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Article Published In Vol.4 (Sept-Oct-2016)

On the Productivity of the Prototypical Noun to Verb Zero Derivation Process in English

Author : Marjana Vaneva

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In English, the process of zero derivation is prototypical or marginal depending respectively on the presence or absence of changes in the corresponding lexemes. In the prototypical type of the process, when nothing changes in the source and the target lexeme and, in morphological terms, they are absolutely identical, of all directions, the most productive one is the zero derivation of verbs from nouns. This is due to the fact that English is an analytical language, with very few inflections, so that the formal overlapping of the lexemes is easily achievable. Therefore, all characteristics of this word formation process are portrayed in the noun to verb direction: from the source lexeme – the noun, another lexeme – a verb is created with absolutely the same form; slightly changed, expanded meaning achieved with cognitive transfer and metaphorical association; and which belongs to completely different lexical category, due to the different function and position of the newly created, zero derived lexeme. This direction encompasses several subtypes in itself, depending on the deeper meaning of the target lexeme – the verb. Apart from being productive, the process is also a fairly new, economical way of forming new words in English.

Keywords: Noun to verb zero-derivation, Productive process, Prototypical change, Semantic expansion

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