LINGUIST List 10.158

Tue Feb 2 1999

Disc: Adjectives to Verbs

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>


  1. Jonathan Centner, Adjectives to Verbs

Message 1: Adjectives to Verbs

Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 20:36:20 -0500
From: Jonathan Centner <>
Subject: Adjectives to Verbs

>"Any word can be verbed" is a statement I have seen in print before it
>was quoted here. This is probably the reason why at least one
>wellknown British lexicographer says she has no use for the concept of
>homonymy. - "To white sth. out" (Cambridge Int. Dict. of English,
>1995); here on The list I have seen "to dumb it down" (popularize,

I think this begs the question. Whether the particle affixes or
dislocates does not seem to matter. It could just as well be "to
dumben it". But it ain't. It's still there. FWIW I heard a phrase a
few years ago : "I'm going to dead her"; spoken by a young man who was
telling his friends he was going to hang out with them instead of his
girlfriend that particular evening. A-V is rare, but not non-existent
in English. I am not familiar with Aronoff's _blocking_. If someone
would forward me a reference for his work on this I would appreciate
it. Pardon my juvenile question. I see two separate issues here, one
not germaine to the posed topic, but which interests me, is the
concept of representational boundary preferences as described by
Jackendoff. This one definitely caught my eye. TIA.

Jon Centner
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