Book: Suffixal Rivalry in Adjective Formation
Chapter: Categorisation of adjectival suffixes
This chapter explores the role of categorisation in the semantic description of adjectival suffixes. It attempts to substantiate two principles of CS. One principle is that all language items, lexical or grammatical, have semantic values which motivate their linguistic behaviour. Applying this principle to morphology, I argue that a suffix has semantic import and adds to the meaning of the root which hosts it. Another principle is that linguistic items are polysemous by nature. Applying this principle to morphology, I argue that a suffix has a wide range of senses which gather around a central one. To that end, the chapter is organised as follows. Section 1 reviews the status of categorisation in language in the main theories of thought. Section 2 introduces the prototype approach by touching upon its mechanisms and enumerating its advantages. Section 3 applies the prototype approach to the characterisation of adjectival suffixes by grouping them into categories relative to the word class of the root and the structure of the suffix, namely into de-verbal bound, de-nominal bound and de-nominal free suffixes.