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'Dans' suivi d'un nom de partie de la journée : au croisement de l'espace et du temps

Abstract : Spatial versus temporal uses of preposition 'dans' (in) largely depend on the properties of the noun that follows. We study here prepositional phrases where dans is followed by a definite noun phrase with one of the following nouns: 'nuit' (night), 'jour' (day) 'journée', 'matin' (morning), 'matinée', 'soir' (evening), 'soirée' or 'après-midi' (afternoon) (nouns that denote the usual divisions of the 24h day). We observe that in this kind of sequence, the presence of what is usually called a "temporal noun" is not sufficient to ensure a temporal interpretation. We contrast temporal and spatial - or more precisely spatio-situational - interpretations, and show that our temporal noun phrases can be distinguished into three distinct groups, according to whether they favor the first or the second interpretation, or leave both equally available. The latter case is particularly well illustrated by 'nuit', on which the study is focused. The article is based on a corpus of texts from the Frantext database, and explores the different parameters likely to direct the interpretation of the prepositional phrases at stake: complements to the noun phrase, type of verbal predicate, presence of other temporal or spatial phrases, etc.
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Anne Le Draoulec, Denis Vigier. 'Dans' suivi d'un nom de partie de la journée : au croisement de l'espace et du temps. Revue de Sémantique et Pragmatique, Presses de l'Université d'Orléans, 2009, pp.81-95. ⟨halshs-00630285⟩

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