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Book description

Morphology and Lexical Semantics explores the meanings of morphemes and how they combine to form the meanings of complex words, including derived words (writer, unionise), compounds (dog bed, truck driver) and words formed by conversion. Rochelle Lieber discusses the lexical semantics of word formation in a systematic way, allowing the reader to explore the nature of affixal polysemy, the reasons why there are multiple affixes with the same function and the issues of mismatch between form and meaning in word formation. Using a series of case studies from English, this book develops and justifies the theoretical apparatus necessary for raising and answering many questions about the semantics of word formation. Distinguishing between a lexical semantic skeleton that is featural and hierarchically organised and a lexical semantic body that is holistic, it shows how the semantics of word formation has a paradigmatic character.


'… the author does not evade some of the most complex issues in current morphology, such as polysemy, the multiple-affix question, conversion/zero-derivation, or semantic mismatches in derivation. These are confronted and answered in turn with a step-by-step style that helps the reader being aware of where they are standing at every moment … includes a comprehensive list of references as well as an index with entries for authors, subjects, and languages, and is undoubtedly a recommendable reference for modern linguistics.'

Source: Canadian Journal of Linguistics

'… this monograph provides a very interesting and useful framework. Perhaps the greatest value of this book is that it shows that semantics is essential for a proper theory of word formation. To give just one example, the relisting-analysis for conversion is highly convincing because of its very simple semantic motivation. Morphology and Lexical Semantics is a highly valuable book, which is very stimulating for further discussion and research.'

Source: Linguist List

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