The Croatian Suffix -stv(o): A Study of Meaning and Polysemy in Word Formation
This paper reports the results of an exploratory semantic analysis of Croatian suffixations in -stv(o). The suffix builds nouns which denote qualities, professions, states, collectivities, etc., and most suffixations take different interpretations in different contexts. Our aim is to identify the suffix’s most type-frequent and productive meanings as well as typical patterns of polysemy in -stv(o) derivatives and their main motivating mechanisms. Assuming a usage-based Cognitive Grammar stance and Barcelona’s (2011) gradient view of metonymy, we examine an extensive corpus of suffixations and propose low-level generalizations, i.e., symbolic schemas that are shown to be variably frequent and productive. Although no single superschema can capture the extreme semantic variability of -stv(o) derivatives, we identify various local patterns of polysemy, which are predominantly motivated by metonymy.
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