Key features of conversions in English language

Basic models of conversion

In conversion relations there may be words from any part of speech. Linguist M. Bizet highlights core models of conversion in the English language:

1. Model “noun> verb” (N> V) is the most productive conversion model. According to Mr. Marchand, its high productivity is explained by the fact that in English there is no other way of productive formation of verbs from nouns. The only derivational morphemes that exist in modern English language to form verbal nouns - suffixes -ate, -ize, -ify. However, their scope has some limitations - they are attached mainly to the Latin-based and form the scientific and technical terms. Naturally, in such circumstances, in the language originated and began to actively operate an additional method of creating verbs: Powder, n - powder, powder; > Powder, v - powdered;

Colour, n - the color of the paint; > Colour, v - paint;

Fire, n - fire, fire; > Fire, v - ignite, burn, etc.

Powder, n - powder, powder; > Powder, v - powdered;

Colour, n - the color of the paint; > Colour, v - paint;

Fire, n - fire, fire; > Fire, v - ignite, burn, etc.

2. Model "adjective> verb» (Adj> V), rarely interjection / adverb> verb (Int / Adv> V). Group of deadjectival verbs, as Mr. Marchand said, compared with denominative is not numerous and includes verbs, come to us from Old English:

bitter, adj - bitter; > Bitter, v - taste bitter, bitter done;

yellow, adj - yellow; > Yellow, v - yellow, yellow;

free, adj - free; > Free, v - release,

and educated in modern English language:

dirty, adj - dirty; > Dirty, v - to pollute;

empty, adj - empty; > Empty, v - to devastate;

tidy, adj - neat, clean; > Tidy, v - put in order, etc.

Models Int> V, Adv> V unproductive:

encore, int - encore! > Encore, v - to call for an encore;

whoo, int - oh! > Whoo, v - groan;

near, adv - about next; > Near, v - closer to something;

further, adv - then, in addition; > Further, v - to promote, promote.

3. Model verb > noun (V> N). Group of verbal nouns in modern English language is sufficiently numerous, for example:

look, v - watch; > Look, n - view;

hunt, v - hunt; > Hunt, n - hunt;

knock, v - pounding; > Knock, n - knock, etc.

A special group of verbal nouns constitute lexical units of breakdown type. For example:

let up, v - weaken, diminish; > Let up, n - easing, decrease;

walk out, v - to strike; > Walk out, n - strike;

send up, v - to play, to parody; > Send up, n - drawing, parody, etc.

4. Model "adjective> noun» (Adj> N). Some scholars (N. Amosov, LP Karashchuk et al.) consider substantivation as long process and independent means of suffixless word formation, which does not relate to conversion. According to another view (IV Arnold, OD Meshkov et al.), there are not fundamental differences between substantivation and conversion, since substantivized word acquires a new lexical and grammatical meaning of objectivity, morphological and syntactic characteristics of nouns. All this gives grounds to consider substantivation as a productive way of word formation in modern English.

The existence in the language of forms, not fully accepted grammatical characteristics of nouns, helped to release two types of substantivizing - full and partial. At full substantivizing there appears in the language a form that has all the attributes of a noun: a detective, detectives, detective's. In partial – a form with limitations in functioning: definite article, only in singular form. For example: the rich - rich (collective), the blind - blind (collective), the dead - dead (collective), etc.

Most deadjectival nouns are formed not by pure conversion, but with the participation of the ellipse (i.e. substantivized adjective is used instead of the phrase, consisting of an adjective and a noun defined by them). For example:

intellectual, n (man) - intellectual;

casuals, n (casual clothes) - Casual clothing;

notables, n (notable persons) - a celebrity;

transnational, n (company) - a multinational company;

single, n (man) - bachelor;

nasty, n (thing) - muck, etc.

5. "noun> adjective" model (N> Adj). Adjectivization is a quite productive conversion method of word formation. Examples of this model are the following words which have arisen in recent decades:

umbrella, n - an umbrella; > Umbrella, adj - like the umbrella, umbrella (spec.);

granny, n - old woman, grandmother; > Granny, adj - in the old style;

camp, n - theatricality, pretentiousness; > Camp, adj - artsy;

6. Models «adverb> noun» (Adv> N), «adverb> adjective» (Adv> Adj), «a verb> adjective» (V> Adj), «verb> adverb» (V> Adv), «the pronoun / numeral> verb» (Pron / Num> V) do not show high activity:

altogether, adv - in short, entirely; > The altogether, n - the totality, the whole;

after, adv - after; > After, adj - thereafter;

interconnect, v - bind, connect; > Interconnect, adj - pertaining to the relationship with the general telephone network;

take away, v - take away, take away; > Takeaway, adj - take-out (on ready meals);

Thus, we can conclude that the most productive model of the conversional derivation is the model of verbalization "noun - verb." Next there comes substantivization mostly made from verbs, then adjectives. The least active ones are the processes of adjectivization and adverbalization.


Converted neologisms.

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