La construction "à un point X" en relation avec l’exclamative en "à quel point"

Abstract : In this study meant to be a preliminary to a larger one on French exclamative sentences with à quel point (AQP), we will analyse the distributions of PPs à un point X (AUPX), which have an indefinite determiner inside them. In effect, these expressions are supposed to underlie an exclamative (or interrogative) AQP according to a presuppositional hypothesis on exclamative or interrogative wh-sentences (cf. Michaelis & Lambrecht). We will demonstrate that contrary to general distribution of quel, AQP possesses only an indirect exclamative use, excluding direct exclamative, direct and indirect interrogative uses, which contradicts the acceptability judgements given by linguists like J.-C. Milner. AUPX expressions linked to AQP receive, indeed, an interpretation of high degree because of 1) the lexical meaning of “limit/threshold” the noun point takes on in these expressions and of 2) the limitation imposed on the paradigm of modifieurs, which excludes a free variation, prerequisite for quel interrogatives. They can thus be considered a construction. The modifiers (adjective or relative), in complementary distribution to an exclamative intonation, describe the incredulity or unspeakability of the speaker, translating his/her subjective evaluation visa-vis of the high degree. This type of modifier is the one which functions as the main predicate in an indirect exclamative sentence. AQP is simply a subordinate variant of AUPX.
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Takuya Nakamura, Christiane Marque-Pucheu. La construction "à un point X" en relation avec l’exclamative en "à quel point". SHS Web of Conferences, EDP Sciences, 2018, 46, pp.12014.1-18. ⟨10.1051/shsconf/20184612014⟩. ⟨hal-01839165⟩

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