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Bound lexical formatives: Lexicon, grammar or somewhere in between. An FDG perspective

  • Carmen Portero Muñoz EMAIL logo
From the journal Linguistics

Abstract

This article explores the use of affix-like elements of dubious status in word formation and proposes an analysis within Functional Discourse Grammar (Hengeveld and Mackenzie 2008. Functional Discourse Grammar: A typologically-based theory of language structure. Oxford: University Press). What these elements have in common is that they are all used recurrently in the formation of new words of the same type and result from general patterns used by speakers. Additionally, some of these formatives are semantically reinterpreted when embedded in morphologically complex forms. The proposal in this article is to analyze cases where meaningful bound morphemes take part as processes that take place within the lexicon by the insertion of a semantically compatible lexeme in a partially filled lexical frame. This analysis manages to distinguish cases in which a meaningful element is used as a free and a bound morpheme, since the FDG architecture dictates that free meaningful morphemes are analyzed as Stems, while bound morphemes with lexical content are analyzed as Roots at the Morphosyntactic Level. The units resulting from processes where bound meaningful elements intervene are analyzed as complex words consisting of a Stem and a Root at the Morphosyntactic Level. By contrast, the formation of complex words by the concatenation of free morphemes is accounted for by invoking a process of compounding within the grammar, whereby the combination of the lexemes at the Representational Level creates one complex property, which results in a complex word formed by two Stems at the Morphosyntactic Level.

Acknowledgements

The present research has been conducted within the framework of the research group HUM693 Lingüística Cognitiva y Funcional (LINCOFU) (Autonomous Government of Andalusia). I am indebted to Evelien Keizer and Inge Genee for their insightful comments on an earlier version of this article.

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Published Online: 2016-8-20
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton

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