Roots, categories, and nominal concepts

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Title: Roots, categories, and nominal concepts
Authors: Acquaviva, Paolo
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Date: Jan-2009
Abstract: This paper investigates what is specifically nominal in lexical semantics and how it relates to nouns as morphosyntactic objects. Nouns are argued to refer primarily to kind-level sorts, which define categories of entities in the speakers' conceptualization. This notion is characterized in semantic, ontological, and cognitive terms. Not all nominalized properties are concepts; in particular, not transparent deverbal nominalizations. Concepts thus provide a substantive notion of nominality not coextensive with the morphosyntactic one. Evidence is presented for the explanatory value of nominal concepts, as the semantic contribution of noun stems in word formation and in non-standard modification patterns like "plastic flower". Concepts also express semantic restrictions on affixation ("ornamental", but "employmental"). Finally, concepts are the value of nouns as whole complexes, not of their roots. This accords with the view that lexical categories have content, but roots are category-free.
Funding Details: Other funder
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Il Mulino
Journal: Lingue e linguaggio
Volume: VIII
Issue: 1
Start page: 25
End page: 51
Copyright (published version): 2009 Società Editrice il Mulino
Keywords: Lexical categoriesLexical semanticsMorphologyNounsRoots
Subject LCSH: Semantics
Lexical grammar
Grammar, Comparative and general--Morphology
Grammar, Comparative and general--Noun
English language--Roots
DOI: 10.1418/29337
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed 2012-10-16T16:02:02Z
Appears in Collections:Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection
UCD Humanities Institute Research Collection

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