Project

Lexical Flexibility

Goal: This project studies the degree of lexical flexibility (i.e. fluidity between lexical categories like noun and verb) across a variety of languages. This is the focus of my dissertation, Lexical flexibility in discourse.

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Project log

Daniel W. Hieber
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Virtual poster presentation given at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) 2022 Annual Meeting, held in hybrid format in Washington, D.C.
Daniel W. Hieber
added a research item
Lexical polyfunctionality in discourse: A quantitative corpus-based approach
Daniel W. Hieber
added a research item
This talk presents the results of a quantitative corpus-based investigation into lexical flexibility in Nuuchahnulth (Wakashan) and English (Indo-European). Lexical flexibility (also called conversion, functional shift, heterosemy, polycategoriality, zero derivation, and many other terms) is when a lexical item is used for more than one discourse function—either to refer (as a noun), to predicate (as a verb), or to modify (as an adjective). In traditional terms, flexible words are those which can be used for multiple parts of speech.
Daniel W. Hieber
added a research item
This chapter is a survey of word classes in indigenous North American languages, with the aim of providing an introduction to the study of parts of speech, and of highlighting the unique place and contribution of North American indigenous languages in this research. Section 2 defines lexical vs. grammatical and open vs. closed classes, and how these distinctions are realized in North American languages. Section 3 summarizes the prominent themes in word classes research in North America: 1) at what level a word is categorized (root, stem, or inflected word), 2) whether a given language distinguishes noun and verb, and 3) whether a given language has an adjective category. The chapter concludes that North American languages present serious challenges to the definition and status of word classes in linguistic theory, and that the development of distinct lexical categories in a language is not necessarily a given.
Daniel W. Hieber
added a research item
This talk presents preliminary results from my dissertation research on lexical flexibility (the ability for words to be used in multiple parts of speech like noun, verb, and adjective), focusing on data in English.
Daniel W. Hieber
added a project goal
This project studies the degree of lexical flexibility (i.e. fluidity between lexical categories like noun and verb) across a variety of languages. This is the focus of my dissertation, Lexical flexibility in discourse.