An original study of both structural entitiesoriginating in the lexicon, and the structural characteristics of thelexicon as a module of formal grammar, this book makes two contributions toour understanding of the formal grammar of English. Firstly, it presents acoherent theory of 'compounding' in English. There is a long-standingbut unresolved dispute in the literature as to whether certain constructions(e.g. LONDON ROAD, DENTAL TREATMENT) are compound words or syntacticphrases. The question is important because in other cases the distinction isclear-cut (RING ROAD, FREE TREATMENT respectively), and because it impingeson central assumptions regarding the organisation of the grammar.Secondly,the book suggests an alternative to the commonly assumed sharp division ofthe grammar into the 'lexicon' and the 'syntax'. The lexicon-syntaxdistinction facilitates important new insights in the nature of compoundingin English. However, Heinz Giegerich argues that the Lexicalist assumptionof a sharp divide between the modules cannot be upheld: the two modulesoverlap, such that there are constructions in English that aresimultaneously compound and phrase. He suggests an alternative, tripartite,structure comprising three successive, and significantly overlapping,modules: the lexicon proper, the morphology and the syntax.The bookillustrates a grammar that is rather different from that envisaged inLexicalism (while still retaining that theory's basic insights) andprovides a better understanding of some of the most recalcitrant problems inEnglish word formation.
Edinburgh University Press
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