Conversion

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Introduction.

The theme of my course-paper is ‘Word-formation. Conversion’. At the first part of the work I’ve wrote some lines about the term ‘word’ as the smallest independent unit of speech. Next, there is the definition of the field of word-formation. At the following part you can find some information about the affix word-formation of nouns, verbs and adjectives. The next part named ‘conversion’. Where the terms ‘conversion’ and ‘zero-derivation’ are examined which are the synonyms for some linguists. It is necessary to mention here about productivity and ‘conversion as syntactic process’. Under the headline ‘zero-derivation’ it is possible to read about derivation connection between verbs and nouns (substantives), zero-derivation with loan-words. The next item is zero-derivation as specifically English process.

In the practical part I’ve analysed two courses: Russian by Vereshchagina, Pritykina and foreign one ‘Magic time’.

The term “word”.

The term “word” should be defined. It is taken to denote the smallest independent, indivisible unit of speech, susceptible of being used in isolation. A word may have a heavy stress, thought, some never take one. To preceding the ‘infinitive’ never has a heavy stress, but it is a word as it can be separated from the verbal stem by an adverb (as in to carefully study). A composite may have two heavy stresses so long as it is not analyzable as a syntactic group. There is a marked tendency in English to give prefixes full stress thought they do not exist as independent words. Indivisible composites such as arch-enemy, crypto-communist, unlucky, therefore are morphological units whereas combination, like stone, wall, gold watch, are syntactic groups. As for the criterion of indivisibility, it is said that the article a is a word as IT can interpolate words between article and substantive (a nice man, a very nice man, an exceptionally gifted man). But a as in aglitter can’t be separated from the verb stem with which it forms a group and therefore is not a free morpheme (word). With regard to the criterion of usability, it must not be assumed that all words can be used by themselves, in isolation. It is in the very nature of determiners like the article the to be used in conjunction with the word they determiners.

Definition of the field of word-formation.

Word-formation is that branch of the science of language which studies the patterns on which a language forms new lexical units, i.e. words. Word-formation can only treat of composites which are analyzable both formally and semantically. The study of the simple words, therefore, insofar as it is an , unmotivated sign, has no please in it. It is a lexical matter. A composite rests on a relationship between morphemes though which it is motivated. By this token, do-er, un-do, rain-bow are relevant to word-formation, but do, rain, bow are not.

Conversion.

Conversion is the change in form class of a form without any corresponding change of form. Thus the change whereby the form napalm, which has been used exclusively as a noun, came to be as a verb (They decided to napalm the village) is a case of conversion.

The exact status of conversion within word-formation is unclear. For some scholars (Marchand/8/) conversion is a brunch of derivation, for others (Koziol /Marchand/8/) it is a separate type of word-formation, on a level with derivation and compounding. Whether this distinction has any real effect on the structure of a theory of word-formation is not clear.

Conversion is frequently called zero-derivation, a term which many scholars prefer (Adams, Jespersen, Marchand/1,5,8/). Most writers who use both terms appear to use them as synonyms (although Marchand/8/ is an exception). However, as Lyons/7/ points out, the theoretical implications of the two are rather different. Cruber/2/, for example, argues that to treat ordinary derivation and...
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