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  • 1.
    Norden, Anton Harry
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Selected topics in the grammar of Français Tirailleur: A corpus study2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This corpus-based study describes some grammatical and lexical features of Français Tirailleur (FT), a pidgin spoken in the French colonial army from the mid-1800’s to the 1950’s. By examining the largest corpus available of the language, this study aims to (1) discern hitherto undescribed or strengthen previous claims about grammatical and lexical features of FT, (2) compare these features with its lexifier language and (3) identify changes over time. The corpus has been manually part-of-speech tagged and all noun phrases have been marked up. The results include a description of the form and function of the FT noun phrase, covering (pro)nouns and their modifiers as well as noun phrases with an embedded prepositional phrase. Furthermore, the apparent diachronic development of the expression même chose is analyzed, along with examples of circumlocution. FT is shown to differ from French in several respects, e.g. in substituting the demonstrative determiners ce(t)/cette with ça, but no signs of substrate influence are found. Contrary to intution about the simplex nature of pidgins, FT appears to follow French in placing certain adjectives before the noun, while postposing others. There remain several interesting aspects to explore in the grammar of FT, among them the elusive, multi-functional items ya and yena. Our further understanding of pidgins would benefit from more data and cross-linguistic comparison.

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