Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0035-3906
  • E-ISSN: 1600-0811
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This article deals with adjective-to-noun conversion in French, namely the case of -aire derived lexemes. It is argued here that the intermediate and hybrid status of certain bi-categorial adjective/noun items can be viewed as an intermediate theoretical step on the way to actual conversion; we call this general process “transcategorisation” rather than “conversion”. After describing the two main types of -aire derivation, and the corpus constituted by adjectives and bi-categorial -aire items, we suggest two adjective-to-noun “transcategorisation” models according to the two types of -aire derived lexemes: a model “A”, where the fundamental nominal value is abstract and refers to a generic or collective notion, such as l’alimentaire “alimentary stuff”; and a model “B”, involving ellipsis, where the nominal value is concrete and refers to a class of human individuals or objects.


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