Variation Syntaxique Dans le Français Multiculturel du Cinéma de Banlieue
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
18 months embargo because I wish to publish papers using material that is substantially drawn from my thesis
This study examines the representation of syntactic variation in Multicultural French in a corpus of 38 “banlieue films”. Many studies have been carried out so far on the lexis and phonology of the “français des banlieues” (termed here Multicultural French) but not on the syntax. According to some linguists (Conein et Gadet, 2000 ; Liogier 2002), this could be due to the fact that “français des banlieues” is not different from traditional “Popular French” in terms of its grammar and syntax. The variationist and pragmatic approaches are used to examine three variables : the use of comment as an exclamative marker instead of more traditional markers (chapter 4), the variation in the use of WH-questions (chapters 5, 6, 7) and the use of qu’est-ce que “what” instead of pourquoi “why” in some types of rhetorical questions used to express a challenge or a criticism (chapters 8, 9). The main results of the study are that: the structure [QkSV] has declined since the 1990s, the [SVQ] structure can be used for rhetorical questions, the qu’est-ce que rhetorical question expresses a strong face threatening act and is more direct than a rhetorical question in pourquoi which can be ambiguous. The representation of Multicultural French spoken in these films shows an increase in the use of some syntactic features compared to traditional Popular French. However, this observation cannot allow us to claim that they are two distinct varieties in terms of their syntax.
PhD in French