Fabienne Dedieu

ICES, La Roche-sur-Yon.

Articles de l'auteur

Cycnos | Volume 23 n°1

Quantité, qualité et intensité dans The Faerie Queene

All and quite have the same primary etymological meaning of totality-all is a quantifier while quite is a qualifier. In early Modern English, the linguistic operation they express is being re-interpreted. The intensifier all no longer has a quantitative meaning, and refers to a high degree from a qualitative point of view only. Besides, the adverb and the adjective now share the same morphology, and glosses show there is hardly any semantic difference between them. It leads to constant grammatical ambiguity, which makes the intensifying meaning fall into obsolescence. Quite undergoes the opposite evolution — from qualifier to quantifier. It now modifies past participles, thus increasing the range of its possible collocations. Although it can refer to a high degree from a quantitative point of view, quite has not reached the status of a full quantifier yet.

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