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The emergence of Noun + Noun constructions with a regressive order in contemporary French?1

  • RUDY LOOCK (a1)

This paper investigates the emergence of atypical noun+noun structures exhibiting regressive order (head-final or NN) in contemporary French such as la grève attitude (‘the strike attitude’) or la Marcelle solidarité (‘the Marcelle solidarity’). Using attested examples drawn from contemporary media, the aim of the paper is to provide a detailed description and history of these data, as well as to study its productivity through the emergence of patterns such as la N attitude or la N Academy/Académie. Using traditional tests, the paper also investigates the morphological versus syntactic nature of the construction and concludes in favour of the former.

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Address for correspondence: Université Charles de Gaulle Lille III and CNRS UMR 8163 Savoirs Textes, Langage, B.P. 60149, 59653 Villeneuve d'Ascq cedex, FRANCE e-mail:
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Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Dany Amiot, Maarten Lemmens, and Fayssal Tayalati for their useful remarks and suggestions on a previous draft of this article. I am also very grateful to the four anonymous reviewers of JFLS, as well as to Aidan Coveney, for comments that contributed to major improvements of the article. Any remaining errors are, naturally, my own. Finally, thanks are due to Kathleen M. O'Connor for proof-reading and helpful comments.

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Journal of French Language Studies
  • ISSN: 0959-2695
  • EISSN: 1474-0079
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