"Parce que" in the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

Title"Parce que" in the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsJivanyan H
Secondary AuthorsSAMO G
JournalGenerative Grammar in Geneva
Date Published05/2018

After a re-analysis of the traditional distinction between subordinating vs. paratactic usages of the French causal connective parce que (PCQ, because) in terms of their meaning, we study the syntactic structures of PCQ and their pragmatic effects on theinterpretation. We discuss the following syntactic manipulations of causal relations: i) two types of focalised structures of PCQ, it-cleft and if-cleft; ii) initial position of the connective.In order to show the differences in meaning, resulting from syntactic modifications, we use a set of semantic parameters for the annotation of the segments related by the connective. We also show the limitations of syntactic modifications using the same set of parameters. The constraints on the structural modifications of PCQ lead us to a generalisation in terms of a postulate of proximity between PCQ and causal segment, which is a major constraint on the syntactic-structural behaviour of PCQ that cannot be violated. In the final section, we explain the syntactic constraints of each type of causal relation in the framework of generative syntax.