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Relevance verbs in English and French: synonymy and its structural properties

Bart Defrancq UGent (2013) LINGUISTICS. 51(4). p.793-823
abstract
This study deals with a particular group of predicates called "predicates/verbs of relevance" or "predicates/verbs of indifference" in the literature. Its purpose is to investigate to what extent verbs of this particular group present common structural properties. It therefore seeks to establish the structural manifestations of synonymy. These structural manifestations are not to be found in argument-function mapping a la Levin (1993), but rather in polarity, decategorialization and sentence structure. Corpus data reveal that syntax, semantics and pragmatics interact in particular ways in the field of relevance. This interaction appears to be grounded in pragmatic constraints arising from the principle of relevance (Sperber and Wilson 1986). The basic idea is that, as relevance is presupposed in human communication and need not be expressed, verbs of relevance are more likely to be used with negative than with positive polarity. Used with positive polarity, they tend to occur in sentence forms that present them as strongly presupposed. Used with negative polarity, they are more likely to occur in the focal area of the sentence. As statements about relevance express speaker's points of view, relevance verbs are also markers of intersubjectivity and are therefore subject to grammaticalization phenomena, such as the omission of prepositions.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
relevance predicate, indifference predicate, embedded interrogative, polarity, English/French
journal title
LINGUISTICS
volume
51
issue
4
issue title
Special Issue: Thoughts on Typologies: Different Perspectives on Verb Classifications
article number
5
pages
793 - 823
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000321105600006
JCR category
LINGUISTICS
JCR impact factor
0.658 (2013)
JCR rank
72/169 (2013)
JCR quartile
2 (2013)
ISSN
0024-3949
DOI
10.1515/ling-2013-0027
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4233198
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4233198
date created
2014-01-15 13:47:00
date last changed
2016-12-21 15:42:01
@article{4233198,
  abstract     = {This study deals with a particular group of predicates called {\textacutedbl}predicates/verbs of relevance{\textacutedbl} or {\textacutedbl}predicates/verbs of indifference{\textacutedbl} in the literature. Its purpose is to investigate to what extent verbs of this particular group present common structural properties. It therefore seeks to establish the structural manifestations of synonymy. These structural manifestations are not to be found in argument-function mapping a la Levin (1993), but rather in polarity, decategorialization and sentence structure. Corpus data reveal that syntax, semantics and pragmatics interact in particular ways in the field of relevance. This interaction appears to be grounded in pragmatic constraints arising from the principle of relevance (Sperber and Wilson 1986). The basic idea is that, as relevance is presupposed in human communication and need not be expressed, verbs of relevance are more likely to be used with negative than with positive polarity. Used with positive polarity, they tend to occur in sentence forms that present them as strongly presupposed. Used with negative polarity, they are more likely to occur in the focal area of the sentence. As statements about relevance express speaker's points of view, relevance verbs are also markers of intersubjectivity and are therefore subject to grammaticalization phenomena, such as the omission of prepositions.},
  articleno    = {5},
  author       = {Defrancq, Bart},
  issn         = {0024-3949},
  journal      = {LINGUISTICS},
  keyword      = {relevance predicate,indifference predicate,embedded interrogative,polarity,English/French},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {5:793--5:823},
  title        = {Relevance verbs in English and French: synonymy and its structural properties},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0027},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {2013},
}

Chicago
Defrancq, Bart. 2013. “Relevance Verbs in English and French: Synonymy and Its Structural Properties.” Linguistics 51 (4): 793–823.
APA
Defrancq, B. (2013). Relevance verbs in English and French: synonymy and its structural properties. LINGUISTICS, 51(4), 793–823.
Vancouver
1.
Defrancq B. Relevance verbs in English and French: synonymy and its structural properties. LINGUISTICS. 2013;51(4):793–823.
MLA
Defrancq, Bart. “Relevance Verbs in English and French: Synonymy and Its Structural Properties.” LINGUISTICS 51.4 (2013): 793–823. Print.