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Picture of Conversion in English

Conversion in English

A Cognitive Semantic Approach

Author(s): Sándor Martsa

Book Description

Drawing on the conceptual metaphor and metonymy theory outlined in works by George Lakoff, René Dirven, Günter Radden and Zoltán Kövecses, Conversion in English: A Cognitive Semantic Approach proposes that the process of conversion in contemporary English is basically a semantic process underlain by a series of conceptual metonymic and metaphoric mappings. In the book, previous interpretations treating conversion as zero-derivation derivation by a zero affix or as syntactically motivated recategorization, or as usage-based coinage (relisting) are questioned, for they apparently mistake the effect of conversion, the obligatory change of word class, for its cause, the conceptual reanalysis of extralinguistic reality.

The book also demonstrates that viewing conversion as the result of conceptual mappings makes it possible to view this process as an instantiation of intercategorial polysemy. It also helps to settle the long-standing debate concerning the issues of directionality and productivity of conversion.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4932-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4932-4
Date of Publication: 01/09/2013
Pages / Size: 314 / A5
Price: £49.99


Sándor Martsa is an Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies at the University of Pécs, Hungary. His research interests include morphology, lexical semantics, cognitive semantics, linguistic categorizations and discourse analysis. He is the author of the textbook English Morphology: An Introduction (2007, Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó).