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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The definition of conversion is based on the conditions of formal identity and word-class change. Both the conditions and the resulting profile have been interpreted differently by different theoretical frameworks. It is difficult to identify conversion according to these conditions in one and the same language and, especially, in cross-linguistic research for several reasons: languages differ widely as regards their potential for formal identity and their fit of the conventional system of word-classes. As a result, conversion may vary widely across even closely related languages. If the standard of comparison is a unified view of canonical conversion, the emerging picture is a generalization where conversion appears as a cross-linguistically widespread derivational strategy regularly involving some type of conversion between adjectives, nouns, and verbs. Progress on the study of conversion depends largely on the (conditions for) language-specific manifestations of conversion that vary both within the same language and across languages.

Keywords: conversion, zero-derivation, word-classes, lexical derivation, syntactic derivation

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