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).


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

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  • David R. Dowty

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