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The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization$
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Pius ten Hacken and Claire Thomas

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748689606

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748689606.001.0001

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Analysing en- and its Romance equivalents in Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure

Analysing en- and its Romance equivalents in Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure

(p.247) Chapter 13 Analysing en- and its Romance equivalents in Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure
The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization

Ɉessica Forse

Edinburgh University Press

The English prefix en forms verbs on the basis of nouns, verbs and adjectives. Six different types can be distinguished on the basis of how the meaning of the resulting verb uses the meaning of the base. They are exemplified by entomb, engem, enwall, enslave, embitter and enwrap. The semantic contribution of en in these six types can be expressed systematically in the formalism Jackendoff’s Conceptual Structure, leading to a single basic structure with three independent parameters. As en originally comes from French and ultimately from Latin, I also considered its occurrence in Romance languages. In French, Spanish and Portuguese, the same six semantic types can be observed as in English. However, these languages all have a competing prefixation process with a . The use of a is semantically more restricted, but the three languages do not have the same restrictions. An interesting difference between en and a is that the transition described by the resulting verbs concentrates on the initial and final states only for en , but on the intervening process for a . This can be expressed in Conceptual Structure by the use of INCH and GO, respectively.

Keywords:   prefixation, verb formation, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Conceptual Structure

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