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Exemplification and ad hoc categorization: the genre-construction in French

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to investigate the genre-construction, in which the French noun genre connects a noun phrase (named X) with another constituent (a noun phrase in most cases; named Y). Such a construction has an exemplifying function, and, traditionally, authors consider Y to be an example of a category denoted by X. I show that this traditional analysis is not entirely satisfying as it does not give a comprehensive account of the construction’s semantics. Instead, I show through a wide variety of examples that the genre-construction provides a means of expressing ad hoc categorization. Rather than merely exemplifying a category denoted by X, the construction frequently builds up an ad hoc category based on X and examples provided by Y. This analysis can be further extended to other related constructions so as to give a unified account of such constructions. The data analysed consist of internet users’ messages collected from online forums. The analyses are carried out within the framework of construction grammar.
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Submitted on : Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 3:26:37 PM
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Pierre Chauveau-Thoumelin. Exemplification and ad hoc categorization: the genre-construction in French. Folia Linguistica Historica, Mouton de Gruyter, 2018, Linguistic strategies for the construction of ad hoc categories: synchronic and diachronic perspectives, 52 (s39-1), pp.177-199. ⟨10.1515/flih-2018-0004⟩. ⟨hal-02105537⟩



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