"Je t'aime" revisité

Abstract : The French phrase "Je t’aime" is frequently to be found written on everyday items or used as a leitmotiv in commercial music. It is believed to be more or less translatable in all languages irrespective of context. This paper attempts to deal with the linguistic implications of these and other distinctive features that make "Je t’aime" such an unusual linguistic object. The first part is devoted to an attempt at translating "Je t’aime" in Japanese and Hungarian. It comes out that there exist at least three classes of interpretation, three ways of producing equivalent utterances based on a translation of the verb "aimer". The second part focuses on the French phrase per se; it examines some famous accounts of "Je t’aime" by Paul Valéry, Roland Barthes and Jean-Luc Marion and tries to grasp and emphasize their linguistic meaning. The results of the morphology and syntax-driven analysis in Part 1 prove also relevant without modification of the surface formal structure. As a conclusion, we propose three interpretative patterns with their own grammatical features and even pragmatic outcomes; the pseudo-universal motto of French "amour" is but one of them.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 15, 2018 - 5:44:31 PM
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Remi Camus. "Je t'aime" revisité. Inter-faculty, 2015. ⟨hal-01684788⟩



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