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English Lexicogenesis$
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D. Gary Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689880.001.0001

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Productivity and constraints

Productivity and constraints

(p.27) 2 Productivity and constraints
English Lexicogenesis

D. Gary Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the most important potential, ephemeral, categorical, and processing constraints on derivations that appear to inhibit productivity. A morpheme can be productive if the constraints are reckoned as part of its domain of application. Most constraints are violable in varying degrees in different contexts, but syntactic and semantic constraints cannot be broken without a change in the lexical features. Affix recursivity is subject to the constraint that the iterations must be processable. Three scalar degrees are approaching the upper limits of processing. More repetitions become difficult and are apt to be given a simple emphatic interpretation.

Keywords:   argument structure, blocking, affixal restrictions, causatives, dissimilation, haplology, homophony, processing, recursivity, syntactic and semantic constraints, thematic (theta) roles

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