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Edited by Pierre Goffic

Le « présent » , terme équivoque : temps vécu (étroit comme l'instant ou large comme l'actualité) et/ou paradigme linguistique (en français)... Pointer l'ambiguïté ne suffit pas à l'exorciser ! Et en quoi ou comment le second renvoie-t-il à la réalité du premier ? J.M. Fournier retrace les efforts des grammairiens du XVIIIème siècle: de la conception d'un présent linguistique lié à l'instant d'énonciation (chez Arnauld et Lancelot), à celle d'un présent marquant l'actualité étendue (chez Girard ou Harris), et à celle d'un présent indéfini et neutre, renvoyant par défaut à l'actualité, chez Beauzée. S. Mellet revendique l'héritage de Beauzée, en proposant une vision aspectuelle du présent construisant sa propre actualité par auto-repérage.
De même A. Jaubert, qui propose un présent éternellement perçu comme advenant et transportant avec lui son repère. Aux exemples littéraires de l'une et de l'autre répondent les extraits du Monde Diplomatique dans lesquels H. Chuquet relève la valeur à la fois aoristique et commentative des présents. P. Le Goffic et F. Lab tournent le présent vers l'avenir: le présent « pro futuro » de « Demain, je suis à Bruxelles » n'est temporel qu'à travers sa valeur modale de constat anticipé d'une réalité programmée. Enfin O. Soutet cherche, à la lumière des concepts guillaumiens, la place d'un présent subjonctif dans le système français. Impossible de lier ou de délier absolument présent linguistique et présent vécu ... Ce recueil se veut un jalon sur la route, encore longue sans doute, d'une élucidation de leurs rapports.

Temporalité et attitude

Structuration du discours et expression de la modalité

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Edited by Arie L. Molendijk and Co Vet

Les articles réunis dans ce volume ont été présentés au Cinquième Colloque Chronos, qui s’est déroulé à l’Université de Groningen du 19 au 21 juin 2002. Ils ont été soumis à l’évaluation de collègues et les auteurs les ont remaniés en vue de la publication dans ce volume. Ils traitent de la structuration du discours, de l’expression de modalités différentes et de la temporalité / de l’aspect dans différentes langues. Ces matières ont été le sujet de bien des études récentes et moins récentes. L’intérêt de ce recueil par rapport à d’autres études réside, non seulement dans la nouveauté de certaines données linguistiques, mais aussi dans leur traitement, qui est parfois très original. Les langues étudiées sont le français, l'anglais, le polonais et le serbo-croate.

Tense, Mood and Aspect

Theoretical and Descriptive Issues

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Edited by Louis de Saussure, Jacques Moeschler and Genoveva Puskas

This book is a collection of articles dealing with theoretical issues in the study of tense, mood and aspect, as well as with specific semantic and syntactic problems raised by linguistic expressions dedicated to these domains across a variety of languages. Through these papers, strong variations are explored, but also crosslinguistic convergences are investigated. Numerous phenomena so far often left aside in linguistics are described and enlightened by different scientific standpoints, which they serve to illustrate. The languages investigated in this volume include Germanic languages (Dutch, English, German), Romance (French, Catalan, Italian), Slavic (Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Russian), Greek, and non-indoeuropean languages such as Thai, Digo and Kikuyu. Related topics such as grammaticalization, presuppositions, questions in dialogue, illocutionary acts and acquisition are incidentally called upon in order to shed light from the outside onto tense, mood (and modality) and aspect. This volume is of great interest for all scholars engaged in contemporary research on the linguistic expression of tense, mood and aspect. The papers gathered in this volume are a tight selection of the ones that were presented at the 6th Chronos colloquium.

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Roberta Facchinetti

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to chart the distribution and semantic/pragmatic values of can and could in Present-day British English. To do so, I have analysed the British Component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB), covering 1,000,000 words distributed across a variety of textual categories. The quantitative figures of the two modals have been drawn from the whole corpus, while a 10% random sample has been selected for semantic analysis. The data confirm that in contemporary British English can and could exhibit a spectrum of quantitative distributions and semantic values. This is particularly true of the overall higher frequency of can as opposed to could, and the discrepancy between the two modals recorded in their epistemic and dynamic uses. Special attention has been given to instances of ‘dynamic implication’, which are superficially similar to the occurrences of dynamic ability, but need a broader pragmatic framework to be interpreted correctly.

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David C. Minugh

Abstract

Unlike major English-language corpora hitherto released, on-line college student newspapers provide an unexplored record from much younger writers. In these newspapers, 20-year-olds address their peers in a situation that largely parallels standard newspaper writing as regards formal correctness and time pressure. Nearly unconstrained by outside intervention or house style sheets, they deal with a range of university student interests, including creative writing. This preliminary version of the Coll Corpus consists of one issue each of nearly all 300-plus college and university newspapers available on the Web as of spring 1999, with a total of 3.88 million words. Although American English (AmE) dominates, the resultant geographical distribution is relatively well matched to actual population ratios. In its present form, the corpus already allows exploration of numerous lexical and semantic features along temporal and geographic dimensions. Given its on-line accessibility, future versions should be easily expandable by several orders of magnitude.

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Vincent B Y Ooi

Abstract

This paper suggests that an important frontier for corpus linguistics to reach is the ability to handle more precisely the discourse of imagined/virtual/on-line communities on the World Wide Web and their attendant linguistic expressions. Computer-mediated communication, exemplified by the Internet Relay Chat/‘I Seek You’ genre, brings the global world together every day and has proved to be immensely popular. Such types of discourse present a challenge to corpus linguistics, whose agenda should then include refining appropriate computational tools, and linguistic theories, in order to provide a more thorough investigation of such new linguistic patterns. This paper examines aspects of this agenda to measure new electronic textualities within the paradigm of corpus linguistics. It compares the ability of two well-known corpus taggers to handle such texts, and discusses some of the lexicogrammatical patterns that emerge from an Internet Relay Chat corpus.

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Hans Martin Lehmann

Abstract

This large-scale corpus study documents the use of zero subject relative constructions in spoken American and British English. For this purpose, it makes extensive use of automated retrieval strategies. It shows that zero subject relatives are still present in spoken American and British English, as represented in the British National Corpus and the Longman Spoken American Corpus. Moreover, there is a sharp difference between American English with 2.5% and British English with 13% of subject relatives with zero relativizer. Although zero subject relative constructions are frequently found with existentials and it–clefts they are by no means limited to these constructions. The social variables of the study (most notably age) come from speaker annotation which is used to provide the apparent time dimension.

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Peter Schneider

Abstract

This paper describes the ongoing development of a software spelling normalization system named ZENSPELL. It is intended to assign normalized, present-day English spellings to 18th spelling variants with minimal user intervention while keeping the source text intact and available for comparison. The article examines the possibility of adapting 18th century English newspaper texts in order to make them comply with 20th century spelling rules. The idea is to create a hybrid text: like glossed word-for-word ‘translations’ of Latin texts, the target text will contain 18th century sentences, but with 20th century orthographic words. Despite somewhat doubtful linguistic qualities, the resulting ‘artificial’ text will be useful for two purposes: first, lexical searches can be made using one normalized search term instead of having to guess possible spelling variations of the intended term. Second, the target text can be used as input for wordclass taggers such as ENGCG

Language: Usage and Description

Studies presented to N.E. Osselton on the occasion of his retirement

Edited by Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, John Frankis and Colin Ewen

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Edited by Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli

Syntax and the Lexicon is a dynamic investigation into the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory. Twelve chapters, authored by leaders in syntactic theory, provide a detailed yet easily understandable analysis of differing views on the lexicon in the field. Lively debates pepper the volume with interactive dialogue, and volume editors Tim Stowell and Eric Wehrli provide an insightful overview and introduction to lexical theory. It presents an overview of the role of the lexicon in syntactic theory and debates between major practitioners in the field. It discusses the nature of argument and structure and debates the relation of argument nature to constituent structure and binding theory. It examines the role of NP-movement vs. lexical rules in accounting for alternations in grammatical functions.