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Constraints on relational-adjective noun constructions : a comparative view on English, German and French

  • In English and French relational adjectives occurring in construction with deverbal nominalizations can be thematically associated with subject as well as object arguments. By contrast, in German object-related readings of relational adjectives seem to be inadmissible. The greater flexibility of English and French in terms of the thematic interpretability of relational adjectives also shows up with respect to "circumstantial" thematic roles like directionals, locatives and instrumentals. It is arguably due to the common Latin heritage of English and French, since in Latin relational adjectives representing subject or object arguments of nominalizations are widely attested. However, even in English and French object-related readings are confined to result nominalizations, a restriction we suggest to account for in terms of the more "noun-like" character of result nominalizations in contrast to process nominalizations. Moreover, since argument-related interpretations of relational adjectives can always be overridden by appropriate agentive/ patientive phrases, relational adjectives cannot be analyzed as occupying an argument position, but rather as modifying the semantic role associated with it.

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Author:Lutz Gunkel, Gisela ZifonunGND
Parent Title (German):Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik : a quarterly of language, literature and culture
Place of publication:Tübingen
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2008
GND Keyword:Adjektiv; Deutsch; Englisch; Französisch; Kontrastive Grammatik
Page Number:20
First Page:283
Last Page:302
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 420 Englisch
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 440 Französisch, romanische Sprachen allgemein
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Kontrastive Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt