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The French construction 'nouveau + past participle' revisited. Arguments in favour of a prefixoid analysis of nouveau

By Kristel Van Goethem


The article focuses on the French construction ‘nouveau + past participle’ (e.g. nouveau-né ‘newborn baby’) in which nouveau is traditionally assigned an adverbial value. However, it will be claimed that an alternative analysis, classifying nouveau as an adjective grammaticalizing into a prefix, viz a ‘prefixoid’, provides a more accurate account of the construction. The article proposes a set of four parameters applying to the grammaticalization of French prefixoids (resemanticization, decategorialization, paradigmaticization and productivity). These parameters will be applied to the construction ‘nouveau + past participle’ and it will be shown that they conflict with the traditional adverbial analysis and plead in favour of a prefixoid analysis of nouveau

Topics: French, PC
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1515/flin.2010.006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: DIAL UCLouvain
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