Discrepancy between form and meaning 
in word-formation

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Most word-formation theories assume that derivatives in general tend towards canonicity, i.e. one-to-one correspondence between form and meaning and thus full morphosemantic transparency. However, form-meaning mismatches actually are widespread, both in terms of languages and word-formation rules. These mainly fall into two types: over-marking and under-marking. In this paper we propose a classification of these deviations, distinguishing between a derivational and a lexical level. We illustrate this classification with examples from French and other languages (English, Italian and Dutch). We sketch a unified analysis of these deviations within a word-based framework. We propose to analyse the relative importance of canonicity and discrepancies in word formation from the perspective of the interaction between the speaker and the hearer.


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