Langue française n° 160 (4/2008)
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The introduction of an enallage within an existing grammatical and referential frame, and by comparison with it, signals the unexpected use of a grammatical form (tense, verbal form, or person). Suggested explanations for this perceived distortion – i.e. substitution (Fontanier), syntactic elliptical form (Beauzée), or indeed grammatical error (Dumarsais) – point to a ‘translation’/ rewriting of the utterance. This paper, focusing on person enallage, argues against these approaches on the basis of discursive materiality (interaction between persons) to describe underlying enunciative positions and relevant viewpoints in the figurative sequence. By introducing through its characteristic individual configuration a disjunction between deictic and modal applications, a person enallage reveals simultaneously both tension and resolution of these viewpoints.