Salvador Valera Hernández
Approaches to Conversion / Zero-Derivation
2005, 176 pages, E-Book (PDF), 19,90 €, ISBN 978-3-8309-6456-8
Conversion became an issue again in the nineties, probably as a result of the widespread renewed interest in morphology that is in full swing today. The papers contained in this book approach conversion from various perspectives and with different purposes in mind. They cover topics such as what it means to change category, how one can discover the directionality of conversion and the very vexed question of whether an analysis in terms of conversion is or is not to be preferred over one in terms of zero-derivation. All of these questions were canvassed at the symposium, but so were others: questions of typology, conversion in languages other than English, and the question of how far the meaning of conversion is predictable. The participants in the symposium were interested to find that with so many people discussing conversion there was remarkably little overlap in the areas addressed.
Bauer and Valera do an excellent job of showing that a seemingly simple phenomenon is fraught with complexities; while it may be clear to us that in English pairs like tableN and tableV are related bei conversion, it is less clear how far the phenomenon extends. Indeed, the more data we consider and the more languages we study, the more problematic the definition and analysis of conversion seems. This volume is therefore a must for anyone delving further into this phenomenon.
Rochelle Lieber in: Word Structure. 2008.
The volume can undoubtedly be recommended as a collective state-of-the-art account of conversion, which was badly needed simply because a comparable collection on the topic did not exist.
Hans-Jörg Schmid in: English Language and Linguistics. 11.3. 2007.