THE MEANING AND (A BIT OF)THE HISTORY OF quelque

Publication
TitleTHE MEANING AND (A BIT OF)THE HISTORY OF quelque
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Année de publication2011
AuthorsJayez, J., & Tovena L.
Book TitleFrench Determiners In and Across Time
Abstract

In this chapter, we pursue the hypothesis that quelque is an indefinite that relies on inference and ignorance, elaborating on our previous work. The form quelque N P, in which P is a property, means that the existence of an entity of type N satisfying P is a piece of information at which the epistemic agent got by inference (evidential aspect) and that the exact identity of such an entity remains unknown (epistemic aspect). The main points discussed are the following. Intuitively, quelque may seem to belong to the group of free choice determiners, together with n'importe quel and un quelconque . We show that such an association is plausible, provided one includes the evidential aspect. Moreover, we propose that the limited tolerance of quelque to occurring in the immediate scope of nega- tion should be analysed as a manifestation of its inner semantic organisation, composed of a main content–constituted by an existential value typical of indefinites–and a conven- tional implicature–constituted by its inferential and epistemic values. This analysis leads us to set aside a characterisation of quelque as positive polarity item, which would be an ad hoc stipulation. Finally, we set up some lines of analysis concerning the origin and the development of quelque . This gives us the opportunity to identify several important issues, among which we can recall the question of whether the concessive use is a byproduct of the ignorance component or the reverse, and the question of whether and how to reconcile the concessive meaning with the existential interpretation.

URLhttp://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00925732
PDF Link

PDF Link to THE MEANING AND (A BIT OF)THE HISTORY OF quelque