This paper discusses the pronominal system of Louisiana French, a variety of French spoken mainly in the south-western part of Louisiana State.
The analysis of data (Girard Lomheim, 2016) shows that although Louisiana French clitics share certain features with clitics from other informal varieties of French and dialects of French, they cannot be analysed along quite the same lines. They have reached a more advanced stage of grammaticalization. They are moving away from the status of syntactic argument towards the status of agreement marker. The fact that they are subject to strong phonetic erosion and have been gradually replaced by weak pronouns shows that they are coming closer to the ultimate stadium of their grammaticalization cycle (van Gelderen, 2011), the null stadium.
The progressive reduction of the clitic paradigm is accompanied by the emergence of a new class of weak pronouns, which leads us to claim that the pronominal system of this vernacular is organized in three classes of pronouns: strong pronouns and two classes of deficient pronouns: weak pronouns and clitics in the terms of Cardinaletti et Starke (1994 and 1999). We claim that the difference between strong and weak pronouns should be addressed in terms of syntax and morphology whereas the difference between weak pronouns and clitics should be accounted for in terms of morphosyntax and phonology.
Copyright (c) 2019 Francine Girard Lomheim
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