LINGUIST List 25.3053

Sat Jul 26 2014

Qs: Voir 'to see' in imperative utterances

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 25-Jul-2014
From: Catherine Leger <>
Subject: Voir 'to see' in imperative utterances
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In Acadian French, the morpheme voir ‘to see’ in its infinitival form only
can be used in imperative utterances such as the ones below. Its function
seems to be to one of insistence. It can be used for instance to convey to
the speaker that he/she should infer from the context that the actions are
the appropriate ones to perform.

Ferme voir la porte. (since it is cold outside)
Parle voir moins fort. (since we are at the library)

In other French varieties, donc/don is used with a similar interpretation.

Ferme donc/don la porte.
Parle donc/don moins fort.

Has anyone heard of similar used of voir in other varieties of French? Can
the equivalent of voir ‘to see’ in other Romance languages be used in the
same context with the same function?

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Page Updated: 26-Jul-2014