I have the following three sentences and would like to know how the corresponding grammatical constructions are called:

  • Gérard connaît et aime Alice : is it a coordination of verbs??

  • Gérard connaît, et pourrait épouser, Alice : subordonnée? and if yes, of which kind?

  • Gérard aime, et Philippe déteste, Alice : ??? (same question)

I have looked in the Bescherelle but couldn't find any examples coming near to these ones. These are constructions targeted by Steedman's CCG approaches, what I need is their names, in French terminology.

  • I guess they are a specific kind of “interpolated clauses” (“propositions incises” in French). You could maybe find something starting from there. Mar 10, 2018 at 15:57
  • I the examples I have seen, the proposition incise seems quite independent from the rest of the sentence (as in «Mais, madame, demanda Charlotte, de quelle façon une Italienne est-elle jalouse ?» found in Wikipedia), here in the first two cases it shares both subject and COD, in the third it has a different subject but the same COD.
    – yannis
    Mar 10, 2018 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Case 2 and three are different only in that you can emphasize them with commas, but syntactically they all are the same thing: coordinated sentences with ellipsis. It seems that conjunction reduction and right node raising are terms in syntactical theory for at least some presentations of the phenomenon (I do not know their exact equivalent, if any, in French).

Grevisse (Bon Usage, 14th ed.) discuss these in §269. But there's really not much to say as that particular feature of syntax is pretty much universal amongst languages:

Quand, dans des termes coordonnés, il y a des éléments identiques, la tendance naturelle est de ne pas répéter ces éléments communs.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.