« Je ne suis pas un zéro ». Pour une distinction entre absence d’article et article zéro en anglais contemporain - Université d'Artois Access content directly
Journal Articles Anglophonia, French Journal of English Studies Year : 2009

« Je ne suis pas un zéro ». Pour une distinction entre absence d’article et article zéro en anglais contemporain

Florent Moncomble

Abstract

Most interpretations of the absence of marked determiners in English are monolithic, insofar as they contend that all uses can be grouped under one heading, generally “zero article”. Some linguists argue that the expression “absence of article” would be more appropriate, yet do not question the validity of the monolithic approach. In this article, we support the idea that a number of structures involving the absence of a marked determiner are indeed cases where no determination whatsoever occurs. This assumption is based not only on an observation of the quantitative operations at stake in nominal determination, but also of the close interaction between the determination of the noun and its ability to refer: where there is no reference, there is no determination, if only because the noun, which only acts as a semantic import deprived of its autonomy in discourse, is no longer a full substantive in such structures. But what this also reveals is that in a lot of cases, in fact in a majority of occurrences, the absence of a visible sign of determination does not entail a lack of referentiality, which implies that a form of determination is indeed at work, and that the term “zero article” is appropriate there. The stress on reference as the ultimate goal of nominal determination thus leads us to acknowledge the existence of two interpretations, not one, of the absence of marked determination : absence of article on the one hand, zero article on the other.

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Linguistics
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hal-04101074 , version 1 (28-12-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Florent Moncomble. « Je ne suis pas un zéro ». Pour une distinction entre absence d’article et article zéro en anglais contemporain. Anglophonia, French Journal of English Studies, 2009, 13 (26), pp.77-100. ⟨10.4000/anglophonia.869⟩. ⟨hal-04101074⟩
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