The monotonicity hypothesis

Andrew Koontz-Garboden

in Telicity, Change, and State

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693498
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741715 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

The monotonicity hypothesis

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This chapter addresses the issue of what are possible and impossible word formation operations from a semantic perspective, exploring the Monotonicity Hypothesis, the idea, itself a consequence of compositionality, that word formation operations do not remove operators from lexical semantic representations. The nature of morphology in the evaluation of this hypothesis is discussed, followed by the presentation of a case study that examines the derivational relationship of state-denoting words (red, broken) to their change-of-state counterparts (redden, broken). Potential counterexamples to the predictions of the hypothesis are discussed and shown ultimately to provide support for the hypothesis, when properly understood. Finally, additional empirical domains worth exploring are discussed.

Keywords: semantics of word formation; root hypothesis; state change; result states; compositionality; derivational morphology

Chapter.  10242 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

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