Sous la direction de Michèle Goyens et Walter De Mulder
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes 25:2] 2003
► pp. 311–338
Summary The aim of this paper is to investigate a particular aspect of semantic change. Many theories have tried to capture the regularity in semantic change. In this respect, some linguists have claimed that space is the necessary starting point of any semantic development, and others have stated that space is situated at the same distance from the “semantic core” of a given lexeme as other semantic domains, such as time. I will formulate a partial answer to the question of the primacy of space. Using diachronic corpus data, I will examine prepositions in Old and Middle French (11th to 16th centuries). The prepositions I have focused on are vers, envers, devers, and pardevers, chosen from a wider corpus of prepositions (which I have studied in the same way) because of their semantic behavior, which is particularly complex, and which I try to explain here in detail.
Article language: French
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