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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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Semantic coindexation

Semantic coindexation

evidence from Portuguese derivation and compounding

(p.161) Chapter 9 Semantic coindexation
The Semantics of Word Formation and Lexicalization

Alexandra Soares Rodrigues

Graça Rio-Torto

Edinburgh University Press

This paper tries to shed light on the following questions: How do words formed by word formation get their meaning? What are the factors involved and what is the balance between them? In accordance with Jackendoff’s (2002) Parallel Architecture (PA), we sustain that a word is an interface between Phonology, Syntax and Semantics, and that these structures are independent from each other. We intend to demonstrate that this is visible in word formation. We believe that the formation of meaning in the word is independent of syntax, and that the syntactic structure of the word is constructed in a parallel domain. We base our findings on the analysis of Portuguese affixation and compounding. Empirical data show that word formation mechanisms align semantic structuring independently of syntactic structuring. Only semantic features are responsible for the meaning of the coined word. Following Jackendoff (2002) we believe that those semantic structures that are responsible for meaning in word formation are not segments, but features.

Keywords:   Portuguese word formation, Semantics, Parallel Architecture, Semantic coindexation

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