Creativity vs. Meaningfulness in Adverbial Derivation

Zohar Livnat, Tamar Sovran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper will discuss the constraints and limitation on the morphological derivation of adverbs from nominal kernels and will examine a growing tendency in Modem Hebrew to create novel adverbs from existing nouns with the addition of the suffix +it. A delicate equilibrium is observed between a fairly wide range of freedom of formation and the criterion of meaningfulness. In order to render such novel adverbs meaningful, at least one of two conditions should be met: (a) the existence of inner cohesive semantic relations in the case of immanent adverbs, or (b) reference to fixed content domains or aspects, or fixed or ad-hoc contrasts in the case of external adverbs. Both ‘frame semantics’ theory as well as ‘relevance theory’ provide a set of constraints on the derivation of adverbs from nominal kernels and explain why some such forms render utterances odd or unacceptable, while others contribute to overall meaningfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalFolia Linguistica
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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