Quantification of adverbs in -ment: A particular case of scalarity

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Abstract

Although the relationship between quantification and qualification -two universal linguistic functions in functional typological perspective- has been pointed out by several authors (such as Bally, Roggero and Molinier & Levrier), it does not seem to have been systematised thoroughly. This paper intends to analyse in what this relationship consists and how it is expressed in a concrete grammatical category: French adverbs in -ment, which, as Bally also said, are especially adequate for this kind of research. The corpus analysis is composed by 156 lexical adverbs (extracted from two French dictionaries -Le Petit Robert Électronique and Le Trésor de la langue française informatisé) with at least one quantificational sense. By applying four analysis variables, the comparison of the root adjective sense(s) and that (or those) of the corresponding derived adverb has allowed us to establish a scalar typology of the semantic changes observed between both categories, composed by six types (from objective quantification to subjective quantification and qualification) which shows that quantification is always derived from qualification and that the relationship between both functions is gradual, progressive and scalar.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLangue Francaise
Volume165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Adjectives
  • Derived adverbs
  • Functional poles
  • Objective
  • Qualification
  • Quantification
  • Subjective
  • Turning-point

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