Questions tagged [derivation]

For questions about derivation, i.e., the process of forming new words from existing words.

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Is derivation through valency change common cross-linguistically?

Sorry if this question doesn't make much sense, it's still a half-formed shower thought at this point. In my linguistics class yesterday we were going over ergative-absolutive alignment, and the ...
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2 votes
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Difference between the Merge postion and the base position

I was reading this analysis of the derivation below. And I wasn't familiar with the terminology "original Merge position." Is it just like "the base position"? Here is the sentence ...
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Why is the PP, according to this derivation, directly moved from the lower (farther) DP, not the nearer one?

The sentence being parsed: De CHOMSKY varios libros han ganado premios internacionales, no de Trotsky. of Chomsky several books have won awards international-PL, not of Trotsky Why is the PP on top ...
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Why two appearances of the past participle "ganado" in this derivation?

The sentence being parsed: De CHOMSKY varios libros han ganado premios internacionales, no de Trotsky. of Chomsky several books have won awards international-PL, not of Trotsky Could someone please ...
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The affixation differentiating between nominal arithmetic and adjectival arithmetic

Since a suprafix can be the change of stress somewhere in the word (or other suprasegmental elements), and since accentuation plays a role in differentiating the noun arithmetic from the adjective ...
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What is the difference between a borrowed and a derived Word in Linguistics?

When looking at Etymologies of words, I noticed that there are "borrowed" words and "derived" words. "Borrowed" is, I think, just taken from a different language, but ...
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Does "this" and "these" belong to the same lexeme?

I am confused as to whether "this" and "these" belong to the same lexeme
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12 votes
1 answer
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Is there a name for a diminutive whose meaning has decoupled from the original word?

In languages where the diminutive is productive (such as Slavic languages), many words derived as a diminutive have a meaning completely decoupled from their origin, and do not anymore "convey ...
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Could someone give an easily understandable explanation of "derivation rules"?

From Wikipedia, A BNF specification is a set of derivation rules. The post Term for a non-word consistent with derivation rules on this site also uses this term. Google returns a lot of results, here ...
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Derivation, zero-affixation verb tenses

I'm working on a paper about derivation, denominalization, zero-affixation and so on and have the following question: If a verb derives from a noun and it used in a past tense, for example boycott - ...
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What to call an adjective that is a participle of a verb that is no longer used?

While answering the question How often do native speakers use the word “to scathe”? Is it OK if I use it instead of “to injure”?, I described "scathing" and "unscathed" as "...
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Derivation of Greek οὐρά (backside) from PIE *h₁ers (flow)

I'm trying to understand how the Greek word for backside/rear could be derived from the PIE word for 'to flow'. There is a Sanskrit word arsati which means 'to pierce', so the meaning of the PIE root ...
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3 answers
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Common root 'to gather' and 'together'

I just saw this insightful and touching video by John Green where he makes the connection between 'to gather' and 'together'. One could say "let's gather at the bus stop" for instance, causing the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Name for a verb form meaning "feign or pretend to do sth"

Is there an accepted name for a derivational process applied to a verb which conveys the meaning "feign or pretend to do sth". As a corollary, is anyone aware of any languages (especially ...
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Is there a theory of word polysemy? Case of snake versus serpent

Snake and serpent mean exactly the same thing. But they're different words when they're treated as derivations. The obsolete brass instrument is a serpent but cannot be called a snake. The plumber's ...
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4 votes
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How to formalize rules on what's a proper name?

TL;DR: Why do I have trouble deciding what is a proper name and how can I find a reasonable set of rules to follow when deciding? I’m a member of a team responsible for the National Photocorpus of ...
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1 answer
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Does "tetrahedrization" make sense?

I am deciding on a spelling of "tessellation composed of tetrahedra" to use in my thesis. There are four choices I know of Tetrahedralization with 3,530 results on Google Scholar and 25,800 on ...
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Why some verbs have -tion while others don't, when being nounified

Verbs like animate become a noun animation, and others like graduate become graduation. But then there are verbs that are just straight converted into nouns, like capture the verb and a capture the ...
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4 votes
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Languages w/out morphology

Is there a natural language w/ no morphology (i.e. one that has neither inflectional nor derivational morphology -- in other words, no affixation whatsoever)? I've heard claims to the effect, but the (...
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difference between the root, lemma and stem for a derived word

I am a bit confused with the usage of the terms root, lemma and stem. My understanding of the terms are as follows. Root:The central (free) morpheme which has the content to which other bound ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between vPs and v*Ps?

Why do I sometimes come across a label like v* instead of v in the literature? As I understood, it is the same thing.
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1 answer
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Part of Speech in English

I am familiar to the concept of Part of Speech changing from one grammatical category to another grammatical category. However, my question is, why would I need to change an existing word from one ...
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Analyses of English word formation processes?

I'm looking for analyses of the word stock of English which look at which word formation process accounts for what percentage of the word stock. When I say "word formation," I would include here ...
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6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is the {-ing} of the gerund a verbal inflectional suffix?

Is the {-ing} of a gerund a verbal inflectional suffix or a nominal derivational one? For instance, in the sentence Swimming is a great hobby. , swimming is a gerund and it has the syntactical role of ...
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Why is a nominalisation called "grammatical metaphor" in SFL

I have learned to understand that a nominalisation is called a grammatical metaphor in systemic functional linguistics. What is the motivation behind this terminology? Are there other kinds of ...
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1 vote
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Does Lao (or Thai) have any "verbalizer" morphemes?

I know of at least two morphemes in lao which are nominalizers that can convert lexical verbs or adjectives into nouns: ການ and ຄວາມ. What I'm wondering is whether there are any counterparts which ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Order of derivational and inflectional affixes

I saw the following formula on Wikipedia: morpheme + derivational morphemes + desinence (inflectional morphemes) followed immediately by the comment not not necessarily in this order. But all the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of the root "ject"

What does the root "ject" mean? It occurs in words such as "subject", "object", "project", "injection", "surjection", "bijection". As far as I know these words came to English from French and, in turn,...
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Latin nouns derived from pluperfect verbs

I am trying to understand the logic of Latin nouns derived from pluperfect verbs. For example, we have facta, things done, and scripta, things written, but I thought the pluperfect gerundive would be ...
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2 votes
3 answers
7k views

The suffix -er in English: Why is this derivational?

A typical charactersitic of inflectional suffixes is that they are productive (can occur on many words) and obligatory (are required by virtue of certain grammatical constraints). Simplistic though ...
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Constructing/borrowing of complex scientific/technological/financial vocabulary in Esperanto [closed]

Most Esperanto scientific, some technology-specific, or financial dictionaries available online cover vast range, but mostly old terminology that was around for many years. How does one translate or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does the classification of languages "agglutinating" concern itself with inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, or both?

I had always thought that the terms "agglutinative" and "agglutination" referred to the typology of the inflection in a language. But on another question here there seem to be a number of comments ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Term for a non-word consistent with derivation rules

Following the example of 'take' -> 'taker, 'create' -> 'creater' and so on, we might expect that there would exist a noun '*raper' from the verb 'rape'. Instead we have the noun 'rapist'. Is there a ...
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1 vote
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Adjectives/verbs being used as nouns: the trend grows?

"I want a job with a social connect" , using a verb connect for the noun connection. "It's a fail!" , using the verb fail instead of the noun failure. "Acme is a multinational corporate" , using the ...
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Can words be formed by deriving from just prefix(es) and suffix(es) with no actual root morpheme between?

I was just looking at a Zulu word entry in Wiktionary that implied it was made from a prefix and a suffix, but there was nothing between them. Now this could just be sloppy editing of Wiktionary but ...
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Languages with vowel-based "radicals" inflected or derived by changing consonants?

Semitic languages are known for doing quite a bit of their inflection and derivation not via adfixes but via modifications around a triliteral radical of three consonants. But I'm wondering if there'...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Derivational vs. Inflectional Morphemes

Is the derivational/inflectional morpheme distinction particularly significant to linguists? If so, is it more significant for languages other than English, which I think is less "inflected" than ...
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