lflfGUf$f0$ votume rr /72 Is?

e r7tz2s/22¡¡1
In this issue
D. A , CRUS E Reverc¡ves RI CHA RD A T E S CO Bulkrngt morpholex¡caj a act G E E RT . B O O IJ E Semantic regularities word format¡on in R. M , W . DI X O N Corections ,ls and comments concerning Heath,s Dyir6al ergative?, MA-RTHA DANLy and WtLL|AM E. COOPER Sentence productjoni Closure versus Inrt¡ation constituents of EIRLYS DAVIES E. Somerestrictions condttronal on rmperatives Short note W . L. M A G NUSS O N Chronostructural ofientation rool panern on development Review article BE RNA RD MR IE CO The languages N¡icrones¡a of Book rev¡ews DE S M O ND D E R B YS H IR E C. Caib-_speak¡ng lndans. Culturc, Societyand L¿ngudge, edited by E. B. Basso TH. R. VON STOCKERT Aphasie,by G. peuser SZABOZOLTAN St stk, by B. Sandig Research project Thesyntax, semént¡cs pragmatics the comparative and ol construction Publicat¡onsreceived Author index to L¡ngu¡sticsvalume f7 (197g) l


'1003 1017 1039

' 1055


1073 107 4 1076

1085 1093

ISSN @24-39¡K)

mouton publ¡shers.the hague . pads .

new york

Semantic regular¡ties in word formation


Abslracl the This paper discusses problem how to account Jbr regularities in the the interjritation of complex words. It will be shown th(lt in some cases detetmined by its ínteipretatíon of a complex word is not completely mor)hologícal structure, bú is ;he resuh of an ínteract¡onbetweenl¡nguistic 'progof structure and non-ltnguistic information. The consequences this processesforthe theory matic'approach to the semanticsofwotdformatíon of morphology will be discussed. l. Introduction


One of the salient features of natu¡al languages is that they show structural parallelisms betweenform and meaning on two levels,the level Therefore, an adequategrammar ofthe word and the level ofthc sentence. ofa languagemust specifyhow and how far (i) the syntactic structure of a sentence determines the interpretation of that sentence, and (ii) the morphological structure of a complex word determinesthc interpr€tation of that complex wo¡d. I will call a representation of the structu¡ally determined semantic aspects of a linguistic expression (a sentence, a phrase or a word) the logical form of that expression.r The structures of complex words are specified by Word Formation Rutes(WFRs, cf. Aronoff, 1976)that createcomplex words from existing or possible words (cfl Booij, 1977; Roeper and Siegel, 1978)'z For €xample, the following two WFRs can be assumedfor Dutch: (1) [xh ' [be * [xh]v (2) [x]a --+[[x]" +iteitl' where x stands for a sequenceof phonological segmentsand boundaries' Theserules create e.g. bedíjk 'lo provide with a dike' lrom dijk'dike' and f¡om aá¡a¡d'absurd'. absurdíteít'absurdity'
{985 $2.00 0024-3949/79l@17 The @ Mouton Publish€rs, Hague 985 1001. 17 Linguistics (1979),


ceert E. Booij Semantic regulaities in word formation 987

assoclated with a boundarv svt

ld, {

sutnxes-ror1, -menr and-, ¡ ru!,'"o

orthe word structure in which o""i,,1"r it [1"'ifr'1,-l],iiiillfss correrate.wFRs ,"l"";:ll#i "#:iX|l,t3iltt ""emeaning Sóme out
by^ Jackendoff the English for

word. Note thar the claim tnat W¡.nscontriúr," i"irr^#""""i.r, correctlyimpliesthar the bound "¡ morphemeá¿_has no :-r::1":::.0, meaning: onecannotsayanythingab.., ,f* 1:o:O^:1-o*, _."ni* ,f a"

can-beclrcumsc¡ibed as ,to provrde with ¡, where ¡ is the meaning of.the base

meaning contributi;;;ü"ilffffi*il:

fiom Dutch. The structural parallelism br fo¡m and.meaning of complex wordsrmplies that th" a compositionalrun"tion or-til Tomplex word is'-atleastin principle, -.uninn.jll*

.+';cr. uouoau,v soolj'fé't;i;1:"*,J",?;i.::.lli,H#¿ {",,,;'":: lwo.types boundaries means of by of data
:::,:,i[,#:ffi *l;

;'#t"i'EiJ'T::Í"1,1""Ífi j;";;"',i;,*. a,."''.r",*á l:"1::.:'-'':l*.-*l ü,, i...-il;.,'J,:1 ¿1""#ii;i.il,",iiij,i1iT,,L,Jl1[,,,.;i

rne arrows. parr thesrrucrures are of mention.a rrr".igi,iiini)...*r. to formularion theWFRsembodies of rhewell_known Tli:]ntt hypothesis

rhe rrrand ,u¡:s ü;:::la;'Ji;ji1 :Hl*,':*"T[','.? : il:1:t:;

oe77),b;;;J;;ñi,"ff;;","T?;:#?i";i:i,ñ,%li*li,?l is the lexical functional structure of to hit.It 'NPl HIT NPr' that
this doesn01necessarilv mr

WFRs are some times called

speciliesthe relation betwten syntactic and logical form. NPt indicates the grammatical function of subject, and NPr indicates the grammatical function of object. The grammatical function of a constituent is defined configurationally, i.e. by its position in syntactic structure. Fo¡ instance, the NP that is dominated di¡ectly by the node S has the function of subject, and the NP that is dominated directly by the VP node, has the function of object. The syntactic context in which a verb can occur, is indicated by a NP] that feature, in the case of lril the feature [subcategoYization means that the verb ¿i1 can occur before a sister-NP. Bresnan (19?8: 21) remarks that 'the syntactic contexts appear to be redundant-that is, predictable f¡om the functional structures'. However, she does not formulate such redundancy rules. Furthermore, Bresnan proposes that (optionally) transitive verbs such as to eat have two specificationsin the lexicon: (4) ear, Y (D l(ii) t-] NPI NP, EAT NP, (3Y) NP' EAT Y

correra,es. and impricario-ns-;;;i:'";;;5::'i:,"i#rJl?,"j,nj,.i's rhe
2. The s€manticcorrel¿t€ of the agentive suffix _er

section 3, I * l ¿1t""* r"a"¡@lng

:J.i:f, il:i: :it;'.':,T.1*s,i:l,J*."':'**:*"$i".#i::il,.#
cor¡elate ca', be accounted for' In

wrn, r'"""

650)Moreover, some .

That is, the Iogical object variable of ro eal can be bound by an existential quantifier. Consequently, the semantic representation of a sentencewith to eat wlll be well formed, although there is no specified direct object, because there are no free variables. Variables always need to be interpreted in order to get well-formed expressions(Tarski, 1964:77). This can be done by (i) assigningthe value ofa constant to that variable, or (ii) binding the variable by means of a quantifier, or (iii) binding the variable by means of a sentential function. Th€ interpretation of a sentence such as Jol¡z híts Mary with the structure [pohn]¡p [[hits]v [Maryhp]vpls is now de¡ived as follows: first, we apply the configurational definitions of the grammatical functions to the NPs in this sentence: John : sublect,Mary: object, and assignindices to these NPs. Secondly, we substitute these indices into the approprlate argument positions in the lexical functional structure of the verb: (5) a. NP, HIT NP, NP,: John : i NPr; Mary : j b. John : i, Mary : j i H ITJ (5ii) is the interpretation of the sentenceJohn hits Mary.a) . The lexical functional structure of the verb ¡o hit car' 6e seen as an abbreviation for:

¡y ¡r"rran iióiai]r,h" l?l'..:-t-nrt' she assumes u".b u,¡,É¡1, rhar ru"h a

.;.n"::Í, r,.,.un oii;;' i :JJ# il :lTJ::fi r l." 4).rhisn g, is""i,i ;'J J:",[l: hyporhesis worked,*
il;;;, i"ii"*,
Npl Npl HrT Np,

q*lmar it is often assumedrh¿t the meaning of 3.*::":ilty" a sentenca ls the p¡oduct of the int€¡actior


(3) hít, v, t_

988 Geert E. Booij ( 6) x HI T y & x : N P r & y : N p , This reformulation of the lexical functional st¡uctüre of lo l¡il is useful i.or the formulation of the meaning correlates of word. structures. 2.I

Semant¡cregularilies in word formation


That is, agent nouns such as koper and bewerker both have two logical forms:

(10) toper,N,

(i) x[x BUY y & y:NP,] (ii) x[] y [x BUY y]l
(i) xlx ADAPT Y & Y: NP.] (ii) x[] y [x ADAPT y]l

The togicatform of deverbalugenr nouns

Let us now, given the theoretical framework above, turn to a specifictype ofword const¡uction, the fo¡mation of deverbal agent nouns in Dutch, rn order to illustrate how we can account fo¡ the structurally dete¡mined semantlc corr€late of a word construction. A representative list of deverbal agent nouns is given in (7): (7) lntransitive wrb: zwem (to swim) fiets (to cycle) Transítive yeú: koop (to buy) bewerk (to adapt) vertel (ro tell) eet (to eat) zwemmer (swrmmer) fietser (cyclist) koper (buyer) bewerker (adapter) verteller (narrator) ete¡ (eater)

According to Jackendofrs cross-categorial definitions of 'grammatical object'(: NPr) (Jackendoff, 1971 '7l-72), (van) dit huís and (ran) dít boek in (9) will qualify as the grammatical objects of koper and bewerker respectively. Apparently, the logical form (8) must be reformulated as follows: (8)' by x [sententialfunction expressed the verb and value assignmentof

The-syntactic transitivity of these ¿gent nouns can now be predicted by a redundancy rule: (l l) NP] la rule that is also valid for transitive verbs. the This analysisof agent nouns conectly expresses fact that thcre is na automatic, complete co¡respondencebetween a verb and its agent noun with respect to subcategorization featu¡es, as would be expected rn a transformational account of this word formation process:the transfer of explicitly by (8)'. Note, transitivity from the verb to the noun is expressed for instance, that although Lhe verb zwem (to swim) can occur with a directional PP, the corresponding agent noun cannot: (12) a. b. Degenendie zwemmennaar Giethoorn... Those who swim to Giethooru... *De zwemmers naar Giethoorn. The swimmers to Giethoorn. [v : NPJ

The noun must be assumed to have the morphological structure [[x]u 1erlr. The meaning coüelate of this word strutture ian U, lir"u._ scribed as'so¡neone who Vs,. That is, the logical form ofa deverbal agenr noun ls: (8) x [sentential function expressedby the verb]

O-nc€ have added the logical correlate ofa dete¡mine¡ to an we expression ol this type, such an expression is a well-fo¡med interpreted urg"*"n,, srncethe free va¡iable x is bound by a sentential function. The logiJal form o,f e.g. zwemmeris 'x[x SWIM]'. The value assignmentof the vaiiable ¡ rn the functional st¡ucture of the yerb, 'x: Npri is not transfe¡red lo rne corresponding agent noun, becausex is already bound by the sentential function. The (optional) transitivity of verbs is transfered to their corresponding agent nouns, fo¡ i¡stance: (9) a. Jan is de koper (van dit hursl. John is the buyer (of this house). b. Jan is de bewerke¡ (van dit boek). J o h n j s th e a d a p re r{ o f rh i s b o o k ;.

Of course, a transformationalist theo¡y of word formation could describe these differencesbetween verbs and agent nouns by adding conditions to the relevant transformation, but it does not give an explanation fo¡ these differences.On the other hand, the lexicalist theory implies that nearly every correspondencemust be stated explicitly, and so we do not expect that, for instance,agent nouns can be followed by a directional PP. Only the intransitivity of agent nouns derived f¡om intransitive verbs is predicted, by rule (11): since there is no logical argument _t' present, rule (l l) cannot apply, and consequently the subcate€orization feature is not assignedto these agent nouns. t-NPl

990 Geert E. Booij . The properties ofdeverbal ¿

Semantic regul ities ¡n word formation


j :1""'"1''#iT;;i:d:',:,i{"f,"i'J":,g:'ü;;i::T¡T,i:x'"Ji:
3. Se¡nanticindete¡minaci€s in word constructions

$ll ,!),

::il';""fi:Tii1l: ;"ü:";i,H*;J'.."::ffi 'H:llLiliT::'-":ff
The same semantic indetermi

jil.jfflil +ln:n;*_,:x;"filT:ttiliF.tli:j#fii. ff$:T,ii::[i:i:[*$m:i:d:l*.,",*:""¿1]!H'"ili,,ii: semanric ¡erations b;**;;il:',:dT# jl;;x,rfi ;:^',*:^1"i.:;"ff:;:*; :.*ltiil¡ll.;!uLl*:j,.J ::"*:r:i,1,'" n*1,:t:
sentences. Every sentence has a c



assumed inrerprerarion that the ora

(13) a. a rural policeman : a policeman who exe¡ts his function in a rutal area b. a chemical engineer: an engineer who occupies himself with chemical processes : a violinist who plays the violin badl., c. a bad violinist : a father who takes care of his duties as a d. a good father father : a student who is eager to study e. an eager student f. a historical linguist: a linguist who studies the history of languages The head nouns in these NPs express a function, and the adjective somehow modifies this function. So the following regularity can be observed: (14) Given a noun phrase in which an adjective modifies the referenceof the head noun that expressesa function, the adjective must be interprcted as modifying somehow the function expressedby the noun. Note, however, that this rule does not predict the exact semantic interpretation of the NPs because the nature of lhe somehow ts not determined by rule. Miller (1978) calls such rules construal rules. He proposes the following construal rule fo¡ NPs with evaluative adjectives such as good, excellent, bad and av)ful: modifres Give¡ a noun phrase which a positive(negative) in evaluative adjective as that theentitydenoted by thenoun,thecombination to beconstrued meaning is (lesser) degree thoseproperties requi¡edfor the noun hasin greate¡ than average (Miller, 1978:104). activity,useor appearance suchobjects. of the expect€d

:*;f n:f:* iT;:ffi**h#il,lfiliT:TÍ":t,Tl il: ü"';,"ffi ffii.:,:J::'J;J:T.'"1,:.jff [:'ifl,,,i; $1T,[XH;P;;;
'enemy',groenig 'greenish. f¡om gro

rs :;r¿ruj,'*#ií:,!T,J::^:;;; F, ffi,fr w:, :tr :^;'t::!:::'i;:#;n:?il#:{di:'"'1"""'?ü1l6:.""'J#í:r
3.1. Compound.s

ji :t''(*,:!x:#J:{i:ir:{::j::::j{{'*iq;::,?f iTiiñ j:; :;:t:1,:"j;;ll:::;;:;i:::::;:;:::ütr:"i::!;"Yi^"",z#

properties, or .;¡;;:;; ihe fi¡iiffii:::T nungtl policeman is a policeman ';hJfJ;i'ii'::Ti',T:.$B:


t:!-iffi T"i".Hrulf i1""#:!.Til3lT.f ;5;;3:,'.":l:;;#; goena r
ctis'greeÁsr,' h i,.'" fl illJ,ffi:.1;15i; ;:,lk;i ".,",':ift ,",'l.lLl"11l',i'l? ;l

It will be clear now, that such construal rules do not specify structurally determined m€aning corr€lates,but regularities in the interaction between linguistic structure and non-linguistic knowledge, i.e. pragmatic regularities. In the next subsections,it will be shown that the sameapplies to several kinds of word constructions: the regularities in the interpretation of compounds, denominal adjectives and denominal verbs are also pragmatic ones, which has important consequences morphological theory. for

ilJ'i.,i.*T:.;iliifi:'¿',".#iT,.Trftl#_ *:

The logical form of compounds, i.e. of complex\ords with the structure [Y + XJx,, where X and Y are variables for lexical categories,can be circumscribed as:

_ ".r ,,



co,,pound derermi"., pkr¡ or . i¡.,i,,,]-ll'j ^Tlt8"'v :f the ,econd r5)craimsrhar,n.,n."","í"i"..l".,"Ti.rr".Jro,Jlinr...,T[::li*:*,i?

i$";:t*.::ili.effij:"l ;::fiH::::::i;

(15) Xr that has somerelat

Semantic regulañties in word formation


#J::i;":,,T'';"!,|;: rra r-o n,s

tl. '-t;"'tr'1,ffi l:iiiiltffi::lil,Xfi +r,l',,'ru* ;;::;;:1,'f Xl'.Íl::.,rfi ií[ i*f:iT.,.J,ilH:ft
rm io s .. ; ;,,,;"Í Íj.1? ü;tL';' ; j"T:":t, ;i; a, n ,::J e.a T"L b,y

ri*;:ttriü#jilnr***;:itj"t,f ,t::,i,,:,."{.l;ff T #_T,il,1,i;:ffill';" ii::

j,;:ri:JT,"l1?:ilJi{il:; jiili":iTi*fi*:lllj5l ..JH

co bined i ;;: il:il::tr'fl',TJ; ll'i" I are m in,¡u n"i "onr ",

transformations(cf Levi, l9?8: 139) A secondargument ot syntactic Le\r's is lhe following: in ¡egüla¡ities lhe of the a Moreover, theorywhichden¡es existence fundamental freely and could not explain the fact that speakers of lcompounds] formation frequentlycreate novel [compounds]. . without having to provide explicit as iinguisticcreationslf therewereindeed little spontaneous fo¡ deñnitio¡s these have linguists as by expressed [compounds] some to the¡eiationships systematicity would situations in and readers no¡mal communicative both suggested, listeners with which to interp¡etsuchunfamili¿rforms (Levi' hai! no inte¡nalresources 1978:53). This is, however, no valid argument for the claim that there is linguistic systematicity in the meaning relat¡on between the two parts of a compound. On ihe contrary, the productivity of compound formation can be process, ixplained by the great semanticversatility ofthis word formation so many meaning relations between two words can be expressedin since this way. Of course, a native speaker is normally very well able to but determi;e the meaning relationbetween the two parts ofa compound, knowledge that does not prove that this ability is due to /i¿g,,rÍic Thirdly, Levi's theory predicts that many, logically possible meaning imdations between the two parts of a compound are linguistically However, such impossible meanpossiblefor newly created compounds. ing relations may, according to Levi, be found in existing comporrnds that are no loriger productive: formed by means of processes . there is a small set of [compounds]. which seemto have been For example, fneejust to Nr'; this set includes formedon the pattern of 'N, which reaches (:'the upperpart of a balcony') That a¡d wt:tislcoat, breast-¡ail hip-boots, pants, in by maybe seen the impossibility contemporary ihis patternis now unp¡oductive hair fo suchds *calf skirf, ceili g ívy, or shoulder Engiishof coiningnew forms samerelationship(Levi 1978:55). the express This argument has been refuted by Downing (19'/'1:82'7-828),in reply to some pre.niouspublications of Levi's. Downing convincingly shows that, altho;gh the meaning relations expressed by Levi's RDPs a¡e rathe¡ frequeit in compounds, they do not exhaust the list of possible meaning relations, For example, a toe web is tnterpretedby some native speakersas 'web between toes' a cowtree as a 'tree that cows like to rub up against' , a¡¡dan eggbírdas a'bird that stealsother birds' eggs' Downing therefore concludJ that the only constraints on compound formation are that, preferably, the meaning relation must be interpretable given a certain iontext or common knowledge of speaker and addressee, that the information provided by the first part of the compound should not be compl€tely redundant (as is the case in e g. wind-flag), and that for a

,,.,*,,m***"4rpit{,iii,,,,".+,l:;;,iffi li,iffi .tr1i,;:.,;f,f ;l:: ilj:,;:l: üll. l;Jj.i:
il11f.? :: H;J::ilJ Levi.s¡rLri'otnn¡ ¡n¡eracr with (in

j"ilT":rü iglfLi:.[ü"¿iir#..*il*:ff i *"li..{ ffi ll"i;i]íi'', ff i":1}ii iJ: ijiJ: *..,",'l
iilT[Ti: T'i.',n,',,,.


.l;;", '.e,,"," .lT:::ff "';l;:;:;.ffi ;::,ith:i;.,fr, ".,,.*
Levi adducesthe followino,,,

tri.'i,'''.: iir.'';l?1¿1iiffi ¡*::J':i+ new¡í m :ill' i'-',ff Hñffi"J'ü co :'ill#:tt **¡1;; ifiJ

jliri"y.t'*,'":l',',1.m1t.,,"* :Uill;i;:lily.ti

ifi8ff X?tl;,.t:i:^. ;É",.i,iil..j;;:, :i


ceerf E. Booü Semantic regularities in word formation 995

"i".,noi,,li,áj t'" increase rto irr ," f.'il1'Jn:'li,;ili,,i:l5l'ritv
r.un.ro,",nrtionulLt ;;;;;:;:::'-19iinst,
Apart from the specific obiectio

j:¡*¡::l'l HHa*ii"?i;,:#ííri,'l"di''it'¡'?;;:;:fl j*ff1ffi r"r.y,+rlnni+ o".etricauyff lrxl#;bxli:xlll opposed in",o*",.,'. ilili'ffb,li *un,n"
lharil *ilj U. l*""ir.¿l]iil"-ay
(17) a. b. c.

ií'e,i,{:iÉ,"lT,:5Jff Hi'i:,:I.'[f,riff ¿.,.,.".¡n. ['"'.:^i::;;::; ii.'iunrl'i,',,, ffll;:il:';l#"T3::i''3:fH:: uu,,on,
leltc¡tously used. be anrl-rr," ,,kelihood


meaning ofits basenoun to the meaning of the head noun of the NP. For instance, the phrase gemeentel¡jke verorclening 'municipal byJaw' is semanticallyequivalent to the compound gemeenteverorderlng'municipal g bylaw' with the morphological structufe lfgemeentelN lverordenínglyl¡. Some other example a¡e: [[bestuur]¡ lijkel¡ functie 'executivefunction' (bestuur: boa¡d) 'professorial absent[[professor]"alelo verstrooidheid mindedness' l[politih onele]Aactie'police action'

*'' "::;lr ' ::,''';, nji:¡ii:{{lii,fifl"
Levi's theorv raised above. any

1,.'.::d:-:o*¡*il,i-."",';i:üilffi :ii"Tii:,T[ñ-J:il.:.J; i'J',:ffi g ;:**f* :r:l ff ü*tur'it#fi:':l'fi1¡Jlfiff if"iT:i: *.d;il::i#:.illi.il,:lí;:: ,of i,;""'".''. #"1'J
here connrms arso rhe rouowing ",# oT3tl,i^Tr"?üilll$,1"'"'o"d rire ;i:ili:1f,*Tff:';11il*:."iTil:nin ¡ear invorves the inre¡acrion or
Ca¡rol and Tanenhaus(1975: 5

'1"":.!,:ff j:T:f ::' f,Jilil;,.j1',1',.^1'.?Tiji:l* :;j:i"1: ü,-:'TÍ

The semanticequivalenceofcompounds and theseNPs was also observed by Levi (1978) who uses this observation to defend the hypothesis that NPs such as those in (17) and the corresponding compounds have common underlying syntactic structures. However, in the preceding section we concluded that compounds should not be de¡ived from s/rxtdcficstructur€s. Therefore, we must assumethat reference-modifying adjectives sucb as bestuurlijk, professoraal and polit¡oneel are derived by means of Word Formation Rules. The structure of such complex adjectivesdetermines the interyretation of NPs in the following way: (18) In a structure [(Det)[[Nr] suffrxlANrl¡p, ifA is interpreted referencemodifyingly, the NP must be interpreted as 'N2 that bea¡s some relation R to N1'. So neither the interpretation ofthese types ofcomplex adjectives,nor that of the NPs in which they occur, is completely structurally determined. Their interpretation is, like that ofcompounds, the result ofan interaction betwe€n linguistic structure and nonlinguistic knowledge, since nonlinguistic knowledge determines the nature of relation R.

;::".T.'tilJ,iltf Ífi ,ilÍ#j':;l**iti;;t+iidJit¿H",,"
3.2. Denominal adjectives

il.-J ii:, :i,'j::: l:..:"'0.y :í;,. :iil'..il,",l.o::il:".:]i:ji,:il :,1:

3.3. Denominal verbs Both Dutch and English have a very productive word formation process for the derivation of ve¡bs f¡om nouns without adding phonological material, i.e. by means of so-called implicit transposition. The following Dutch examples illustrate this process:

(19) a.

j::"ffi #;j::l;J: ;H::3i1'J,.,';.:,J;i,1".#r*il."n:.;;m:
l$lll1'.tj.iil-*^ :'*':i-.ldenc;ll .inrernrerar ween w¡h ionber Nps r

N tafel'table' zout'salt' klei 'clay' water 'water,urine'

tafel 'to haYea meal' zout 'to salt' klei 'to play with clay' water 'to urinate'

996 Geert E. Booíj Semantic regularities in word Jarmatíon 997

(le) b.

, coined trythar no .;";;;ñ'iliil;::1"r",,#the LT"T?:::H","r?,11iolll1: words recen l:,:g fo¡insrancefolowing are t ;XT;
N d i e e t' d i e t' bankier'baqker' lift lift' carnaval 'carnival, c¡éche'c¡eche, lek 'leak' sloelbak'shovel-board' caravan .caravan, servtce'service' dieet 'to be on a diet, bankier 'to handie banking affairs, rrr|go by Iift. carnlval 'to celebrate carnival, creche 'to take care of a creche, leK to provjde secre¡information. sJoetbak'to play with a shovelooa¡d caravan'to stay in a caravan'

assumc someplausiblcrclation between verb and its basenoun that is the in accordance with his general and situation-bound knowledge and the context in which the verb is used. Rose claims that with respect to denominal ve¡bs four r€gular basic relationships to their base nouns must be distinguished: (i) CAUSE N GO TO object (e.g.water the lawn) (iD CAUSE N COME FROM object (e.g.peel an orange) (iii) CAUSE object BE + LOC N (e.g.crate books) (iv) BE (LIKE) N TO object (e.9. mother a child) These semantic relations are very vaguely formulated, however, and therefore extralinguistic knowledge has to play a role anyway. Moreover, many denominal verbs are not adequately characte¡izedby one of these four relationships,e.g. to hammer, to bíke, to buüon, to campaign efc. (cf. Marchand, 1969:368-371for many other examples). The sameholds for Dutch denominal verbs, witness the ve¡bs diée¡,carnaval,cftche, sjoelbak and servícelisted in (19b). Apparently, the only regularity that can be observed is that the verb expresses an activity in which the entity mentioned the noun playsa role. But the exactnatureof this role is noL by determined by linguistic principles. The interpretation of such denominal verbs dependson (i) our systemsof knowledge and belief, and (ii) on the contextin which the verb is used.De Vries (1975:163),for instance, points out with respectto (i) that the difference betwcen á¡r¡s,to live in a house a'].d,beikl'to chisel', derived from i¡¡¡¡ 'house' and óei¡el .chisel, respectively,is causedby the fact that housesare not used as instruments, rn contrast to chisels,and with respectto (ii) that the verb punt in Ik punt eenpotlood'I sharpena pencil' differs in meaning from pant in Ik punt mijn haar'I remoye dead ends lrom my hair'. The data reported in Clark (1979),Clark and Clark (1979) and Karius (1977) also show that the interpretation of denominal verbs depends on geDeral,cultural knowledge, situation-bound knowledge and/or the context. Miller (1978: 104) suggeststhat certain regularities with respect to th€ meaningsofthese denominal verbs (or, as he puts it, 'nouns usedas verbs') do exist: 'When nouns of type M are used as verbs, the meaning of ,r M.r )., is to be construed as 'r; covers th€ surfaceof¡ with M'. Type M nouns are, according to Miller (a subcategory ofl) the mass nouns. For instance, given the mass rroun painf, the yerb to pqint m€ans 'to cover with paint,. Miller admits, how€ver, that 'Without an independent critedon ro determine which nouns a¡e of type M, the rule is relatively weak' (Miller, 1978:104-105).However,it appearsthat the dennitionof type M nouns involves knowledge of the conventional use of nouns: .It is difficulr Lo characterizemost type M nouns without describing their use for covering

,{galn. the question turns ü completely derermineo by ttre ml

words^dejH .|l,;", * :::"*," X:lI :f*l*, and ClarkEnglish ( tark ( t978) :r:ew and Clark (

noun rhemeaniog and conrrburion rheword,..r"iXTi*Jf tnt base of
t denominar,".brn" ^l-ll,^ojevious ",o j* ".;;;;;;;;iltrJ::T,,j?,lJjffi"::iJ:T:f ::r::
In other g¡oupsthe semantic relatiol srammaticallv deñnable. derive.agreaimany v;;;;;;;::1i: Thus,we "t of v¿rjouschanges, zero-element, táe .";;;;;;;;;hl"t^ includinga bur il,means

1979J. whethe¡ the meaning of the verb is

compounds. '"lx:"1;'ü::3] Bloomn",o


to this probrem possibre' are
section with respectto

hand. Rose (1973) craims that rhere is a restrictedset 3:":*^::!:l possr semantic bte of reiations betwei basenoun' and in support this claim h. ,dd,;;;';;; or ""d 'gument that Levi (1978) ,;;;;::.::* menü;;s with ¡cspecrto compounds:

:;;:r;x:;i:l",li:iii,in:i;iili!:'xr,;,,.:ffi Lil;tfi,r;tr

Oneobvious explanation thegene for aite¡narives seveiil;i,;;: is a¡e ':':,:pretabilitv.ofinüovatio¡rs that the il;Tl n de¡ ired formation ways. se!en miShtbe rwo or ways. o;..";j.;bi;';'r'.:-igrve ootrous: ir surely but noLbe innnirer) musr ;;;ñ,*;;i"* "* i ;;;"j;:,:",' 3:j l:::'::-0,*"rion formarion\ is absu¡d urrurn" u,".á to ttut llll-1jlr,waysambiguous. even ", lnd it is gen nundred The "iri¡,0" "


of the generat rerprera rn bitiry

of new

can ü.,,,ui,"¿-ü simpry üft':ril':H:y:l,iil."iff Tt::ff'"ii

eeE Gee E. Booii

4. Conclusions

t hinB S(Mi l ¡e r. ¡9 7 g : 1 0 5 1 . T h a t i s . rh e¡ei s no pure/y l i ngui strc 01 lyp€ M nouns.Moreove¡, dehnrrron nol noun 'usedas a ve¡b'is used in aciordance*t,h Mtñ;;;;i.:-l::v Tutt rule' witnessthe examples in (20b): 'trual (20) a. * verf.paint, verf'to Paint' olie ,oil, o l i e ' t o oi | l e e r.ta ¡, teer 'to ta¡' yernis .varnish,

Semantícresular¡t¡esin wt¡rd fc¡rmalion 999

b k";;:";;*,., ;:::':,;'.:1.J:fl",", klei.'clay, .t"
melk .milk, koek_.cake, modder.mud,



mett ,tá mi .,-'-' -'*, koek .to coagulate, modder .to fr""""iro*Ul", Although the nounsin (20b) are nouns' and could in princinle used be .to cove¡ *,n"ririlrl",rr" . -ass verbs ao not have the meaning'tocoverwith Ñi'b;;;rr:T:jponding thatthe mate¡ia¡ bv the noun, i' rere¡red to ;;::.::,*": 4' third- problem for Miller's '.,-;r;i construalruie is' that ;il;;ir;t]::'-19 bv a denominarverb can perrormed*i,h;.;;;;;;;:;';'r:Il'^'-'.'.l9 be ttntioned by its base For ¡nslance. auntr".'rn-.". noun. on. ",ntttY. Ji,lnt b'l alsooil with syrup'paint wilh mud' tt" rrtt*rt",'" .""*'J'l^? -11'it; denominar for ue'bsshtuid be formurated .,;;";;i; ;r';::1:i.1"'" (21) When nouns are used as
This construal rule cove¡s the ca me rnterpretation of denominar :::J:t::1,1t (20a), but aiso accounts fo¡ uerbsder¡vedfrom non-mass nouns: (22) N knikte¡ ,ma¡ble, knikke¡ ,to plly marbles, s t aa l ' s l a v e '



In this paper I discussedthe problem what kind of regularities can be observed in the interpretation of complex words. Fo¡ cedain types of complex words, e.g. deverbal agentive nouns, a specificsemanticcorr€late of the morphological structure can be fo¡mulated. But the interpretatlon of compounds, reference-modifyingdenominal adjectivesand dcnominal verbs is only partly determined by morphological structure: it is the result of an interaction between linguistic structure and nonJinguistic knowledge- Such an 'interactionist' approach to wo¡d formation processes mak€s it possibleto formulate a restrictive theory of word formation. The enoÍnous productivity of compounds, reference-modifying denominal adjectives and deuominal verbs is explained by the semantic v€rsatility they possessdue to the absenceof specific semantic aorrelates. Relating these conclusions to the theoretical f¡amework of the Extended Standa¡d Theory as outlined in Chomsky and Lasnik (1977), we claim that the s€mantic interpretation of complex words is derived in two steps: rules such as (15) and (18) derive Semantic Interpretation-I (the logical form), and rules such as (21) derive Semantic Interp¡etation-Il from Semantic Inte¡Dretation-I. Receíved12 October 1979 Revísedversionreceíved 28 January 1980 Instítuut voor N eerlandístiek Universiteit van Amsterdam Herengracht 330-336 l016 CE Amsterdam The Netherlands

:[:";",'l;,ff;"ilf.i'i{";:.i",1; ff"',TJ;i";;;''$ffi

l. This is in accordancewith the use ofthis term ir the Extended Standard Theory: 't used the expressior /ogicdl/¿¡m to designatea level oflinguistic representationincorporaling all s€mantic properties that are strictly dete¡mined by linguistic rules'(Chomsky, 1979: 145). This does not necessarilymean that the element to the right of the arrow is a word. ln languagessuch as Latin we will pcrhaps have to assumest€msas word forming elements. Nevertheless,such stems will aiso be assigneda syntactic category symbol. There is an alternative to the hypothesis of labelled bracketing. One could assume WFRS of the following type: ( l )' (2)' [x]N [be+x]v [x]a + [x + tten]N

.ro pr.y ;::1,y.'^j:::f.,, voerbar r""ii"ii koelie .lo
e ¡... ¡oil.

formation processes.

characterisric activity associared li;'#:'l:.Tlies' w;,h thisis not thecase lhe nou^n-s i" tzool. tisred for ilr.".ri,*"iill: ,tl"tt applv.to verbs rhe in (20b). risred Moreover. lil',i::'-"?' ;;;;J;il: if ua knowledge u to..,n.'JJni.],.i; o, 'í.1:"9' not¿pplv. sit tion-bound rhe inrerpretation the denominil or ri;;i;' prasmatic ""b o¡;;pr.il;f; theinterpreta¡ion ';;''r';:':l::'1"* resularities rn .tT:: :JI*:t r---' out
-vrus. they do not constrain these word

or..";;'.;;,;;"ur ,ur.(2r;r:;i,''o 'oir' if there.is some



These rules do not produce internal labelled brackets. Therefore, it remains to be investigated whether such internal labelled brackets are really necessary-Dell anci


Geerf E. Booi

j,':i "rTl ;:.:, 1".::.i::;"3: 1,;,J:,',:.T'"1*n":J"T.J:i f1;l J 4 nmy on., ;i#il] :T:Tl#H:::::,,j+iji,*;:ili.;T:'fl opinj,,..,;.; l :..;y;, i"iff I,rr*:;l*l*:;:i,[:j;r*ili::{:"{i n:#É.r.",'ffJr*i iHt,!li * m :li1:ij.]l,i.l,j::l.jli"ff ill;";l#,{i, l,1tH:j ;:.i:Ll
_ r n r e r , ¿ r e r h lh e p r o b le m wr o fh ó ¡

,"""" . :trJ::l :l:".T ,h.i, "": ,,h;;pr:.;,i;,;: ¡;T-:lrn::j"JJJ:,1.::;1: j:íi"" jii:,
/."rheserunr rions coutd be

q Se t(ir k t 97x r ugge, r ¡ s r bart he. descriplonof rheü Leamed Frenchhas ro .;; B¿cr¡ngRureror ;;; l; :::::,ijar

Semantic rcgularities in word Jbrmation l00l
Jespersen, O. (1942). A Modern English Grammat on Hisrorical Ptitlc¡ples Coper'íaqenl Ejnar Munksgaard. Karius. I. (1977). fnstrumentalilat und denominale nullsuffigierte Verben d€s Englischen ln: H- E. Breckle u¡d D. Kastovsky (eds), Perspektiw der lVo bildungsfarschuns,104 115. Bonn: Bouvier Ve¡lag Hermann Grundmann. Lees. R. (1960). The Gramñar ol Engtish Nominalizations.Bloorringronr Indiana Univ€rist) Press. Levi, J. N. (19?8). The Sytax antl Semanticsof Complex Nomhab. New York: Academic Marchand, H. (1969). The Categories and'Dpes oJ Prcsent'Da)JEnglish Wot¿ Fornoliók München: verlag C. H. Beck. Mcys, W. J. (1975). Compouui Adj¿ctivcs in English and the tdeal SpeakerJistenet Amsterdamr No¡th Holland. Mill€r,6- A. (1978). Semantic rclations among words. In M. Halle, J. Bresnan and G. A. Miller (eds), ¿t"8adt¡. f¡eary an.l Psythological Real¡l], 60-l I8. Cambridge, Mass-: MIT Press. ¡aaLen taalgebtuik. Reichling, A. (1967). fi¿t Woortl Ee studie o trent de de grondslag 'an Zwoller Tjeenk Witlink. Roeper, Th. and Siegel, M. E. (1978). A lexical transformation for verbal compounds Lins istic Inquüt 9 (2\, t99-26O. oJ Rose, J. H. (1973). Pri¡¡cipled limiiations on productivity in denominal \/erbs.Foutl¿kttíons Lansuase \0(4), 509-526. Siegel, D. (197?). The adjacency condition and the theory of morphology. (Unpubiished paper, Denver, Coiorado). Ta¡ski, A- (1964). Inleiding tot de lo+¿a (Dutch versioÍ of I ro.luction to LoCi() Amsterdam: Noo¡d-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maalschappú. Vries, J. W. de (1975).1-€ xicale morfologie van het vetkwooftl in Modetn Nedrrlrn^. Leide':': Universitaire Pers Leiden. Wasow, T- (1977). Transformations and the lcxicot. In P. w. Culicovef, T. wasow and A Akmajian (eds), ¡rrndl SJntax, 321-360. New York: A€adcmic Press.

expressedaddins b*"0,, by su ,. ,¡.1.1_l',lll:i.::l.:l'd

Aronoff. M I I07ó). word Fo,,na on tn ca"".-,,--

u,::;lJ"o D^^'d;:";",,31';i'';:;,;,::,:;:f,,:::,:,i:;:":ii;Í::,"il:H:::

lli tl 'i.

lr i,

Lrax ua, Sillli[.?, i,-'j,i]i1',:".1,:::','n uB.,]4 A stu4 ot od
Dordrechr: ,.l"í,ri.iiff"'"t' "Tll

Foünatian Generul,e in orammar.


run'Itnn rhc or Letircn rnn,rorno,iona!.eea¿,urrvc in (,,omma,.

B r e s n a n , J .W .

C d r r o t J ,J . M a n d T a n e n h a u s, M. Chomsky, N

;;:;':;:;:' iiliT;)I f,, f;'j::.''."''";'; :;Ii:i:;i'f: i,l;{'¿fi;:;: il:-", ,;;;;1;^; i:#" T ,ff lji ;" ii; ;,Li,iili, :1,".i":::].fi 1.j,,T, "l,,if l,il;:i:
K. I tt9:,9l Laneuas¿ an¿ R

9 7 8 1 A r e a ¡ istjc r a n sfl r





s. J. Keyserred.r,n",",, ijlii'"lli'.i"''arr) 8o'"erned vowerdt¡ernar¡on in c1nu,ior.. v""., t¡,i p....' ' ' "a:latmattoaatstu.ti?ru European ansua,et, t ^^'.-fi {re77). on rfie creatron ":i;ltí" and use of Enstisbcompr¡nd nouns.tansuase 53, Iodor. J. D. úgttt. Senanu,¡ pressLtd. -"4¡ Jhco¡,, d Meaninsín Generciye6;.arü¿r,_ '¡kurtcs Hassocks: ,-Haryesrer t ,n, t. se¡nantrc terprctut¡on '"fiiffi¡ rn in Generatiye ' Grummat.cambridse j Mass. t ,'ttr). Morphorosicat and semantic resulariúes t he.lexicon in Laneuase l"!ll?$11 s (1s77) i.'I'ntax A stud! phrasesrrurrure. of lfLlt' " cambridgevo.r., ru,..

;.',il;i.'"ili.il1,L állll;i5:,:::..^:,I,e:: verbr a: küsuase B,, s516j i french fn

d con Linsui,!ic 8.42s. rct tnquirv "l,i;i,i""-.i;[,i,]iíi,il:::,"" ;;; ;;:"í1,];"iii;tll, ."**,ñ*,1"',.1"i1 r"

".,t, """ti""i

Based converca¡íons on with Mi$ou sJi, ^esponsibiti|


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