Old english suffixed nouns. constructions, layering and feature percolation
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to carry out an analysis of suffixed Old English nouns that involve some sort of competition. Such an analysis is based on the frameworks of Booij’s (2010) Construction Morphology and the Layered Structure of the Word (Martín Arista 2008, 2009, 2011). The data, which comprise a total of 3,456 derivatives (in type analysis), have been retrieved from the lexical database of Old English Nerthus (www.nerthusproject.com) and after dealing with the morphological characteristics of the bases of derivation, they give rise to the following patterns of suffix competition: -end/-ere, -ere/-estre, -incel/-ing/-ling, -dōm/-nes/-hād, -lāc/-rǣden/-scipe, -ð/-nes and -nes/-ing/-ung. The analysis evinces the following areas of competition: the agent nominalization (dræfan ‘drive’ - dræfere ‘driver’), the result nominalization (dræfan ‘drive’ - drifennes ‘driving’), the expression of quality (beald ‘bold’ - bealdnes ‘boldnes’) and the expression of possession (cyning ‘king’ - cynedōm ‘kingdom’). The analysis takes two steps. In the first place, affix competition is discussed in terms of abstract schemas as proposed by Construction Morphology, which explain word-formation patterns in terms of generalizations over sets of existing complex words with a systematic correlation between form and meaning, thus they give rise to schemas such as [[X]N ð]N as in behēfðu ‘benefit’; [[X]A ð]N as in langoð ‘length’; or [[X]V ð]N as in rīpð ‘harvest’ whilst [[X]N nes]N as in behēfnes ‘benefit’; [[X]A nes]N...