phonology three phenomena which have exercised phonologists and variationists for many years: liaison, schwa orĀ e-caduc, and variable (l). Hitherto these have been treated as separate phenomena, of which the clitics are sometimes invoked as instances (the main instance, in the case of (l)). This paper, by contrast, takes the preverbal clitic pronoun system as a whole and applies some of the key constructs of Firthian Prosodic Analysis to its synchronic phonological analysis. Our analysis is theoretical, but we demonstrate briefly how some of its testable empirical predictions are confirmed by findings in the existing literature, illustrating its potential to provide new insights and a more holistic framework for further analysis of these and other variable phonological features of French.

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