Le groupe nominal épithète
Monsieur le linguiste, Mes amis les linguistes, Les linguistes mes amis
Summary This paper explores the syntactic structure of those French constructions where an NP directly follows another. Examples are provided by Monsieur le Professeur, Mes amis les linguistes, Les linguistes mes amis, the later being equivalent to the English cases My Brother the fool and The fool my brother. Following an analysis of their distributional property, the syntactic structure of the groups is shown to involve the modification of the first noun by the following DP. While therefore structurally comparable to an adjectival modifier, these DPs impose a condition of coreference between the two nouns. A further interpretative constraint is shown to hold concerning the referentially anchored status of either of the DPs. Thus, the form of the complement can determine the behaviour of the head, as demonstrated by this atypical nominal group.
Published online: 07 January 2005