Usage and processing of the French causal connectives 'car' and 'parce que'

Zufferey, Sandrine; Mak, Willem; Verbrugge, Sara; Sanders, Ted (2018). Usage and processing of the French causal connectives 'car' and 'parce que'. Journal of French language studies, 28(1), pp. 85-112. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0959269517000084

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The difference between ‘car’ and ‘parce que’ is often explained in the literature by the type of causal relation (objective or subjective) that each connective prototypically conveys. Recent corpus studies have demonstrated, however, that this distinction does not hold in speech, and is fluctuating in writing. In this paper, we present new empirical data to assess the status of this pair of connectives. In Experiment 1, we test French-speakers’ intuitions about ‘car’ and ‘parce que’ in a completion task, and compare these results with those of a similar experiment in Dutch. In Experiment 2, we measure the processing of objective and subjective causal relations containing ‘car’ and ‘parce que’ in an online reading experiment. Experiments 1 and 2 lead us to conclude that ‘car’ has to a large extent lost its specific procedural meaning. In the literature, the difference between ‘car’ and ‘parce que’ is also linked to a difference of register, ‘car’ being perceived as a formal equivalent of ‘parce que’. We assess the strength of this distinction in Experiment 3, by means of a completion task involving sentences from different registers. Results confirm the effect of register as a distinguishing factor between ‘car’ and ‘parce que’.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature > Linguistic Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Zufferey, Sandrine

Subjects:

400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 440 French & related languages

ISSN:

0959-2695

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sandrine Zufferey

Date Deposited:

01 Jul 2019 10:47

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 04:07

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0959269517000084

Additional Information:

#ppe

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.127415

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127415

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