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Preposition stranding and orphaning: The case of bare prepositions in French

  • GEORG A. KAISER (a1)


In their keynote contribution, Poplack, Zentz & Dion (henceforth PZD; Poplack, Zentz & Dion, 2011, this issue) propose an interesting “scientific test of convergence” (under section heading: “Introduction”) which contains criteria to check whether a particular feature in a given language in contact with another one is due to language contact or not. This is a valiant endeavor with a laudable goal. It is valiant because the answer to this question requires a complex investigation of the languages at issue. It is laudable since it is commonly believed that a given feature of a language in contact with another one is the result of convergence. This belief however is, in general, only a mere conjecture due to superficial similarities of the features at issue, for which no empirical evidence is provided. Yet, there is no doubt that PZD accomplish their endeavor in an outstanding manner. Based on a thorough study of substantial data from Canadian French and Canadian English, they demonstrate in a convincing way how it is possible to reveal whether a given feature is contact-induced or not.



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