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Have Cutthroats Anything to Do with Tracheotomes? Distinctive Properties of VN vs. NV Compounds in French

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to compare word formation constraints that operate during the construction of compound lexemes in French; precisely, we contrast VN-structured lexemes (ouvre-boîteN: open-tin =' tin opener') with NV ones (anthropophageA:°man-eat(er) = 'cannibal'). The question is whether both VN and NV are obtained through the same rule (and differ only with respect to the chosen components), or whether each type corresponds to a specific compounding process. Our study is grounded on large-scale corpora of VN compounds on one hand, and NV ones, on the other hand. In the first part of the paper we therefore motivate (1) our claim that bound roots, such as °anthropo and °phage in anthropophage can be assigned lexical categories (although they are no autonomous lexemes), and (2) our decision to assign precisely the verbal category to bound roots such as °phage. The second part of the paper is devoted to the NV versus VN properties investigation, according to three criteria: a) the distribution of the lexical category and the semantic values for VN and NV, b) the process type denoted by V, and c) the thematic roles plaid by N with respect to V. The comparison of VN and NV, according to these three criteria, leads us to suspect that NV and VN are indeed formed, in French, by two distinct morphological rules.
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Contributor : Florence Villoing <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 5, 2011 - 11:36:34 AM
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Florence Villoing, Fiammetta Namer. Have Cutthroats Anything to Do with Tracheotomes? Distinctive Properties of VN vs. NV Compounds in French. Fifth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting, Sep 2005, France. pp.105-124. ⟨halshs-00619067⟩

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