Edited by Ingo Feldhausen, Martin Elsig, Imme Kuchenbrandt and Mareike Neuhaus
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 15] 2019
► pp. 278–294
Chapter 14. De-prefixed spatial Ps in medieval French
We examine a series of medieval French spatial Ps with de- prefixes (de-forms; e.g. dessus, dedans), showing that they display a combination of preposition-, adverb- and noun-like syntactic properties which distinguish them from their corresponding base forms (e.g. sus, ens). We argue that these properties can best be accounted for by considering de-forms to be modifiers of a null PLACE noun. Finally, we suggest that during the medieval period, de-forms are reanalysed as nouns, which causes wide-ranging changes in their distribution, including the development of complex prepositions such as au-dessus de.