Fundamental principles of an onomasiological theory of word-formation in English

Source document: Brno studies in English. 1999, vol. 25, iss. 1, pp. [75]-98
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The paper presents an outline of the fundamental principles of an onomasiological theory of word-formation which departs from the existing lexicalist and transformationalist theories of word-formation in English in a number of essential points. Word-formation is conceived of as an independent component interconnected with the lexical component, and separated from syntax. Word-formation rules generate fully regular and predictable naming units The conception of productivity as a cluster of word-formation types makes it possible to consider word-formation rules as productive as syntactic rules. The idea of the word-formation component that responds to naming needs of a speech community allows for elimination of the overgeneration principle in morphology. Introduction of the so-called Form-to-Meaning-Assignment Principle makes it possible to put all the traditional word-formation processes on a unified basis. The advantages of the outlined theory are illustrated by a series of example.
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