Chapter published in:Lexical Polycategoriality: Cross-linguistic, cross-theoretical and language acquisition approaches
Edited by Valentina Vapnarsky and Edy Veneziano
[Studies in Language Companion Series 182] 2017
► pp. 59–78
Derivationally based homophony in French
French reveals many cases of homophony, which raise the question of categorial flexibility. This paper analyses Verb/Noun pairs with identical form and compares them to Verb/Noun pairs with overt derivation. It is argued that French homophony phenomena are based on non-affixal derivational morphology (conversion). The study is conducted within the framework of lexical constructional morphology, with the underlying hypothesis that lexical units or lexemes used in the construction of complex lexemes are characterised by three correlated properties – phonological form, semantic interpretation and category. In this framework, the affixal formants are regarded as exponents of the derivation rules. The analysis concludes by returning to Saussure’s key proposals about the sign and its differential.
Keywords: French, homophony, conversion, lexical morphology, derivation
Published online: 01 November 2017
Plénat, M. & Roché, M.