English word-formation

  • Kastovsky D
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This vol in the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics series contains an author's Preface & 9 Chpts. (1) Introduction - outlines recent regeneration of interest in word formation. A synchronic, transformational approach is proposed, but with data drawn from a variety of sources. (2) Some Basic Concepts - provides an overview of essential terminology, including some basic aspects of morphology as a whole. Discussion includes morpheme types, & inflectional, derivational, & compounding processes. (3) Lexicalization - examines ways in which new words enter the lexicon & proposes a terminology. Types of lexicalization are explored from both synchronic & diachronic perspectives. Phonological, morphological, semantic, syntactic, & mixed lexicalization are described. (4) Productivity - explores the extent of productivity in word formation. The question of whether syntactic & morphological productivity are similar or quite different is addressed. N. Chomsky's remarks on nominalization & their implications are considered. Semiproductivity & restrictions on productivity are discussed, & a definition of productivity proposed. (5) Phonological Issues in Word-Formation - concentrates more closely on Eng, discussing issues not always applicable to other langs. Stress is discussed relative to compounds & derivatives, & segmental variation is considered, with attention to questions of abstractness & psychological reality. (6) Syntactic and Semantic Issues in Word-Formation - examines semantic relations between elements of word formation (eg, affixes & bases) & applies various syntactic approaches to the discussion. The "sentential source" analysis of word formation is explored in detail. Restrictions on word formation rules, subcategorization, & specification of meanings are also discussed. (7) An Outline of English Word-Formation - outlines productive & nonproductive processes in Eng, using both lexicalized & nonlexicalized examples. The Chpt is largely taxonomic, with little theoretical discussion. (8) Theory and Practice - presents a detailed study of word formation, testing the applicability of hypotheses outlined in earlier Chpts. Discussed are various processes of suffixation, combining forms, prefixation, & subject nominalizations. (9) Conclusion - reviews major theoretical emphases of the book & raises again the question of regularity vs irregularity in word formation. 2 Tables, 16 Figures, Bibliog.

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  • Dieter Kastovsky

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