A contrastive study of adjective position in English and French

Sturge, Cecil Gordon (1973) A contrastive study of adjective position in English and French. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

A contrastive study is not a study to find out the various ways one language can translate the ideas contained in a word or group of words of another language. This would be a study in translation. Throughout this paper it will be seen that very often we are not giving, or attempting to give, direct translations for every one of the examples, or even indirect translations. (We are here considering direct translations to be of the type: “Je connais cet home” = “I know this man”; and indirect translations to be of the type: “Ici, on parle français” = “French is spoken here”). For semantic reasons, one has to often to choose a French example different from the English one (and vice versa), in order to keep to the same structural pattern. One of the questions to be kept uppermost in our minds throughout this paper is not “Can English/French translate this phrase in the same way, using the same structure?”, but “Does French/English have a similar structure, or similar pattern for each variation of the adjective-and-noun phrase?”, and “If not, in what structural ways does the adjective-and-noun phrase differ from English to French, and vice versa?”. -- This study has been undertaken with the object of examining the position that the adjectival can occupy in English and French, and comparing and contrasting the two. We have been mainly concerned with the epithet adjective--in prenominal and postnominal position. -- In Chapter One we give a brief survey of the adjective in a few Indo-European languages, going back to some early representatives (Greek and Latin), and also looking at some modern-day types (modern Czech, for example). Chapter Two examines the facility that English and French possess for nominalizing the adjective. Chapters Three and Four concentrate on adjective position in English and French respectively, with Chapter Five making some comparisons and contrasts which have already been given separately (in the preceding two chapters), and adding a few new structures. -- Although a small amount of morphology is given in Chapters One, Three and Four, the syntactic ordering of the adjective and noun is the main object for discussion throughout (Chapter Two excepted). -- Is is hoped that others will find in this essay a few new insights into some of the similarities and differences in English and French, and that maybe some food for thought is contained herein for students who are endeavouring to study these two languages. -- The writer expresses his sincere thanks to the following persons: to André Lafargue (native French speaker), for his willing assistance in some translation; to Dr. V. Bubenik (native Czech speaker), for helpful suggestions with regard to modern Czech and Albanian; and lastly, I am grateful for the helpful criticism and advice of my supervisor, Dr. John Hewson, whose guidance and patience have benefited the writer in no small degree.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7338
Item ID: 7338
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [134]-137.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Adjective; French language--Adjective

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