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Parmi les classes de mots, les adjectifs sont relativement moins bien étudiés que les noms et les verbes. Cependant, ils posent des problèmes particuliers, comme la sémantique de la scalarité (comparatifs et superlatifs), ainsi que la syntaxe des adjectifs au sein du groupe nominal.
Ce volume traite d’aspects aussi divers que la flexion des adjectifs en français, les principes régissant l’ordre relatif des adjectifs, les possessifs, les prédicats scalaires, la structure argumentale des adjectifs, le rôle des adjectifs dans les groupes nominaux sans nom. Ces analyses de la morphologie, de la sémantique et de la syntaxe des adjectifs, s’appliquent à différentes langues : anglais, néerlandais, allemand, hébreu moderne , langues romanes.
Patricia Cabredo Hofherr et Ora Matushansky
Les adjectifs : une introduction
On the morpho-syntax of possessive constructions
Olivier Bonami et Gilles Boyé
Construire le paradigme d’un adjectif
Hagit Borer et Isabelle Roy
Le nom de l’adjectif
Sériation des adjectifs dans le SN et formation de Concepts
Patricia Cabredo Hofherr
Les séquences déterminant défini + adjectif en espagnol et en français : une comparaison
Double comparatives and the comparative criterion
Lexical representation and modification within the noun phrase
Measure Phrases as Modifiers of Adjectives
Ora MATUSHANSKY : « LES ADJECTIFS – UNE INTRODUCTION »
Cet article représente une brève introduction au domaine des adjectifs, leur syntaxe, sémantique et morphologie, ainsi qu’à la typologie des adjectifs. Il discute quelques-uns des thèmes les plus souvent abordés de ce domaine, tels que l’emploi épithète et l’emploi prédicatif des adjectifs; la sémantique et la syntaxe de la dépendance contextuelle y compris la scalarité; la structure argumentale des adjectifs; la syntaxe du syntagme adjectival et son comportement à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du syntagme nominal; l’existence d’une classe des adjectifs, distincte des noms et des verbes, et les propriétés des adjectifs à travers les langues; et les questions de la morphologie adjectivale (l’accord, les affixes dérivationnels, etc.).
Ora MATUSHANSKY : « LES ADJECTIFS – UNE INTRODUCTION »
This article is a short introduction into the domain of adjectival syntax, semantics, morphology and typology. Its goal is to briefly discuss such commonly addressed topics as attributive and predicative uses of adjectives; syntax and semantics of context-dependency, including scalarity; argument structure of various adjectival types, the internal syntax of the adjectival phrase and its behavior inside and outside noun phrases; the existence of the lexical class of adjectives across languages and cross-linguistic properties, and finally, the questions related to inflectional and derivational adjectival morphology.
Judy B. BERNSTEIN : « ON THE MORPHO-SYNTAX OF POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCTIONS »
Possessive constructions in English, Spanish, and French differ in several ways. This article considers variation in word order, in the expression of agreement, and in the appearance of a preposition. The article generalizes to Spanish and French Bernstein & Tortora’s (2005) analysis of English possessive constructions, particularly the idea that the prenominal possessive constructions are distinct from the postnominal ones. All three languages display a prenominal possessive form that cannot co-occur with an article, supporting the idea that these forms must (eventually) occupy a DP-internal position. Postnominal possessive constructions display various patterns cross-linguistically. That of is required in English is consistent with the idea (see Kayne, 1993) that the movement assumed is DP internal. This also applies to Spanish and French possessive constructions with lexical DPs, which display de. In Spanish, no preposition appears with postnominal possessive pronouns, which display properties of predicative adjectives. The analysis assumes a reduced relative structure with a possessive adjective and suppressed C (not D). In French, à appears with a non-possessive pronoun. Nevertheless, there is some support for the idea that the French construction is derived parallel to the English one.
Olivier BONAMI & Gilles BOYÉ : « CONSTUIRE LE PARADIGME D’UN ADJECTIF »
French adjectives are usually described as having a simple 2×2 paradigm, where inflection varies with gender and number. On the basis of a thorough examination of irregular adjectives, we propose a different paradigm structure. First, a fifth slot is introduced to account for prenominal masculine liaison forms, which in some cases have properties that cannot be derived from the rest of the paradigm. Second, we propose that each adjective be associated with a STEM SPACE in addition to its paradigm. The stem space is a morphomic entity (Aronoff 1994) : although an adjective may have two different stems, these stems do not express any morphosyntactic properties.
Inflectional forms are then computed from the stem space. This allows us to account in a uniform way for partial regularities in the form taken by the masculine singular liaison form, which looks sometimes like the ordinary masculine singular (e.g. sec ‘dry’, fem. sèche, liaison form sec) sometimes like the feminine singular (e.g. vieux ‘old’, fem. vieille, liaison form vieil). Finally we show how our analysis interfaces with an account of latent consonants and an account of derivational morphology to provide a full picture of adjectival inflection in French.
Hagit BORER & Isabelle ROY : « LE NOM DE L’ADJECTIF »
This paper is concerned with (apparent) adjectives which function as nominals. On the basis of data from English, French, Hebrew and Spanish, we will argue that they belong to two distinct classes. One small class consists of true nouns that are homophonous with adjectives, but whose meaning may be related but is not directly derived from that of the adjectives. The large and productive class is composed of true attribute adjectives which modify a null N. The range of interpretations that null N can receive, as well as cross-linguistic variation in its interpretation will turn out to depend on the conditions on the licensing and identification of null Ns in a given structure and in a given language.
Denis BOUCHARD : « SÉRIATION DES ADJECTIFS DANS LE SN ET FORMATION DE CONCEPTS1 »
In French, there is a preferred order for adjectives when they are on the same side of the Noun inside a noun phrase. These adjectives are interpreted as being stacked: the adjective immediately juxtaposed to the noun modifies this noun, the adjective juxtaposed to this constituent modifies it, and so on. The seriations depend on the meaning of the adjectives and the context of use: the adjective most likely to form a concept with the noun given the situation of use is the one which immediately combines with the noun, which is the most deeply embedded. The seriations only indicate preferences and are not rigid constraints, and it is almost always possible to invert the order of the adjectives. The resulting combinations are not syntactically deviant, but rather are less expected semantic combinations: the expressions are acceptable if the noun and adjective form a concept which is appropriate in the context.
Patricia CABREDO HOFHERR : « LES SÉQUENCES DÉTERMINANT DÉFINI + ADJECTIF EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ESPAGNOL: UNE COMPARAISON1 »
The noun-less DPs consisting of a definite determiner and an adjective, and more generally of noun-less DPs introduced by the definite determiner, have been extensively studied in Spanish grammar. Starting from a comparison with French, this article proposes that noun-less DPs containing simple adjectives are structurally distinct from noun-less DPs containing adjectives with complements, PPs and relative clauses. The former are analysed as cases of N-ellipsis while the latter are argued to be instances of modified pronouns. Furthermore, it is proposed that Spanish lo, traditionally analysed as a neuter definite article is in fact a neuter pronoun in all its occurrences.
Norbert CORVER : « DOUBLE COMPARATIVES AND THE COMPARATIVE CRITERION* »
In this paper, I (re)consider a number of facets of adjectival comparative (and related) constructions as discussed in Corver (1997a,b). Rather than taking comparative words like more and less to be functional heads that head some Degree Projection, I claim that they are phrases (i.e. XPs) that undergo displacement within the adjective phrase to a Spec-position of a functional head that encodes ‘comparison’. In the spirit of Rizzi (1991), this Spec position is characterized as a criterial position. The empirical basis for my proposal is the phenomenon of Comparative Doubling, i.e. the co-occurrence of the bound comparative morpheme (-er) and the comparative word more in expressions like more safer.
Louise MCNALLY : « LEXICAL REPRESENTATION AND MODIFICATION WITHIN THE NOUN PHRASE »
Formal semanticists of natural language have traditionally worked with relatively impoverished lexical representations and have generally been conservative in drawing the line between those aspects of interpretation which are determined by lexical information and composition rules, and those which are determined contextually, leaving a substantial amount of work to context. While this strategy is justifiable if one considers the job of the semanticist to account only for what is strictly entailed, it has also in some sense greatly simplified this job, resulting in rather impoverished lexical representations and relegating many problems to the so-called pragmatics wastebasket, if in a relatively orderly fashion.
Nonetheless, in this paper I discuss two kinds of problems, both related to modification within the noun phrase, which show why richer lexical representations similar to those proposed in Generative Lexicon theory (Pustejovsky 1995) should be of interest to formal semanticists.
Roger SCHWARZSCHILD : « MEASURE PHRASES AS MODIFIERS OF ADJECTIVES1 »
In some languages, measure phrases can appear with non-compared adjectives: 5 feet tall. I address three questions about this construction: (a) Is the measure phrase an argument of the adjective or an adjunct? (b) What are we to make of the markedness of this construction *142lbs heavy? (c) Why is it that the markedness disappears once the adjective is put in the comparative (2 inches taller alongside 2lbs heavier)?
I claim that because degree arguments are ‘functional’, the measure phrase has to be an adjunct and not a syntactic argument of the adjective. Like event modifiers in extended NPs and in VPs, the measure phrase predicates of a degree argument of the adjective. But given the kind of meaning a measure phrase must have to do its job in comparatives and elsewhere, it is not of the right type to directly predicate of a degree argument. I propose a lexically governed type-shift which applies to some adjectives allowing them to combine with a measure phrase.
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