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Master Thesis

Les emplois non locatifs de WHERE et WHEN : éléments de réflexion

Abstract : This study is concerned with the various types of relations expressed by WHEN and WHERE in contemporary English and opposes temporal/spatial structures to so-called non spatio-temporal structures. It is based on an analysis of 70 attested examples sampled from the British National Corpus, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, and various literary works. In Chapter I, we attempt to redefine the core value of WHEN and WHERE after showing that the use of these connectors may sometimes give way to semantic ambiguity. To account for this ambiguity, the notion of concomitance is favored over the reductive label “marker of spatial/temporal relations”. In the second half of this chapter, non spatio-temporal WH-clauses are analyzed regarding the choice of tense, aspect, modality in the main clause and the WH-clause respectively as well as other parameters which are necessary to trigger such interpretations. In Chapter II, a comparison is made between WHEN and WHERE through the analysis of several attested items. Despite the parallel which is often drawn between these two connectors, it appears that they operate differently when they relate two clauses. This distinction accounts for the fact that WHEN and WHERE cannot commute even when they both introduce an adversative clause. A formal representation of the two WH- connectors is proposed. In Chapter III, WHEN and WHERE clauses are used to illustrate the ambiguity between coordination and subordination. In the literature they are in fact systematically classified among subordinate clauses but there is syntactic and prosodic evidence that non spatio-temporal clauses should not be strictly treated as subordinate clauses.
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Master Thesis
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Contributor : Pau Bibliothèque Du Domaine Anglophone <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 9:30:51 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 1:45:04 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 12:14:02 PM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-01338669, version 1



Aurélien Durou. Les emplois non locatifs de WHERE et WHEN : éléments de réflexion. Linguistique. 2016. ⟨dumas-01338669⟩



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