Lexical creativity and the organization of the lexicon
The aim of this paper is to show that lexical creativity and the organization of the lexicon are “mutually enlightening” realities. Using of Catalan neologisms, I take advantage of Bybee’s (2001: 109) insight that “any multi- morphemic word or sequence is highly embedded in connections with other words containing at least one of the same morphemes.” I argue for the validity of Bybee’s model over and beyond its use in inflectional processes, by developing an analysis of neologisms in which derivation and analogy play a key role. In the light of the theory on paradigmatic relations framing the lexicon (cf. van Marle 1985), I advance the hypothesis that lexical creativity is the external manifestation of the lexicon’s intrinsic organization. Specifically, I show the dynamic role that two main types of paradigmatic relations (derivational categories and word families) play in lexical creativity. Because both of them are based on morpheme-to-morpheme relations among words, I emphasize this kind of relations in network representations. In particular, I show that low-level network patterns used in neology are suggestive evidence of a fuzzy boundary between derivation and analogy.
80 - General questions relating to both linguistics and literature. Philology
81 - Linguistics and languages
John Benjamins Publishing Company
Is part of
Review of cognitive linguistics
Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 1, (2003), p. 137–160.
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- Humanitats 
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