Sack and turn the attributive: quantitative analysis oF co-occurrences to semantic contrasts
Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel
This article deals with tourner and virer, two attributive verbs (e.g., elle a viré/tourné folle 'she went crazy') that have not yet been fully recognized by prescriptive grammar or in linguistic work. We aim to establish the distributional/collocational profile of these two verbs, which seem to operate in the same semantic-functional domain, in order to reveal the subtle differences in their semantic properties. These differences have to do with the basic semantics of the lexical verb, and allow one to discern, in grammaticalized uses, effects due to lexical persistence. In order to make the distributional properties of the two verbs as objective as possible, (and thus their semantic properties), the statistical tools provided by the collostructional method (Stefanowitsch et Gries 2003; Gries and Stefanowitsch 2004) are used to advantage. In addition, the combination of the collocational approach and morphosyntactic analysis leads us to distinguish between the properly attributive use of the two verbs, and a homonymic abstract directional use (l'entreprise a viré solaire 'the business went solar'), which remains close to the prepositional construction (virer à / tourner à).