The translation equivalence of bon, enfin, well and I mean
2011, Vol. XVI-2, pp. 91-105
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the usefulness of two methods of attempting to capture the semantic change which has led to the multifunctional nature of four pragmaticalising polysemous connectors in French and English - bon, enfin, well and I mean - : a) translation equivalence which may help to disambiguate evolving polysemies and b) Haspelmath's (2003) semantic map approach to cross-linguistic typology and the implicational hierarchies which mark the development of these polysemies. The article concludes that degrees of pragmaticalisation can be revealed in translation equivalence, but this is, of necessity, only partial, and that cross-linguistic semantic mapping can perhaps better capture the diachronic developmental stages and the degree of translation equivalence between the terms.