The frequency and use of contrastive adverbial connectors in informal spoken French: A corpus analysis

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In this thesis, we present an analysis of contrastive adverbial connectors in two corpora of informal spoken French. By comparing our results to previous studies based on formal (written) French data, we aim to detect the possible influence of register on the frequency and the syntactic properties of the contrastive adverbial connectors. We show that certain adverbial connectors are used markedly more often in informal spoken French than in formal (written) French, while others seem to be typical of formal (written) French. In addition, we observe that contrastive adverbial connectors occur much more frequently in clause-initial position in informal spoken French compared to formal written French. In general, our findings thus suggest that the register indeed seems to affect the choice for a particular contrastive adverbial connector as well as the syntactic use of the contrastive adverbial connectors. However, with respect to the syntactic position, we argue that the influence of the mode (written versus spoken) is probably more important than the influence of the language register (formal versus informal).
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