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The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon EnglandThe Linguistics and Culture of the Old English Onomasticon$
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Fran Colman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701675.001.0001

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On the role of the paradigm as a marker of lexical-item formation

On the role of the paradigm as a marker of lexical-item formation

(p.220) 8 On the role of the paradigm as a marker of lexical-item formation
The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon England

Fran Colman

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 continues with identifying lexical information entered in an onomasticon, in an analysis invoking conversion as lexical-item formation with no overt derivational signal. In an inflected language, products of conversion may be reflected in the shape of a particular paradigm as a whole. The discussion, prompted in particular by previous claims that Old English inflectional <a> on weak-declined nouns and names can also be derivational, takes us to its origins in a derivational Indo-European /n/-containing stem-formative suffix, and the non-Germanic and Germanic inflectional reflexes of this suffix, on nouns derived from verbs and adjectives, on personal names derived from adjectives, and, in Germanic, the weak adjective declension, hitherto associated with definiteness. Instead, the notional feature ‘identification’ is assigned to the whole class of Indo-European /n/-formatives. The weak declension class, associated with ‘identification’, and with the child-language quality of its inflectional vowels, is a target for Germanic monothematic name formation.

Keywords:   child language, conversion, definiteness, derivation, identification, Indo-European, inflection, monothematic names, paradigm, weak declension

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