Instrument and Means interpretation of deverbals: the role of ambigous stative verbs in French VN compounding - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation Year : 2020

Instrument and Means interpretation of deverbals: the role of ambigous stative verbs in French VN compounding

Abstract

This article examines French Verb-Noun compounds with Means value (couvre-pied ‘blanket’, lit. cover-feet), derived from stative bases. It shows that they are generally ambiguous between Means and Instrument reading. The regularity of this double value discards an analysis relying on verbal homonymy, in favor of Rothmayr’s (2009) hypothesis of bi-eventive verbs. We assume that the presence of an agentive as well as a stative component in the verbal bases accounts for the double Means/Instrument value of the VNs studied here. We also examine “pure” Instrument VNs, available with similar verbal bases. We show that the distribution of the Instrument vs. Means/Instrument values relies on the state of the referent of the noun involved in the compound after the event described by the verbal base occurred. A permanent state entails a “pure” Instrument reading, whereas Means/Instrument reading obtains if the state of N is reversible (Fábregas & Marín 2012).

Domains

Linguistics

Dates and versions

hal-02971006 , version 1 (19-10-2020)

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Marie-Laurence Knittel, Florence Villoing. Instrument and Means interpretation of deverbals: the role of ambigous stative verbs in French VN compounding. Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation, 2020, 4 (2), pp.164-186. ⟨10.3726/zwjw.2020.02.09⟩. ⟨hal-02971006⟩
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