The Syntax and Semantics of Word Formation: Lexical Rules

  • David R. Dowty
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 7)


In traditional grammar, word formation is well-established as the study of how new words of a language are produced from old. Typical means of word formation found in English include adding a derivational affix (e.g. the verb blacken from the noun black, noun decision from verb decide, adjective washable from verb wash, etc.), compounding two existing words to form a third (nouns blackbird, steamboat or pickpocket from combinations of verb, adjective or noun), and the process of zero-derivation (or conversion), by which a word changes its grammatical class and meaning but not its form (e.g. noun walk from verb walk).


Basic Expression Word Formation Morphological Operation Semantic Rule Syntactic Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

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  • David R. Dowty

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