French SUD Guidelines

This page outlines various features specific to French.


In French, only three verbs are considered auxiliaries: être, avoir and faire.

The comp:aux relation can be used with one of the three sub-relations @tense, @pass or @caus, depending on whether the auxiliary is expressing a tense, a passive or a causative construction. In French, the relation comp:aux@tense is used with both verbs être and avoir and is the most common sub-relation. The relation comp:aux@pass is only used with the verb être, while comp:aux@caus is only used with the verb faire.

Example of an auxiliary expressing a tense

Example of a passive construction

Example of a causative construction

Cleft constructions

As shown in the page about the comp:cleft relation, the cleft constructions are analysed with a comp:cleft relation going from the head of the main sentence to the head of the complement.


Interjections and other discourse markers

Pure interjections (such as ah, hein, ouais, euh, etc.) are analysed as INTJs. Discourse markers coming from other POS (such as enfin, chouette, disons, etc.), as well as idioms (such as en fait, tu sais, etc.), keep their original POS but have an additional ExtPos = INTJ feature. Except 4 of them which are frequent and are analysed as pure INTJs: bon, ben, quoi, and tiens.

Example :

Reported speech

Reported speech as a feature Reported=Yes on its head. It is generally the comp:objof a speech verb, such as dire ‘to say’.

Pronominal verbs

Four relations are considered for the reflexive marker se: comp:obj, comp:obl, comp@expl, and comp@pass.

All reflexive marker (se, me, te, nous, vous) are analysed as forms of the reflexive pronoun se: PRON, Reflex=Yes, and lemma=se.

The semantic dstinction between reflexive meaning (je me rase) and reciprocal meaning (ils s’aiment) is not marked.