Thesis topic

Development of a semantic map of noun-intensification

  • Type
  • Keywords
    noun-intensification – adjectives – English/French – corpus study


The general aim of this project is to develop a semantic map of noun-intensification. Nounintensifiers modify the degree of gradable properties conveyed by the descriptive part of noun phrases, i.e. the head noun plus any descriptive modifiers, e.g. utter bliss, pure hard work. The literature has mainly focused on adjective-intensification, e.g. pretty good, leaving noun-intensification a largely uncharted domain. This study aims at developing a semantic map of noun-intensification, charting the diachronic and synchronic meaning relations between distinct noun-intensifiers. The study will adopt a contrastive approach, studying both English and French corpora. There is a considerable literature on English noun-intensifiers such as complete, entire, pure, yet their French origin and their French counterparts are largely unexplored. A contrastive, diachronic approach might help explain observed frequency differences between noun-intensifiers from similar source domains (e.g. complete vs. entire).

About this topic

Related to
Translation Studies
Lobke Ghesquiere

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