The first aim of this work is to examine gender-based variation in the productivity of the nominal suffixes -ness and -ity in present-day British English. Possible interpretations are presented for the findings that -ity is used less productively by women, while with -ness there is no gender difference. The second aim is to analyse the validity of hapax-based measures of productivity in sociolinguistic research. It is discovered that they require a significantly larger corpus than type-based ones, and that the category-conditioned degree of productivity P is unusable when comparing subcorpora based on social groups. Otherwise, hapax legomena remain a theoretically well-founded component of productivity measures.
© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York