#Je suis Charlie : Semantic and prosodic anatomy of an empathic copular sentence

  • "Je suis Charlie" was used over 619.000 times in the two days that have followed the attack of the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo (Le Progrès, The Huffington Post) and has regularly been taken up in both written and spoken form since. In this paper, we argue that the structure of this sentence actually clashes with its meaning. More specifically, whereas its word order and default rightmost sentence stress are compatible either with an all-focus reading or a narrow focusing of Charlie, the context of use of this sentence as well as the solidarity/empathy message it intends to communicate suggest that its subject is narrowly focused. We will propose that two strategies have emerged to solve this conflict: (i) various alternative forms have appeared that allow proper subject focusing and (ii) speakers have reinterpreted the structure so as to pragmatically retrieve the (additive) focused nature of the subject.

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Author:Fatima Hamlaoui, Laurent Roussarie
Parent Title (Multiple languages):Byproducts and side effects : Nebenprodukte und Nebeneffekte
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2015/09/17
Tag:Je suis Charlie
GND Keyword:Semantik; Intonation <Linguistik>; Kopulasatz
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Semantik / Semantics
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 58 = Byproducts and side effects : Nebenprodukte und Nebeneffekte
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht