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Article

Noun-incorporation in English as a valency-changing device

Lingua. 2017. No. 194. P. 15-25.
Elizaveta Smirnova, Shustova S.
This paper explores changes of verb valency by means of noun-incorporation. We claim that noun-incorporation in English manifests itself in verbs formed by compression and backformation, such as to baby-sit, to head-hunt, to whistle-blow, and denominal verbs formed by transmutation, for example to doctor, to nest, to knife. Analysis of more than 6500 contexts with English incorporation complexes taken from corpora has shown that noun-incorporation in English leads to simple or complex change of valency. Semantically a sentence with noun-incorporation can be either complicated, due to extra connotations and metaphorical meanings of incorporation complexes, or simplified, due to reduction of semantic valency and morphosyntactic reduction.