Variation and Change in French Morphosyntax: The Case of Collective Nouns

Collective nouns such asmajorite or foulehave long been of interest to linguists for their unusual semantic properties, and provide a valuable source of new data on the evolution of French grammar. This book tests the hypothesis that plural agreement with collective nouns is becoming more frequent in French. Through an analysis of data from a variety of sources, including sociolinguistic interviews, gap-fill tests and corpora, the complex linguistic and external factors which affect this type of agreement are examined, shedding new light on their interaction in this context. Broader questions concerning the methodological challenges of studying variation and change in morphosyntax, and the application of sociolinguistic generalisations to the French of France, are also addressed.