Le défini, l’indéfini et le générique en anglais contemporain

Abstract : This dissertation deals with the use of definite and indefinite determiners in generic noun phrases in contemporary English, using a corpus based on encyclopedic and scientific texts mainly. The categorization which genericity is based on results from various cognitive processes and levels of abstraction which are signified in the use of definite and indefinite determiners. The first part successively describes the referential framework of our study, the morphosyntactical forms of generic noun phrases, the values of definite and indefinite articles, as well as the pattern of constraints on definite and indefinite articles established by the lexico-grammatical features of nouns and the predicative context. The second part examines determiner possibilities and impossibilities with regard to the predicative context when a generic noun phrase is combined with a kind-predicate. More specifically, we correlate species classification, singular/plural number marking and definite/indefinite determination as we examine the plural structure of generic referents. The third part studies the use of the definite article as an abstraction operator. As we consider cases in which the use of definite noun phrases is favored, we show that its reference involves an externalizing and synthetic dimension. The fourth part deals with the way generic definite and indefinite noun phrases combine in generic texts with regard to the discourse structure. The use of the definite article presupposes an anaphoric dimension in generic reference also and indicates that the referent is salient in a cognitive perspective.
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Héloïse Lechevallier-Parent. Le défini, l’indéfini et le générique en anglais contemporain. Linguistique. Université Paris 4-Sorbonne, 2011. Français. ⟨tel-01859320⟩

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