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Structuring Sense: Volume III: Taking Form$
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Hagit Borer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263936.001.0001

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Categorizing Roots

Categorizing Roots

(p.311) 7 Categorizing Roots
Structuring Sense: Volume III: Taking Form

Hagit Borer

Oxford University Press

This chapter is devoted to articulating a model of categorial determination based fundamentally on the conceptualization of categorial selection as a partition of the categorial space, and as establishing equivalence classes. In essence, functors define not only the category which they, themselves project, but also define a complement categorial domain, which comes to be associated with their complements. If such complements are otherwise category-less (e.g. roots) they thus come to be equivalent to a category (e.g. V-equivalent, N-equivalent and so on). If the complement is already categorial (e.g. itself headed by a functor), the existence of a complement categorial domain amounts, effectively, to a checking or a selection mechanism ruling out, e.g. the merger of a V-selecting functor such as -ation with a derived adjective such as ‘available’. Crucially, the model of categorization put forth is committed to the categorization of form in ‘the form’ as N or of form within ‘formation’ as V without the presence of additional structure, i.e., in both these cases ‘form’ is crucially a terminal and mono-morphemic. As a consequence, the account is committed to the absence of zero-affixes marking ‘form’ as N or V respectively. Much of the chapter, consequently, is devoted to arguing against the existence of zero-instantiated C-functors in English. Final comments concern the status of multi-function functors such as -ing and the status of adjectives.

Keywords:   syntactic category, categorial space, Categorial Complement Set, Category Equivalence, zero-affixation, morphological complexity, locality, selection, denominal verbs, category of adjectives, polysemy in functors

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