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La dénotation spatiale des noms d’événements

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This paper deals with the spatial features of event-denoting nouns [EvNs], which are often overlooked in the linguistic literature on space. EvNs can refer to spatial entities, as they can be used as trajectors in localization sentences (Il y a une cérémonie dans l’église ‘There is a ceremony in the church’). Still, EvNs differ in several ways from nouns denoting prototypical spatial entities. They do not combine with complements denoting spatial extension (*une cérémonie de deux hectares ‘a four acres’ ceremony’), and they are associated with specific nouns and verbs of location (le lieu / *la place de la cérémonie ‘the location / the place of the ceremony’, Une cérémonie a lieu / *se trouve dans l’église ‘A ceremony takes place / is in the church’). It is assumed that the peculiarity of the spatial denotation of EvNs is due to their direct relation to time. The dependence between the spatial and temporal properties of EvNs shows when these nouns are used as landmarks (Pierre se rend à la cérémonie ‘Peter goes to the ceremony’). First, spatial eventive landmarks bear a temporal specification. Second, the temporal features of events determine their ability to be used as spatial landmarks.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011


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