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Auteur: Tijana ASIC

Co-Auteur(s): Francis Corblin, Paris 4 Sorbonne Nouvelle, France

The emergence of telic readings in French and Serbian : prepositions and definiteness

Abstract/Résumé: The "social routine reading" (Vandeloise, 1987) contrasts with the locative reading of the very same construction: 1) Mon fils va maintenant à l'école. My son goes to school now. 2) Le bus va maintenant à l'école The bus is going to school now. Recent analyses of the SR (or telic) reading in French (Corblin, 2011) explain its emergence by the composition of three parameters: a) A telic qualia (Pustejovsky 1995) associated with the lexical head of the NP. b) A functional ("associative") interpretation of the definite NP. c) The colorless preposition à. Importantly, the telic interpretation, is triggered by the weak preposition à (at) in French. If a preposition is associated with a clear spatial instruction, such as dans (in), we get only a spatial (locus) reading The aim of this work is to compare the above mentioned situation in French with the situation in Serbian, a South- Slavic language which does not have any definite article, and lacks a semantic under-specified preposition such as à (Asic, 2008). In Serbian in this type of construction spatial prepositions na (on) and u (in) are used, the choice of the preposition depending on the spatial representation of the locus. The first observation is that in Serbian the telic interpretation emerges with a bare nominal (a marker of definiteness) and is cancelled if the noun is modified by an indefinite or demonstrative: 4) Dusan je otisao na fakultet. Danas ima puno casova. Dusan AUX gone on faculty Today has many hours Dusan went to the faculty. He has lots of classes today. 5) Dusan je otisao na jedan/taj fakultet. Tamo ce da prodaje knjige. Dusan AUX gone to one/that faculty There will to send books Dusan went to the faculty. He will sell books there. This nominal being a bare noun in Serbian, to analyze it as a generic NP, or even as some special case of incorporation or as an idiomatic construction might seem even less controversial than for the corresponding cases in French. But the dynamic properties of this nominal element shows that it behaves exactly as functional specific definites. References: Asic T, (2008), Espace, temps, prépositions, Droz, Genève. Borillo, A. (2001) "La détermination et la préposition de lieu à en français", in Détermination et formalisation, John Benjamins, 85-99. Corblin F, (2011), « Des définis para-intensionnels : être à l’hôpital, aller à l’école », Langue Francaise 171, ed by Claude Muller & Henning Nølke, 55-77. Pustejovsky J (1995), The Generative Lexicon, Cambridge (MA): The M.I.T. Press. Vandeloise, C. (1987). La préposition à et le principe d'anticipation. Langue Française, 76 : 77-111.