L'expression de la quantité approximative en français : les adjectifs de quantité : Ou comment un salaire peut être "confortable" ou "ridicule"

Abstract : Adjectives of approximate quantity in French, syntax and semantics (or how wages can be ridiculous or laughable) This article deals with adjectives which, in French, are used to estimate subjectively a quantity in sentences such as 'Ce salaire est bas, ridicule' "Those wages are low, laughable", 'Ce livre est épais' "This book is thick", 'Cette pente est faible, douce' "This slope is smooth". Howether, these adjectives do not all have a quantitative sense in their other main uses. We therefore try to define under what syntactic and lexical conditions they can have a quantitative meaning, and to investigate whether they have particular characteristics as far as gradation is concerned. Two kinds are easily identifiable, one that can only be used with nouns expressing measure, the other that can qualify concrete objects or human beings. Adjectives of the latter kind denote both an approximate quantity and a sensory quality. Our main point is that this subjective semantic phenomenon can be described on a syntactic and lexical basis.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 3:37:28 PM
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Jacqueline Giry-Schneider. L'expression de la quantité approximative en français : les adjectifs de quantité : Ou comment un salaire peut être "confortable" ou "ridicule". Lingvisticae Investigationes, Philadelphia; Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011, 34 (1), pp.112-137. ⟨10.1075/li.34.1.04gir⟩. ⟨hal-01018064⟩

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