Case Study 2: Left and Right Dislocation

  • Angus Grieve-SmithEmail author


Left and right dislocation were identified by Bally (1921) as “one of the most striking characteristics of spoken-language syntax.” Types of dislocation include demonstrative dislocation, clitic dislocation and contrastive topics. We also find constructions that resemble dislocation, such as complex inversion and conjoined noun phrases. Grieve-Smith (Topicalization and Word Order in Conversational French. Southeast Conference on Linguistics, 2000) found that dislocation constructions were less frequent in François’s (Français parlé. Paris: SELAF, 1974) conversational corpus than in a 1999 IRC corpus, and much less frequent in a literary magazine article. They are also less frequent in the Digital Parisian Stage corpus, and even less frequent in the 1800–1815 theatrical texts in FRANTEXT. This corroborates the evidence in Case Study 1 that FRANTEXT plays are more conservative than the average Parisian play from the same time.


Left dislocation; Right dislocation; Contrastive topic; Left detachment; French 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New SchoolNew YorkUSA

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