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Institutionen för franska, italienska och klassiska språk, Stockholms universitet (01/06/2010), Inge Bartning (Dir.)
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Dislocation et référence aux entités en français L2: Développement, interaction, variation
Engel Hugues1

This thesis investigates the use and development of dislocations in oral productions by Swedish users of French as a second language (L2). Dislocations are highly frequent in French oral speech and play an essential role in building utterances. L2 users of French must therefore acquire the grammatical means necessary to build this structure as well as the pragmatic principles underlying its use. The study is empirical, and based on a corpus of oral productions from a wide range of non-native speakers (NNS), from beginners studying at university to L2 users who have spent many years in France. The analysis also includes oral productions from a control group of native speakers (NS). The aim is to identify a path of development by which the different forms and functions of dislocations are acquired. Furthermore, the study examines the influence of tasks on the use of dislocations, by analysing two tasks which place very different demands on the informants in terms of cognitive effort, namely interviews and retellings. The analysis focuses on two main kinds of dislocations: on the one hand, [moi je VP] (and its syntactical variants); on the other hand, dislocations referring to third entities (such as [NP il VP] and [NP c'est X]). The results show that both kinds go through a process of development in French L2. However, French learners seem to master the lexical dislocations referring to third entities as well as their pragmatic rules of use from the first stages of acquisition, yet with deviances in some cases. On the other hand, the frequency of use of [moi je VP] and its syntactical variants correlates highly with the level of development of the NNS. Moreover, there is a significantly greater frequency of dislocations in the NNS retelling tasks than in their interviews. In the NS group, the frequency of use remains comparable in both tasks. This difference between NS and NNS is probably due to the additional cognitive load that retellings demand compared with interviews—e.g., recalling the succession of events, solving the lexical problems posed by the story that is to be retold. It is proposed that this additional load may trigger, as a compensation strategy, an increase in the frequency of use of dislocations in the NNS speech.
1 :  Stockholm University
Dislocations – second language acquisition – spoken French L1 and L2 – oral speech – development – acquisitional stages – use – input – information structure – task-induced variation – interaction

Dislocation and Reference to Entities in French L2: Development, Interaction, Variation
This thesis investigates the use and development of dislocations in oral productions by Swedish users of French as a second language (L2). Dislocations are highly frequent in French oral speech and play an essential role in building utterances. L2 users of French must therefore acquire the grammatical means necessary to build this structure as well as the pragmatic principles underlying its use. The study is empirical, and based on a corpus of oral productions from a wide range of non-native speakers (NNS), from beginners studying at university to L2 users who have spent many years in France. The analysis also includes oral productions from a control group of native speakers (NS). The aim is to identify a path of development by which the different forms and functions of dislocations are acquired. Furthermore, the study examines the influence of tasks on the use of dislocations, by analysing two tasks which place very different demands on the informants in terms of cognitive effort, namely interviews and retellings. The analysis focuses on two main kinds of dislocations: on the one hand, [moi je VP] (and its syntactical variants); on the other hand, dislocations referring to third entities (such as [NP il VP] and [NP c'est X]). The results show that both kinds go through a process of development in French L2. However, French learners seem to master the lexical dislocations referring to third entities as well as their pragmatic rules of use from the first stages of acquisition, yet with deviances in some cases. On the other hand, the frequency of use of [moi je VP] and its syntactical variants correlates highly with the level of development of the NNS. Moreover, there is a significantly greater frequency of dislocations in the NNS retelling tasks than in their interviews. In the NS group, the frequency of use remains comparable in both tasks. This difference between NS and NNS is probably due to the additional cognitive load that retellings demand compared with interviews—e.g., recalling the succession of events, solving the lexical problems posed by the story that is to be retold. It is proposed that this additional load may trigger, as a compensation strategy, an increase in the frequency of use of dislocations in the NNS speech.

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