The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization

The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization

Pius ten Hacken
Claire Thomas
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization
    Book Description:

    Each chapter concentrates on a specific question about a theoretical concept or a word formation process in a particular language and adopts a theoretical framework that is appropriate to the study of this question. From general theoretical concepts of productivity and lexicalization, the focus moves to terminology, compounding, and derivation. The theoretical frameworks that are used include Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure, Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar, Lieber’s lexical semantic approach to word formation, Pustejovsky’s Generative Lexicon, Beard’s Lexeme-Morpheme-Base Morphology, and the onomasiological approach to terminology and word formation. An extensive introduction gives a historical overview of the study of the semantics of word formation and lexicalization, explaining how the different theoretical frameworks used in the contributions relate to each other.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-8961-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Word formation, meaning and lexicalization
    (pp. 1-27)
    Pius ten Hacken and Claire Thomas

    Word formation is a rule-based process for producing new words. Often, the study of word formation has been undertaken from a purely formal perspective. This book looks at how the meaning of the resulting words is determined and how they are lexicalized. It brings together new work undertaken from a variety of theoretical perspectives in order to shed new light on a subject of growing interest in linguistics, computational science, semantics and lexicography.

    This introductory chapter provides a broad historical overview of the field (section 1) and describes the main current approaches (section 2). Against this background, section 3 introduces...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Semiproductivity and the place of word formation in grammar
    (pp. 28-44)
    Pius ten Hacken

    In this chapter I will address the question of how to account for what appear to be different degrees of productivity of word formation processes in the framework of Jackendoff’s (2002) Parallel Architecture (PA). Section 1 explains Jackendoff’s approach to the notion oflexicalentry, which is quite different from the traditional one. Section 2 turns to the analysis of productivity in PA and demonstrates why accounting for degrees of productivity that are neither maximal (full productivity) nor minimal (no new cases) is problematic in Jackendoff’s (2002, 2009) approach. Section 3 proposes an alternative approach that requires a separate word...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Lexicalization in Generative Morphology and Conceptual Structure
    (pp. 45-65)
    Claire Thomas

    Lexicalization has an important place in theories of word formation. From a very general point of view, it refers to the integration of an item into the lexicon, but what this actually implies is open to interpretation. The term has been used somewhat ambiguously, as Brinton and Traugott (2005) note in their eff ort to integrate the various different perspectives. They identify two divergent conceptualizations, one diachronic and the other synchronic. The diachronic one, found largely within Generative Morphology, characterizes lexicalization as both integration into the lexicon and meaning change. The synchronic perspective is found in theories of lexical semantics,...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Term formation in a special language: how do words specify scientific concepts?
    (pp. 66-82)
    Kaarina Pitkänen-Heikkilä

    The topic of this chapter is the formation of scientific vocabulary in nineteenth-century Finland, a process which my thesis (Pitkänen 2008) examined for the field of botany. This study examined how the Finnish language was intentionally developed to meet the demands of civilized society and Finnish-language science. It dealt with the methods used to form scientific terms, and considers why a certain word (formed by word formation) was chosen to represent a particular concept. The questions discussed in this chapter are: how do words specify scientific concepts and how do terms acquire their meaning?

    Term formation in specialised language usually...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Nominal compounds as naming devices: a comparison of English and Polish land surveying terminology
    (pp. 83-101)
    Pius ten Hacken and Ewelina Kwiatek

    Compounding is a frequently used word formation process in many languages, but different languages tend to have slightly different systems. In terminology, there is a strong urge to use corresponding terms in translation. Many terms are compounds. Therefore, when compounding systems diverge, this leads to translation problems for terms. In this chapter, we consider the nature of these problems in the context of English and Polish terminology in the domain of land surveying. We start by presenting our definition of compounding (section 1). Then we describe how this definition applies to English and Polish (sections 2 and 3). Next, we...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Semantic and formal structure: a corpus-based study of Swedish NN compounds and their French counterparts
    (pp. 102-120)
    Maria Rosenberg

    This chapter addresses word formation and lexical representation. It examines the relation between semantic and formal structure in Swedish NN compounds and their French counterparts. The underlying assumption is that semantic structures are lexicalized, and thus can be more or less productive. The study adopts a primarily onomasiological perspective, which goes from meaning to form (see Marchand 1969; Štekauer 2005b), although the semasiological perspective will also be present. I borrow Downing’s (1977: 838) quotation of Bolinger here:

    Words are not coined in order to extract the meanings of their elements and compile a new meaning for them. The new meaning...

  11. CHAPTER 7 The semantics of lexical modification: meaning and meaning relations in German A+N compounds
    (pp. 121-139)
    Barbara Schlücker

    This chapter explores the semantics of German A+N compounds as opposed to A+N phrases. Taking into account various data, the chapter shows that in their semantics, German A+N compounds are far from being simple or consistent. The main claim is that there are systematic meaning differences between lexical and syntactic adjectival modification but that these differences do not arise from differences on the level of semantic form. That is, the internal modification relations found in A+N compounds and A+N phrases are basically the same, contrary to what has been proposed in the literature. Furthermore, the chapter also discusses differences and...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Semantic transparency and anaphoric islands
    (pp. 140-160)
    Martin Schäfer

    This chapter investigates the relationship between semantic transparency of compounds and their status as anaphoric islands. More specifically, I will take a detailed look at the behaviour of German adjective-noun compounds in this respect. The chapter argues that semantic transparency plays a crucial role in accessing compound-internal components for anaphoric reference and discusses a number of factors that motivate the actual usage of anaphora.

    Postal (1969) argued that words, whether monomorphemic or derived, are anaphoric islands.¹ That is, neither internal constituents of morphologically complex words nor entities contained in the meaning of a word can serve as antecedents to a...

  13. CHAPTER 9 Semantic coindexation: evidence from Portuguese derivation and compounding
    (pp. 161-179)
    Alexandra Soares Rodrigues and Graça Rio-Torto

    The parallel between meaning construction in derivation and compounding has received little discussion. Some works such as Lieber (2004) and Fradin (2005) focus on it. However, more empirical data is needed to contribute to the understanding of how meaning construction works. Our contribution brings more data on the phenomena by comparing derivation and compounding in Portuguese.

    The aim of this article is to analyse the way meaning construction occurs in derivation and compounding. We try to answer the questions in (1).

    (1) a. How do words formed by derivation and compounding get their meaning?

    b. What are the factors involved...

  14. CHAPTER 10 Deverbal nominalizations in English: an LMBM approach
    (pp. 180-202)
    Maria Bloch-Trojnar

    Despite extensive research in the area, a comprehensive account of deverbal nominalizations remains a challenge due to the fact that category changing operations (transpositions) cannot be explained without addressing fundamental questions regarding the overall structure of the grammar and the interaction between components, the nature of the linguistic sign, the structure of the lexicon and the role of morphology. For almost fifty years, English deverbal nominalizations have served as a testing ground for various theoretical models, which with varying success attempted to accommodate their systematic as well as idiosyncratic properties.² The main objective of this chapter is to test the...

  15. CHAPTER 11 Degrees of lexicalization in Ancient Greek deverbal nouns
    (pp. 203-224)
    Germana Olga Civilleri

    The aim of this chapter is to show lexicalization phenomena in deverbal nouns (DNs) as processes that make their compositional semantics opaque. I use the label of DNs to refer tomorphological nominalizations,i. e. nominalizations produced by applying morphological means to a verbal base, as in (1a), in opposition tosyntacticnominalizations, as in (1b).

    (1) a. destruction of the city.

    b. destroying the city.

    It will be shown how such phenomena lie at different points on thelexicalization scale. In order to do that, it is necessary to start with those nouns which have compositional semantics by identifying...

  16. CHAPTER 12 How many factors influence the meaning of denominal and deadjectival verbs? The case of Modern Greek verbs in -(ι)άζω
    (pp. 225-246)
    Angeliki Efthymiou

    The aim of this chapter is to examine the factors involved in Modern Greek verb forming processes. My evidence comes from the Modern Greek causative suffix -(ι)άζω [(i)ázo], which usually carries an evaluative connotation. After a presentation of the suffix in section 1, section 2 discusses various issues concerning the allomorphic variation of the suffix. Section 3 describes the principal meanings of -(ι)άζω verbs. Section 4 deals with the role of the meaning of the base in the creation of the meaning. Section 5 discusses the relation between the phonetic shape of the suffix and its evaluative meaning. In section...

  17. CHAPTER 13 Analysing en- and its Romance equivalents in Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure
    (pp. 247-265)
    Jessica Forse

    This chapter examines one of the many interesting aspects of the often overlooked yet highly significant relationship between morphology and semantics. This critical oversight, which has led to a focus on the form of words at the expense of their meaning, is all the more surprising given that, as Levin and Rappaport Hovav (1998) point out, a morpheme is often considered to be a minimal Saussurean sign relating form and meaning: it is an arbitrary phonological form which represents a certain concept. These authors suggest that the lack of research into the relation between lexical semantics and morphology stemmed in...

  18. CHAPTER 14 Semantics of diminutivization: evidence from Russian
    (pp. 266-285)
    Renáta Panocová

    Previous cross-linguistic research into diminutivization and augmentativization, also commonly referred to as evaluative morphology, has pointed to the nearly universal nature of nominal diminutives and augmentatives (Bauer 1997; Dressler and Barbaresi 1994). It has also been observed that diminutives and augmentatives express not only their basic meaning of diminution and augmentation but also that of intensification, politeness or rudeness strategies, etc. (Dressler and Barbaresi 1994: 27).

    Grandi (2011: 7) classifies languages into four types (A, B, C and D) based on the presence or absence of diminutives and augmentatives in a language. Type A includes languages with diminutives only,...

  19. Notes on contributors
    (pp. 286-289)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 290-308)
  21. Author index
    (pp. 309-314)
  22. Subject index
    (pp. 315-318)