Metonymy and the semantics of word-formation

Laurie Bauer


A survey of the role of metonymy in word-formation is provided, with some comments on the implications of this for the theory of word-formation. The particular focus of this paper is on the polysemy of affixes deriving from metonymical interpretation and the use of derivational affixes to mark the necessity for a metonymical reading. The latter point takes up previous discussion in the literature on the validity of treating this as metonymy. The benefits of treating such matters as instances of metonymy rather than as independent patterns of word-formation, and the typological implications of doing so, are canvassed.


metonymy; figurative interpretation; derivation; conversion; semantics

Full Text:



View Counter: Abstract | 315 | times, and PDF | 692 | times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

MMM, ISSN: 1826-7491, © Copyright 2015, MMM

Pasithee: Open Access Electronic Publications, 2008-2015
Library & Information Center - University of Patras