The metonymic mappings within the event schema in noun-to-verb back-formations
Abstract The present paper examines the patterns of metonymic mappings within the event schema in English noun-to-verb back-formations. Back-formation as a non-concatentive word-formation process consists in deleting a real or supposed suffix from a word by analogy with similar patterns of word-formation, either in the diachronic or in the synchronic perspective on morphology. In English, the mechanism of back-formation mainly creates verbs from nouns, alongside such highly productive morphological processes as affixation and conversion. Although the opinions about the role of conceptual metonymy in word-formation vary among cognitive linguists, in the paper it is claimed that it is possible to explain the construction of meaning in back-formed denominal verbs by means of this conceptual mechanism occurring within the event schema. The study, based on examples found in a number of published sources of the English language, allows for the identification of such metonymic mappings as AGENT FOR ACTION, OBJECT FOR ACTION, RESULT FOR ACTION, INSTRUMENT FOR ACTION, MEANS FOR ACTION, DESTINATION or GOAL FOR ACTION, TIME FOR ACTION and MANNER FOR ACTION. Applying the theory of conceptual metonymy to the semantic analysis of noun-to-verb back-formations in English allows for a systematic picture of this morphological process and shows that back-formation does not differ from more productive word-formation mechanisms when it comes to the construction of meaning.