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The Directionality of Conversion in English

Balteiro, Isabel

The Directionality of Conversion in English

A Dia-Synchronic Study

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 59

Year of Publication: 2007

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2007. 276 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-241-8 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.390 kg, 0.860 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book received the Leocadio Martín Mingorance award
This book describes three of the main problems that the word-formation process known as conversion presents, namely those related to its definition, its delimitation, and its directionality. The latter constitutes, however, the main focus of the study, which is based on a corpus of over seven hundred lexical units and, more specifically, on 231 actual noun-verb conversion pairs. Considering that directionality is intrinsic to conversion, the main question is whether it is always possible to establish the direction of conversion or whether it is possible to do so only in some cases. Moreover, the study reveals what ‘type’ of directionality is involved, that is, whether the process is unidirectional, bidirectional or multi-directional. In order to answer these questions, both diachronic (etymology and dates of first records) and synchronic criteria (semantic dependence, restriction of usage, semantic range, semantic pattern, phonetic shape, morphologic type, stress, and the principle of relative markedness) are analysed and assessed.


Contents: A problematic word-formation process – The directionality of conversion: a review of previous interpretations – A dia-synchronic study of the directionality of conversion.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Isabel Balteiro obtained her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English Studies at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). She taught at the University of Granada (Spain) for a short period and she is currently a Lecturer at the University of Alicante (Spain). She is also the author of the book A Contribution to the Study of Conversion in English as well as of some articles and book chapters concerning the study of English word-formation and lexis.


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 59
Edited by Maurizio Gotti