Completed Doctoral Project

Doctorate in Spanish Linguistics

French as a penguin among the diglossias?: An empirical investigation of everyday lexical doublets against the background of the diglossia hypothesis 

(Bamberger Beiträge zur Linguistik ; 21)

Full Text of the Dissertation available in the OPUS server of the UB.

The treatment of français parlé and français écrit has a long tradition in Romance studies. It can be observed that the two superordinate varieties of French are described or related to each other in different ways depending on the temporal and regional background of the authors - often with the inclusion of further linguistic registers. This paper argues that the paradigm of diglossia is well suited to represent the relationship between conceptually spoken and conceptually written French. This is based on a prototypical understanding of categories inspired by cognitive linguistics, which corresponds better to the process of human categorisation than dichotomous assignment. The theoretical argumentation is supported by an empirical analysis for the field of lexis, because numerous studies are already available at the grammatical level. In a deep-semantic discourse analysis based on a YouTube corpus, it is shown that contemporary French is characterised by the regular use of a spoken-unmarked everyday vocabulary, which - in interaction with grammatical and phonetic phenomena - is constitutive for français parlé. Finally, the diglossic character of contemporary French emerges from the totality of the conceptually spoken features in distinction to the conceptually written ones. It has no 'neutral' register, but quickly fixes any kind of communication to one of the two coarse registers through the occurrence of high-frequency indicative elements.