Sujet de composition de linguistique de l'agrégation externe - session 2022
L'épreuve de composition de linguistique de l'agrégation externe d'anglais a eu lieu le 16 mars 2022. En voici le sujet :
An urgency to speak gripped her. The darkness covered her face; her father was drinking down in the bushes; Cyprian was sitting beside her. She decided to ask.
“That man by the river. You know what I’m saying.”
Cyprian’s heart thunked, a jolt of adrenaline buzzed his brain. He had been waiting for this moment, hoping it wouldn’t come. Long before, he had decided what his answer would be.
“You’re all I want out of life,” he said.
Delphine pondered this. In a way, this was exactly what she’d prayed for when much younger, trapped in her room while drunks roared in the yard and kitchen. Here was a good-looking man, very strong and with an odd, but surprisingly proven, source of income that consisted of balancing. A talented man. A man who professed that she was all he wanted out of life—that is, presumably he wanted to marry her. And yet, this man had what she now understood she’d heard referred to as an affliction. That was the polite way she’d heard it. Other than such references, this whole thing was sheer enigma.
“Why do you do it?” she said.
“I don’t know.”
“I have to know.”
As usual, and Cyprian could have predicted this, she would not accept an easy answer or even one that allowed him to keep his dignity. Even an evasion that might ensure their happiness was unacceptable. Nothing he’d heard about his desire matched the feelings that he had when he was experiencing this form of love. Then, at those times, it was simply the most basic joy he’d ever felt. He’d always hoped that he would never, ever, have to explain it, especially to a woman. But, he thought, looking at the ruby firelight on Delphine’s face, if he had to tell a woman he was glad it was she. The way he felt about Delphine Watzka was an utter surprise to him, something he’d never expected in his life. He loved the things she said, her amusing directness, the strength she had dismissed until he taught her to develop it, and now, the kindness she showed toward this scroungy old bastard of a father. Even her insistence that he tell her the truth about this hidden side of himself was a part of her true charm.
Still, he didn’t know how to put it, and she was determined to obtain the whole truth and nothing less.
“You’re not a Pole with a name like Lazarre,” she sidetracked.
“I am not,” he admitted.
“So then what are you?”
“Plus what else?”
Cyprian paused. “Well,” he said at last. “I’m Chippewa. Ojibwe. The word my grandpa used was Anishinaabeg—the humans. Same thing.”
“That makes you an Indian.” It was no small thing to admit this in the town where the two now lived openly together as though married, but he did at last.
“You have light skin.”
“My dad was half French and my mom was part French, too. Have you ever heard of michifs or métis?” Cyprian peered at her, then shrugged and looked away. “I guess not, but if you had, you’d have heard of my famous ancestor, Louis Riel, who died a martyr to the great vision of a mixed-blood nation—not a loose band or bunch of hunters. A place with boundaries and an actual government taking up a big chunk of Manitoba. There’s lots of us who still do dream about it! I’m descended of a famous man, Delphine, for your information. Riel. You can find him in the books of history.”
“Was he a good balancer?”
Cyprian cocked his head to the side and smiled. “He was an excellent balancer, but they hung him anyway. I guess the light side of my relatives came out in me, if not their heroics, though I did fight a decent war. All my cousins, two of my brothers, they’re brown.”
“But now I see it,” said Delphine, softening toward him and his fantasy of lost glory and a hero’s inheritance, “in your eyes and all, or maybe in your hair.” Still, she was not to be diverted by Cyprian’s sudden burst of information. “Tell me about the man beside the river.”
Her voice was patient, and Cyprian lost any hope of diverting her. His breath came short and he attempted to find the right words to describe what came over him when he knew it was going to happen with another man. He couldn’t, and was relieved when she finally asked him a question.
“Did it start in the war?”
“It started in the war!” He said this with a surge of hope, for it was an explanation that he hadn’t thought of yet. Yes, his thoughts knit quickly. This could be another freak effect of wartime life, a consequence of living so closely with other men, a side effect of getting gassed, or of the other things, septic wounds, a trench disease, a fear-borne germ. As he scrambled about with these explanations in his mind, he knew that they were not enough. During the war he had, in fact, fallen devoutly in love with another man, whose death he still grieved. And the love itself had not been a surprise. For he’d always known. It was perfectly apparent to him that he had the feelings for men that men usually expressed for girls, then women. What could be more obvious? No, the war had done far worse things than deciding whom he could or couldn’t love.
Even thinking of it exhausted him. “Look,” he finally said, wearily, “ask yourself the same question. Why you like to do it with men? Your answer is the same as my answer.”
Delphine nibbled some bread, poked the fire into a stronger blaze, and considered. After thinking of it for some time, she decided that she now felt a kinship with him that was more female than male. It seemed as though she could tell him anything that went on in her woman’s heart, and he would understand it, he would know the truth of it, having felt it in his own. So she was satisfied with his answer although it meant that truly, for good and all, they would not be lovers. She did not know if they would even travel anymore, putting on their show. After all, they were stuck for a time, right here, according to their pledge to Sheriff Hock. What they needed to think about, especially in the face of the money they’d been forced to spend on the hotel, schnapps for Roy, cleaning supplies and new blankets, was work. They had to think just how they would acquire work.
Louise Erdrich, The Master Butchers Singing Club, London/New York, Harper Perennial,  2005, pp. 76-79.
1. Give a phonemic transcription of the following passage:
As usual, and Cyprian could have predicted this, she would not accept an easy answer or even one that allowed him to keep his dignity. (ll. 17-18) Use weak forms where appropriate.
2. Transcribe the following words phonemically: adrenaline (l. 4), basic (l. 21), ancestor (l. 44), relatives (l. 51).
3. Answer the following questions on word stress patterns. Please note that these must be given in numeric form (using /1/ for primary stress, /2/ for secondary stress, /0/ for unstressed syllables and /3/ for tertiary stress, if relevant. Tertiary stress is optional).
a) Give the stress patterns for the following words and explain the placement of both primary and secondary stress (where relevant): surprisingly (l. 9), unacceptable (l. 19), experiencing (l. 20), inheritance (l. 54).
b) Give the word stress pattern for each of the following compounds / word units. Do not justify your answer: good-looking man (ll. 8-9), mixed-blood nation (l. 45).
4. a) For each of the following words, indicate the pronunciation of the letter <u> (underlined) and justify your answer: ensure (l. 18), ruby (l. 22), surprise (l. 24), amusing (l. 25), put (l. 29), shrugged (l. 43), surge (l. 62).
b) For each of the following words, indicate the pronunciation of <ea> (underlined) and justify your answer: heart (l. 4), heard (l. 12), great (l. 44), breath (l. 56), freak (l. 63), fear (l. 65).
5. a) What connected speech processes might occur in the following phrases (one per phrase)? Demonstrate briefly: I have to know (l. 16), she finally asked him a question (ll. 58-59).
b) What phonetic processes may occur within the following words? Identify only two processes and demonstrate briefly how each process works: strength (l. 25), government (l. 46).
c) In the following words, indicate 4 differences you would expect to find between General American and Southern British English pronunciations (one per word). Refer to both British and American pronunciations: answer (l. 5), pondered (l. 7), whole (l. 29), wearily (l. 73).
6. a) Indicate tone boundaries, tonics (nuclei) and tones in the following extract (ll. 31-33). Do not justify your answer. “You’re not a Pole with a name like Lazarre,” she sidetracked. “I am not,” he admitted. “So then what are you?”
b) In the following extract, where would the nuclei (tonics) be placed? Why? (The expected tone boundaries have been inserted.) | “Was he a good balancer?” | […] | He was an excellent balancer, | (ll. 49-50)
1. Les candidats analyseront les segments du texte indiqués ci-après par un soulignage :
1) In a way, this was exactly what she’d prayed for when much younger, trapped in her room while drunks roared in the yard and kitchen. (ll. 7-8)
2) Even her insistence that he tell her the truth about this hidden side of himself was a part of her true charm. (ll. 26-28) 3) […] she could tell him anything that went on in her woman’s heart, […]. (ll. 77-78)
2. À partir d’exemples choisis dans l’ensemble du texte, les candidats traiteront la question suivante :
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