|Abstract: ||This work describes the French subjunctive mood in the perspective of cognitive
linguistics. The author has shown that:
1) the category of subjonctifis an independent complex semantic structure grouped
into subcategories according to three prototypical maximal effects (will, doubt,
evaluation), depending on the cognitive domain considered,
2) the semantic invariant common to all the subcategories of subjonctif is the
notion of the speaker’s distancing attitude (la distanciation) defined as non-assertion/
non-negation of the utterance contents,
3) the choice of moods is connected with the speaker’s attitude towards the
fragment of reality that she describes; three such attitudes can be distinguished:
— the declarative attitude where the speaker takes the responsibility for the truth value
of p (p is true for the speaker),
— the distancing attitude where the speaker refrains from saying that p is true, which is
based on the consideration whether p might be true or on evaluation regardless of
whether p is true or not,
the neutral attitude where the speaker presents (quotes) someone else’s opinion,
4) the choice of the subjunctive mood serves to express the distancing attitude
toward the truth of p,
5) creating the sense of an utterance is a dynamic process, thus the use of moods
consists in their complementary rather than exclusive occurrence.
In Chapter One the author discusses some linguistic studies of the French
subjunctive in various approaches:
— psychological (C. de Boer, M. Regula, G. Guillaume),
— argumentative (H. Nolke)
- logical-semantic (R. Martin).
The survey of these works shows that they do not give satisfactory accounts of how
the subjunctive functions in French. Chapter Two outlines main assumptions of cognitive linguistics, which is a methodological
basis for the solutions suggested by the author of this work.
Chapter Three is devoted to the analysis of language forms expressing certainty,
belief, hope, likelihood, possibility, negation and evaluation considered in affirmative,
negative, interrogative and hypothetical contexts.
In Chapter Four and Five the author presents the prototypical organization of the
category subjonctif and also discusses the semantic invariant.
The final conclusion of Chapter Six is that the category of subjonctif has
a prototypical organization of three prototypical maximal effects and its semantic
invariant is the notion of the speaker’s distanciation.|