«A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the University of North Dakota in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of ...»
THE -ING SUFFIX IN FRENCH
Joëlle C. Lewis
Bachelor of Arts, Moody Bible Institute, 2003
Submitted to the Graduate Faculty
University of North Dakota
in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
Master of Arts
Grand Forks, North Dakota
This thesis, submitted by Joëlle C. Lewis in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the Degree of Master of Arts from the University of North Dakota, has been read by the Faculty Advisory Committee under whom the work has been done and is hereby approved.
This thesis meets the standards for appearance, conforms to the style and format requirements of the Graduate School of the University of North Dakota, and is hereby approved.
Dean of the Graduate School _______________________________
TABLE OF CONTENTSLIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TABLES
1.2 Research procedures
1.3 Chapter divisions
II. LEXICAL CONTACT PHENOMENA
2.1 The framework
III. PHONOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF -ING IN FRENCH
3.1 Phonemic interference
3.2 Orthographic treatments
3.3 Phonemic symmetry
3.5 Contextual restrictions
3.6 Velar nasal assimilation
3.7 Some phonetic aspects
3.8 Evidence for /ŋ/ as a phoneme
3.9 Phonological conclusions
IV. MORPHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF -ING IN FRENCH
4.1 Semantic and morphotactic transparency
4.2 French verbal suffixes on -ing word roots
4.3 Uses of the -ing suffix in french
4.4 Native root affixation
4.5 Nominal root affixation
4.6 Plural -s affixation on -ing nominals
4.7 -ing as a suffix for participles
4.8 Morphological conclusions
V. SEMANTIC ASPECTS OF -ING IN FRENCH
5.1 Semantic divergence
5.2 Subsequent semantic extensions
5.3 Deverbal nominalizations with -ing
5.4 Semantic extension categories
5.5 Semantic domains
5.7 -ing vs. -age
5.8 Semantic conclusions
VI. SYNTACTIC ASPECTS OF -ING IN FRENCH
6.4 -ing participles in French syntax
6.5 Syntactic conclusion
APPENDIX A: SAMPLE OF -ING WORDS FROM EACH SEMANTIC DOMAINAND LOAN TYPE
APPENDIX B: DATA ORGANIZATION PROCEDURES
APPENDIX C: TYPOLOGY OF LEXICAL CONTACT PHENOMENA
2. Categories of semantic extensions for deverbal -ing nominals
3. Articles used with different senses of -ing words
4. Words containing -ing, categorized by semantic domain and loan type
5. Specific extracts and categorizations for the word fooding
6. Generalizations about fooding
7. A classification of lexical contact phenomena
I would first like to thank my thesis supervisor, Dr. J. Albert Bickford, for his dedication, advice, encouragement, and expertise. I would also like to thank my committee members Dr. John Clifton and Dr. Cheryl Black for their insight and guidance.
Thanks also to Damien Laurent who offered his assistance multiple times when I needed explanations beyond the simple dictionary definitions of words. Thanks also goes to Aude and Etienne Guillemin d’Echon in France who provided me with a list of additional -ing words to use in my research. I am also grateful to Dr. Michael Picone for his provision of resources on the topic.
Many thanks to Hyejin and Daniel Bair for their assistance in various ways, allowing me to spend the necessary hours on this project. I am very indebted to my mother and Father, Woody and Susan Lewis, who offered me invaluable support. I would also like to thank my sister, Elisabeth Lewis, who was by my side throughout the process and helped me in ways beyond words.
One striking characteristic of modern French is the increasingly large number of words that contain the English -ing suffix. This phenomenon stands in contrast to the stereotype of the French being purists with regards to language choice and use. Indeed, there is a variety of evidence that this suffix has been integrated into French as a productive derivational suffix, and does not simply occur as an accident resulting from the borrowing of English words that happen to include it. Though many studies have been carried out on loanwords in French, and certain ones have brought specific attention to the importation of -ing into French, none as of yet, have solely focused on the -ing suffix.
This paper considers four major ways in which the suffix has been integrated into French grammatical structure: phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic. It is based on a corpus of approximately 730 French words containing -ing, of which a subset of individual words were studied intensively in their use on the internet. Words containing -ing are categorized in relation to a typology, which marks a distinction between loanwords and native creations. This distinction highlights the use of -ing words in French as instances of a very productive process of borrowing from English, heavily integrated into French in all of the four areas mentioned above. In addition, the suffix appears to be acquiring the status of an independent morpheme, with both a derivational use as a nominalizer and an inflectional use to create participles. As a side-effect, the velar nasal [ŋ] has entered the inventory of French phonemes.
example, a tendency toward greater use in connection with modern trends and hip culture as well as in certain functions within the clause. This uneven penetration sheds light on patterns of language change and will be useful in the future in documenting a snapshot of current usage as the suffix continues to make its way further into the language.
1.1 Background When two languages have been in contact over a period of time, one or both languages borrow words from the other language. One of the more interesting aspects in the study of language borrowing comes when a language not only borrows individual lexical items, but goes beyond that to borrowing morphological elements, such as affixes, from the language with which it is in contact. Borrowing morphological elements of another language never occurs before a large number of lexical items containing that morphological element have been borrowed, integrated, and commonly used (Winfield 2003:54). The most basic confirmation that a morphological element has indeed become integrated into the recipient language is through the creation of new words with that morphological element, which do not exist in the source language.
Language borrowing between two cultures can go in both directions. Usually, however, there is asymmetry so that one language borrows more than the other does.
This asymmetry is usually the result of one of the two culture’s power and prestige over the other. The prestigious culture’s ideas, language, or objects become more desirable and useful to the other linguistic community.
French and English have been in contact for hundreds of years, with Great Britain being less than 50 miles away from France. Upon the Norman Conquest in 1066, French became the language of aristocracy and politics in England, resulting in the integration of
early history between France and England, the asymmetry favored French as the language of prestige and, as a result, the integration of French lexical and morphological items into English.
In more recent years, with the information and technological age, the status of English has risen worldwide, making it prestigious and therefore more desirable. English terms are used in almost all ethnolinguistic communities in the domains of information technology, as well as entertainment and mass communication. France has been one of the many countries to welcome English loanwords, though not without hesitation and disdain of the French toward their choice of allowing their language to be stained.
French purists as well as the Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France and the Trésor de la langue française work to preserve the language by offering French equivalents to the English lexemes entering mainly the business, marketing, sports, and technological domains. Despite the long lists of French equivalents, however, most of the time it is the English term that is used.
Among the flood of loanwords from English that entered into French usage in the twentieth century, there are a particularly large number of them that end with the -ing suffix. As I conducted online research for -ing words and compiled a list of them, I discovered that if a full list of these -ing words in French were to be compiled they would easily number over 1,000. According to Walter (1983:18), words that end with -ing as a suffix (rather than just the final sound of the word, as in pudding) have existed in French since the 1700s, beginning with drawing-room (1725) and meeting (1764), the latter being first cited by Voltaire, as well as the British game curling (1792). Approximately
ones were recorded between the years of 1900 to 1980. In the last 27 years an uncontrollable number of -ing words have been flooding into French, to the point where it would be very difficult to trace them all.
Now that such a large quantity of -ing words have been integrated into French, there are also attestations of French creativity in using the -ing suffix in ways that are nonparallel to English. A few examples of creativity are found in the words mushing ‘dogsledding’ and relooking ‘make-over.’ Other types of French creativity have been applied to the suffix’s use in French, including phonological (sound level), morphological (word level), syntactic (phrase level), and semantic (meaning level) innovations. This thesis will consider these four aspects of the use of the -ing suffix in French in order to demonstrate and confirm the generally believed idea among scholars that the suffix is a productive derivational suffix in French. I will not be considering the sociolinguistic factors involved in the acceptance of the suffix.
This study focuses solely on -ing words used in France, leaving out other Frenchspeaking countries. The study is based on a list of more than 700 -ing words that I compiled based on some previous lists (see section 1.2) and my own research. In order to categorize all of the -ing words in French that seemingly do not exist in English, I have chosen Winford’s framework (2003), adding a few of my own categories. This framework provides a basis for the various studies (morphological, syntactic, semantic) on the -ing words. Unlike most works on -ing in the past1, this one goes beyond -ing’s 1 Tournier 1998 is the only work that I encountered which briefly introduced -ing’s use in French as a suffix indicating the present participle.
suffix, as well as a derivational suffix on nouns.
1.2 Research procedures These are the procedures I followed in conducting research on the -ing suffix in French.
The first step was to compile a list of words ending with the -ing suffix that have been used in French. The main goal in compiling this list was to acquire a broad overview of the range of -ing words that have been in use at some point in time. The words were collected from previous scholarly literature on the topic, personal communication with French speakers, internet research, and glossaries of technical jargon. The resulting list includes temporarily used, currently used, and archaic words. Some were officially recognized by the Académie française as part of French vocabulary and others were not.
It is far from exhaustive, especially as relates to field-specific terminology. The main published source was Spence (1991), which includes a list of approximately 450 French
-ing words, mostly found in various dictionaries. At the bottom of Spence’s list are an additional 20 -ing words gathered by Mackenzie (1939), but these do not occur in any French dictionary and appear to be mostly outdated. Spence notes that certain words in his own list might be outdated, but does not specify which ones those are, since his goal was to study the scope of -ing words in French, whether their use is current or not (1991:192). The other major published source was Picone (1996), which includes many instances of current -ing usage by French speakers in France. Unlike Spence’s, Picone’s sources are mostly actual utterances or written examples such as advertisements or signs on storefronts.