Meaning definitions through lexical (macro) functions: Old English quantity, size and rank

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2023.39.01

Keywords:

affixation, lexical functions and macrofunctions, dictionary entry, Old English, lexicology, lexicography

Abstract

The aim of this article is to complete and systematize affixal meaning definitions by examining the Old English derived nominal and adjectival lexicon from a structural-functional framework. The main dictionaries of reference in this language have proven to contribute limited affixal information; besides, one and the same dictionary organizes its affixal entries quite dissimilarly both formally and content-wise. Given this background, the present work offers an insight into the derived lexicon and suggests more accurate definitions based on an approach that explains form and meaning associations in terms of lexical functions and macrofunctions. The data of analysis have been retrieved from the lexical database of Old English Nerthus, which has supplied the inventory of affixes and of affixed nouns and adjectives performing a lexical function belonging to the semantic categories quantity, size or rank, which apply whenever an entity or a property experience an increase or a decrease in quantity, quality or status respectively. Each affix is defined conforming to the different meanings it conveys, the source and target categories involved in the derivation process and the predicates that fit the rule in each case. An approach based on form and meaning associations in the definition of affixal meaning has demonstrated to have major implications not only in the field of lexicology but also of lexicography inasmuch as it permits to revise, complete and enhance dictionary entries and gain systematicity in the manner the information is rendered.

Funding

This work was supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under Grant FFI2017-83360P and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under Grant PID2020-119200GB-100 (MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033).

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

ADAMSON, Sylvia M., Vivien A. Law, Nigel Vincent and Susan Wright, eds. 1990. Papers from the 5th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.65

BOSWORTH, Joseph and T. Northcote Toller. 1973 (1898). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP.

BUTLER, Christopher and Javier Martín Arista, eds. 2009. Deconstructing Constructions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.107

CAMERON, Angus, Ashley Crandell Amos, Antonette diPaolo Healey, et al., eds. 2018. Dictionary of Old English: A to I online. Toronto: Dictionary of Old English Project.

CLARK-HALL, John R. 1996 (1896). A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Toronto: U of Toronto P.

DE LA CRUZ CABANILLAS, Isabel. 2007. "Semantic primes in Old English: a preliminary study of descriptors." SELIM: Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval Language and Literature 14: 37-58.

DIK, Simon. 1997a. The Theory of Functional Grammar. Part 1: The Structure of the Clause. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

DIK, Simon. 1997b. The Theory of Functional Grammar, Vol. 2: Complex and Derived Constructions. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110218374

FISIAK, Jacek, ed. 1986. Historical Semantics-Historical Word Formation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110850178

FOLEY, William and Robert Van Valin. 1984. Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

GUARDDON ANELO, María del Carmen. 2009a. "The Natural Semantic Metalanguage of Old English Compound Adpositions." ES-English Studies 30: 61-83.

GUARDDON ANELO, María del Carmen. 2009b. "Un análisis de las propiedades combinatorias de los primitivos semánticos a través de las adposiciones complejas en inglés antiguo." Revista Española de Lingüística 39(2): 93-122. https://doi.org/10.31810/rsel.v39i2.65

GUERRERO, Pilar, ed. 2011. Morphosyntactic Alternations in English. Functional and Cognitive Perspectives. Sheffield: Equinox.

HASELOW, Alexander. 2011. Typological Changes in the Lexicon. Analytic Tendencies in English Noun Formation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110238211

HENGEVELD, Kees and J. Lachlan Mackenzie. 2008. Functional Discourse Grammar. A typologically-based theory of language structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

HOGG, Richard, ed. 1992. The Cambridge History of the English Language I: The Beginnings to 1066. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521264747

JEMBER, Gregory K., John C. Carrell, Robert P. Lundquist, Barbara. M. Olds and Raymond P. Tripp. 1975. English-Old English, Old English-English Dictionary. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 1968. Old English Deverbal Substantives Derived by means of a Zero Morpheme. PhD diss., Tübingen University. Esslingen/N.: Langer.

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 1986. "Deverbal nouns in Old and Modern English: from stem-formation to word-formation." In Fisiak 1986, 221-261. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110850178.221

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 1989. "Morphophonemic alternations and the history of English: Examples from Old English." In Markus 1989, 112-123.

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 1990. "The typological status of Old English Word Formation." In Adamson, Law, Vincent and Wright 1990, 205-224. https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.65.14kas

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 1992. "Semantics and vocabulary." In Hogg 1992, 290-408. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521264747.006

KASTOVSKY, Dieter. 2006. "Typological Changes in Derivational Morphology." In van Kemenade and Los 2006, 151-177. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470757048.ch7

VAN KEMENADE, Ans and Bettelou Los, eds. 2006. The Handbook of the History of English. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470757048

LIEBER, Rochelle. 2004. Morphology and Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

LYONS, John. 1995. Linguistic Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810213

MAIRAL, Ricardo, Lilián Guerrero and Carlos González, eds. 2012. El funcionalismo en la teoría lingüística. Madrid: Akal Universitaria.

MARKUS, Manfred, ed. 1989. Historical English. On the occasion of Karl Brunner's 100th birthday. Innsbruck: Universität.

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2008. "Unification and separation in a functional theory of morphology." In Van Valin Jr. 2008, 119-145. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.105.12mar

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2009. "A Typology of Morphological Constructions." In Butler and Martín Arista 2009, 85-115. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.107.06aty

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2010a. "OE strong verbs derived from strong verbs." SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics 7: 36-56.

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2010b. "Lexical negation in Old English." NOWELE: North-Western European Language Evolution 60(61): 89-10. https://doi.org/10.1075/nowele.60-61.05ari

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2011a. "Morphological relatedness and zero alternation in Old English." In Guerrero 2011, 339-362.

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2011b. "Adjective formation and lexical layers in Old English." English Studies 92(3): 323-334. https://doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2011.564776

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2011c. "Projections and constructions in functional morphology: the case of HRĒOW." Language and Linguistics 12(2): 393-425.

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2012a. "The Old English Prefix Ge-: A Panchronic Reappraisal." Australian Journal of Linguistics 32(4): 411-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2012.744264

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2012b. "Morfología flexiva en RRG." In Mairal, Guerrero and González 2012, 43-58.

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier. 2013. "Recursivity, derivational depth and the search for Old English lexical primes." Studia Neophilologica 85(1): 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393274.2013.771829

MARTÍN ARISTA, Javier and Victoria Martín de la Rosa. 2006. "Old English Semantic Primes: Substantives, Determiners and Quantifiers." ATLANTIS 17: 9-28.

MATEO MENDAZA, Raquel. 2013. "The Old English exponent for the semantic prime TOUCH. Descriptive and methodological questions." Australian Journal of Linguistics 33(4): 449-466. https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2013.857574

MATEO MENDAZA, Raquel. 2016a. "The search for Old English semantic primes: the case of HAPPEN." Nordic Journal of English Studies 15(1): 71-99. https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.352

MATEO MENDAZA, Raquel. 2016b. "The Old English exponent for the semantic prime MOVE." Australian Journal of Linguistics 36(4): 542-559. https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2016.1169976

MEL'ČUK, Igor. 1989. "Semantic primitives from the Viewpoint of the Meaning-Text Linguistic Theory." Quaderni di Semantica 10(1): 65-102.

MEL'ČUK, Igor. 1996. "Lexical Functions: A Tool for the Description of Lexical Relations in the Lexicon." In Wanner 1996, 37-102.

MEL'ČUK, Igor. 2006. Aspects of the Theory of Morphology. Edited by D. Beck. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

PENTTILÄ, Erkki. 1956. The Old English Verbs of Vision. A Semantic Study. Helsinki: Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique XVII, I.

POUNDER, Amanda. 2000. Processes and Paradigms in Word-Formation Morphology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110814378

SWEET, Henry. 1976 (1896). The Student ́s Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

TRIPS, Carola. 2009. Lexical Semantics and Diachronic Morphology. The development of - hood, -dom and -ship in the History of English. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783484971318

VAN VALIN JR., Robert. 2005. Exploring the Syntax-Semantics Interface. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511610578.001

VAN VALIN JR., Robert, ed. 2008. Investigations of the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.105

VAN VALIN JR., Robert and Randy LaPolla. 1997. Syntax: Structure, meaning and function. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166799

VEA ESCARZA, Raquel. 2013. "Old English Adjectival Affixation. Structure and Function." Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 48(1-3): 1-21. https://doi.org/10.2478/stap-2013-0005

VEA ESCARZA, Raquel. 2016. "Old English affixation. A structural-functional analysis." Nordic Journal of English Studies 15(1):101-119. https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.353

VEA ESCARZA, Raquel. 2018. "Las funciones y categorías de los nombres y adjetivos afijados del inglés antiguo." Onomázein 41: 208-226. https://doi.org/10.7764/onomazein.41.07

WANNER, Leo, ed. 1996. Lexical functions in lexicography and natural language processing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.31

WEMAN, Bertil. 1933. Old English Semantic Analysis and Theory with Special Reference Denoting Locomotion. Lund: Lindstedts Univ.-Bokhandel.

Downloads

Statistics

Statistics RUA

Published

31-07-2023

How to Cite

Vea Escarza, Raquel. 2023. “Meaning Definitions through Lexical (macro) Functions: Old English Quantity, Size and Rank”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 39 (July):7-34. https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2023.39.01.

Issue

Section

Miscellany