Les "Noms de Qualite", Syntaxe ou Semantique?
Le débat entre J.-C. Milner et N. Ruwet
The first part of this paper presents the position of the discussion: must a node Quality be assumed to describe "non classifying" nouns? N. Ruwet objects to this theoretical attitude as developped by J.-C. Milner. First is considered the DISQUAL (qualitative dislocation) transformation as unable to describe all the positions of the Quality nouns: the extra-posed dislocation is often impossible and, according to the position within the sentence, the relationship between thema and rhema will be modified. The criterium of dependence between the Quality noun and the main statement is not strict, on the other hand. No definite boundary between syntax and semantics can be drawn within the field considered. Another point develops the "syntactic pun" (Milner). The Qualitative question is eventually referred to Opacity and replaced inside an enonciative frame as a particular kind of "shifting out." Though the Class/Quality distinction operates as continuous (Ruwet), it cannot be separated of a general paradigm elsewhere developped (psychoanalysis, ethnology, semantics, etc.). Though not entirely descriptively adequate Milner's point of view is justified.
Published online: 01 January 1988