Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

L’emploi des adjectifs de relation – signe d’une anomalie?

Nowakowska, Malgorzata

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2001, vol. 34-35, p. 171-183

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    This article deals with denominal adjectives. Linguists called them «pseudo-adjectives» or «non predicating adjectives». As this latter denomination indicates, these adjectives are seldom used predicatively (?Ce jardin est municipal). The main point of this article is to explore the mechanism of this syntactical constraint. Several examples of non predicating adjectives that don’t respect this syntactical constraint are analysed. It is argued that the reasons of this constraint are at once semantical and pragmatical. Semantically, it is assumed that non predicating adjectives mean a non specified relation to the object they denote. This meaning is incompatible with the function of predication. Pragmatically, it is shown that this incompatibility can be compensated by contextual information.