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Stative verbs and French Verb-Noun compounds: a discreet preference

Abstract : This paper deals with French nominal Verb-Noun compounds formed on stative verb bases. We assume that word-formation schemas have access to the aspectual and argumental properties of the base verbs and impose fine-grained restrictions on their input. Contrary to what is usually claimed, the study argues that Verb-Noun compounding in French (and probably in other Romance languages) is compatible not only with dynamic verbs but also with stative ones that construct Verb-Noun compounds of high-frequency. These stative verbs are ambiguous between two readings, and verbs can have either a stative or a dynamic structure. Verb-Noun compounding generally prefers the stative verb that systematically corresponds to the class of "pure" stative (that is to say, Kimian-states). The study establishes a link between the aspectual values of the base-verb and the interpretation of VN compounds: VNs on stative base-verbs never form Agent and Instrument nominals but only Experi-encer, Means or Location nominals. The inverse prediction also holds: VNs based on the dynamic agentive construction of ambiguous verbs can be interpreted as Agent or Instrument nominals but not as Experiencer or Means nominals.
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https://hal.univ-lille3.fr/hal-02044242
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  • HAL Id : hal-02044242, version 1

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Florence Villoing. Stative verbs and French Verb-Noun compounds: a discreet preference. Lexique, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2018, pp.90-130. ⟨hal-02044242⟩

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