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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Function words tend to exhibit only limited participation in derivational relations, whether as bases or derivatives; languages vary in the extent to which they allow such participation. I examine the characteristics of derivational relations involving function words. In some such relations, the function word is the derivational base; in others, the derivative; and in still others, both base and derivative are function words. Such relations may be expressed by overt morphology or by simple conversion; some such relations are productive, and others, unproductive. A particular derivational relation may be restricted to function words, or the participation of function words in a derivational relation may parallel that of words belonging to lexical categories. I devote special attention to interactions of derivational morphology with a language’s numeral system; numerals deserve separate consideration both because they are atypical as function words and because of the uniqueness of the derivational operations that involve them.

Keywords: base, derivative, function word, numeral, cross-formation, conversion, productivity

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