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Lexical flexibility: Expanding the empirical coverage

  • Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana


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.
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