Trois Classes de Groupes Nominaux N À N
This article focuses on the subset of French N à N compounds which denote concrete objects, which can be analyzed in terms of headnoun (Na) and specifier (à Nb), and in which the specifier subclassifies the head. Our study shows that the various semantic functions of an à Nb specifier with respect to its head (e.g. part of, destination of, etc.) correspond to a) distinct relational properties between the two components, b) specific distributional properties of either Na, Nb, or both components, as well as c) particular configurations of general properties that account for the greater or lesser syntactic flexibility of complex nominals. Surprisingly enough, most of the compounds we examined fall into one of three main classes thus defined.
Published online: 01 January 1995