Title: Subjective Compounds and subjectivity/subjectification in the English noun phrase
Authors: Ghesquière, Lobke *
Van linden, An *
Davidse, Kristin # ×
Issue Date: 2013
Series Title: English Studies vol:94 issue:1 pages:90-117
Abstract: This paper makes a case for the category of subjective compounds, i.e. adjective-noun word units which convey subjective meaning, e.g. little bleeder, old chum, half-victory. These compounds are characterized grammatically by their behaviour as a unit in phrase structure, their internal inseparability, and the non-attribute-like behaviour of the adjectival components. Adjective and noun have a high degree of collocational cohesion, which is reflected in high mutual information scores. This collocational cohesion is semantically motivated by the subjective evaluative features which adjective and noun share. To accommodate these subjective compounds we propose a prosodic, field-like model of the English NP, rather than a linear subjective-objective model as traditionally recognized in the literature. A prosodic model, which recognizes that subjective meaning is spread over the whole NP, can account both for the strong tendency of more subjective modifiers to precede more objective ones and for the minor countercurrent of more subjective elements to follow more objective ones. Such a model, we argue, also captures the fact that subjectification can entail both leftward and rightward movement in NP structure.
ISSN: 0013-838X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology (FunC), Leuven
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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