The Bases of Derivation of Old English Affixed Nouns: Status and Category
Languages of publication
The aim of this journal article is to carry out a complete analysis of the category, status and patterns of the bases of derivation of Old English affixal nouns. The results of the analysis are discussed in the light of the evolution from stem-formation to word-formation. The corpus of analysis of this research is based on data retrieved from the lexical database of Old English Nerthus, which contains 30170 predicates. 16694 out of these are nouns, of which 4115 are basic and 12579 qualify as non-basic. Within non-basic nouns there are 3488 affixed nouns (351 by prefixation and 3137 by suffixation) and 9091 compound nouns. The line of argumentation is that, under certain circumstances, the existence of more than one base available for the formation of a derivative does not reinforce the explanation of invariable bases; on the contrary, it goes in the direction of variable bases produced by inflectional processes and made ready for derivation. The following conclusions are reached. In the first place, the importance is underlined of formations on stems in Old English, involving, at least, nouns. Secondly, the analysis evidences that the importance of stem-formation in Old English might be higher than has been acknowledged by previous studies. If Old English made extensive use of words as bases of derivation, a single base should be available; if, on the contrary, Old English is still dependent on stem-formation, more than one base is likely to be found for a single derivative. Such alternative bases of derivation reflect stemformation that may result from inflectional means and be eventually used for derivational purposes.
- Adamson, Sylvia - Vivien Law - Nigel Vincent - Susan Wright (eds.) 1990 Papers from the 5th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Bauer, Laurie - Salvador Varela (eds.) 2005 Approaches to conversion/zero derivation. Münster: Waxmann.
- Butler, Christopher - Javier Martín Arista (eds.) 2009 Deconstructing constructions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Fisiak, Jacek (ed.) 1986 Historical semantics: Historical word formation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Fries, Udo - Martin Heusser (eds.) 1989 Meaning and beyond: Ernst Leisi zum 70 Geburstag. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
- Giegerich, Heinz 1999 Lexical strata in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hinderling, Robert 1967 Studien zu den starken Verbalabstrakten des Germanischen. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
- Hogg, Richard (ed.) 1992 The Cambridge history of the English language I: The beginnings to 1066. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kärre, Karl 1915 Nomina agentis in Old English. Uppsala: Akademiska Bokhandeln.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 1968 Old English deverbal substantives derived by means of a zero morpheme. [Ph.D. dissertation, Tübingen, Eberhard-Karls-Universität.]
- Kastovsky, Dieter 1986 "Deverbal nouns in Old and Modern English: From stem-formation to wordformation", in: Jacek Fisiak (ed.), 221-261.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 1989 "Typological changes in the history of English morphology", in: Udo Fries - Martin Heusser (eds.), 281-293.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 1990 "The typological status of Old English word formation", in: Sylvia Adamson - Vivien Law - Nigel Vincent - Susan Wright (eds.), 205-224.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 1992 "Semantics and vocabulary", in: Richard Hogg (ed.), 290-408.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 2005 "Conversion and/on zero: Word-formation theory, historical linguistics, and typology", in: Laurie Bauer - Salvador Varela (eds.), 31-50.
- Kastovsky, Dieter 2006 "Typological changes in derivational morphology", in: Ans van Kemenade - Bettelou Los (eds.), 151-177.
- Krygier, Marcin 1994 The disintegration of the English strong verb system. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
- Lass, Roger 1994 Old English: A historical linguistic companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Martín Arista, Javier 2008 "Unification and separation in a functional theory of morphology", in: Robert Van Valin (ed.), 119-145.
- Martín Arista, Javier 2009 "A typology of morphological constructions", in: Christopher Butler - Javier Martín Arista (eds.), 85-115.
- [Forth. a] Lexical negation in Old English.
- [Forth. b] Old English strong verbs derived from strong verbs.
- [Forth. c] Building a lexical database of Old English: Issues and landmarks.
- [Forth. d] Parasynthesis in Old English word-formation.
- [Forth. e] Morphological relatedness and zero alternation in Old English.
- Pilch, Herbert 1970 Altenglische Grammatik: Dialektologie, Phonologie, Morphologie, Syntax. München: Max Hueber.
- Seebold, Elmar 1970 Vergleichendes und etymologisches Wörterbuch der germanischen starken Verben. The Hague: Mouton.
- Stark, Detlef 1982 The Old English weak verbs: A diachronic and synchronic analysis. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
- Van Kemenade, Ans - Bettelou Los (eds.) 2006 The handbook of the history of English. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Van Valin, Robert (ed.) 2008 Investigations of the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Publication order reference