Microsyntactic annotations are relevant when macrosyntax segmentation isn’t precise enough to identify boundaries, this segmentation is based on syntactic dependency relations (Feuillard 1989, Rossi-Gensane 2017)


P = Pivots

A = Actualizers

Da, Db, Dc… = Dependent segments, which are on the same level – lower case letters signal (in alphabetical order) the presence of several dependent segments

Dprop = Dependent propositional sequences, which are characterized by verbal forms

R = Relational Markers (relationneurs), i.e. Coordinative, Subordinate Conjunctions and Prepositions (labels according to traditional grammars, at the microsyntactic level) – these markers normally precede pivots, they are placed at the beginning of microsyntactic sequences

DM = Discourse Markers (introducteurs, connecteurs, ponctuants, adverbes de phrase et de commentaire…)


1. Verbal sequences are annotated as PIVOTS, even when there is a complex verbal form (presence of auxiliaries, phrasal verbs, periphrastic forms such as “être en train de + infinitive”, “aller + infinitive”, “venir + infinitive”).

la petite fille a acheté de belles chaussures
D(A) D(A) A P D(D(P)a) D(D(P)a) D(P)a


et un très joli chapeau
R D(D(P)b) D(D(D(P)b)) D(D(P)b) D(P)b

The parentheses (i.e. the number of parentheses) indicate syntactic complexity levels quite effectively, which are also indicated by subsequent tiers  (for the analysis of dependent propositional sequences).

2. A Dprop is annotated as such in the corresponding tier (e.g. « Syntax »), a supplementary tier (e.g. « Syntax 1 ») presents the microsyntactic annotation of the Dprop sequence (« que tu viendras », in the example above).

je pense que tu viendras


P Dprop
Syntax 1

3. Annotation of relational markers – the case of coordinative markers (independent forms, which can be mentioned in a row)

il a acheté ça et puis ça
A P Da R R Db

Annotation of relational markers – the case of multi-word sequences (considered as a whole)

vu que c’ est toujours compliqué
R A R D(P) P

In the example above, the be form (« est ») is an empty copula (copule vide, according to Martinet) and signals the predicative status of the adjectival form « compliqué », which can be considered as the pivot of the syntactic sequence.

4. Equivalence relations (coindexicality??) between pronominal and lexical forms are marked by an apex (A prime « A’ »).



problème c’ est que ce week-end ça va être compliqué
Syntax 1


A’ A R
R D(D(P)) D(P) A R P

Specific syntactic configurations such as clefts, pseudo-clefs constructions are mentioned in a separate tier (see examples above and below).

c’ est pour ça que je t’ appelais


R R P A’prop
Syntax 1
R A D(P) P


5. Disfluencies are annotated as microsyntactic categories plus the mention « disf » in subscript. If the segment cannot be analyzed as a word form (cut words, French amorces), it will be annotated as « disf » (see example below). If there are repetitions of the same words, the first forms are considered as disfluencies.

tu peux tu peux v- venir avec nous
Adisf Pdisf A P disf P(P) R D(P(P))

The following segments are annotated as disfluencies (« disf »), except when a special status can be recognized (via visual or contextual information, for example…): « euh », « h. », « h », « pf ».

Disfluencies within a compound form can be annotated according their syntactic categories:

à la so- à à à à la fin
Rdisf Ddisf disf Rdisf Rdisf Rdisf


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