. . .

of which most easily enters the mind of the person wanting to state a

fact, and if Jespersen/7/ says that it is difficult to give a general

definition of the sense-relation between substantive and de-substantival

verbs, this is rather an understatement. It may be recognized certain

groups, as put in ..., furnish, cover, affect ..., but it should be

noted that each of these senses is only one the many which the same verb

has or may have. Biese/4/, therefore, makes no attempt at classification,

and he is certainly right in doing so. It may, however, be worthy of note

that the privative sense as in dust remove the dust (from) is frequent

only with technical terms denoting various kinds of dressing or cleaning.

Exs are bur wool or cotton, burl cloth, poll, pollard trees, bone, gut,

scale fish.

The meaning of a certain verb is clear in a certain speech situation.

That brain means smash the b.,can preserve in cans, winter pass the

winter, is a result of given circumstances which establish the bridge of

understanding between the speaker and the person or persons spoken to.

There are derivatives from proper names, as boycott 1880 (orig. spelt

with a capital, from the name of Captain Boycott who was first boycotted),

Shanghay 1871 drug and press on board a vessel, Zeppelin 1916 bomb from

a zeppelin (also clipped = zap).

Some verbs often occur in the -ing substantive only (originally or

chiefly), while finite verb forms or infinitives are not or rarely used, as

hornpiping dancing a hornpipe (no verb rec.), slimming, orcharding

cultivation of fruit trees (no verb rec.). Dialling the art of

construction dials, speeching, electioneering, engineering,

parlamenteering, volunteering are the original forms. Converted cpds with

-monger for a second-word are current only in the -ing form (merit-

mongering, money-mongering etc.). Innings are not matched by any other verb

form, nor are cocking cock-fighting, hopping hop-picking, moon-shining

illicit distilling and others.

Type idle verb fr. idle adjective. (deadjectival verbs).

To the OE period go back bitter, busy, cool, fair, fat, light, open,

right, yellow (obs black, bright, dead, strong, old).

From the period between about 1150 and 1200 are recorded obs sick

suffer illness, soft, low (obs meek, hory, hale). The following date

from the period between about 1200 and 1300 (Biese/4/ has included the

Cursor Mundi in this period): black, brown, loose, slight, better, blind

(obs hardly, certain, rich, wide, broad, less). From the 14th century are

recorded ready, clear, grey, sore, pale, full, dull, round, gentle,

English, tender, perfect (obs able, sound, weak, unable, honest, noble).

From the 15th century purple, stale, clean, from the 16th century shallow,

slow, quiet, empty, bloody, idle, equal, dirty, parallel (and many other

now obs words, as Biese/4/ points out). The 17th century coined crimson,

giddy, worst, blue, gallant, shy, tense, ridicule, unfit, ruddy (and many

how obs words. Biese/4/). From 18th century Are recorded net gain as a net

sum 1758, total (once 1716, then 1859), negative, northern (said of

landscape), invalid enter on the sick-list, queer cheat , from the

19th century desperate drive desperate, stubborn, sly move in a

stealthy manner, chirk make cheerful, gross make a gross profit

1884, southern (said of wind), aeriform, true. From our century there are

such words as pretty, wise, lethal, big.

Usually, deadjectival verbs denote change of state, and the meaning is

either become ... or make .... Intransitive verbs with meaning be...

(as idle, sly, equal) from quite a small group. Some verbs have a

comparative or superlative as root: better, best, worst, perhaps lower.

Type out verb fr out particle (verbs derived from

locative particles).

Derivation from locative particles is less common than the preceding

types. In Old English there are yppan, fremman (with i-mutation from up,

fram), framian, utian. Later are over to master 1456, obs under cast

down 1502, off put off 1642, down 1778, nigh draw near 1200, thwart

1250, west move towards the west 1381, south 1725, north 1866, east 1858.

These words, however, are not very common (except out and thwart).

Type hail verb fr hail interjection (verbs derived

from minor particles).

Derivation from exclamation and interjection (most of there

onomatopoeias) is more frequent. It will, however, be noted that many of

these conversions have undergone functional and formal changes only without

acquiring a well - grounded lexical existence, their meaning merely being

say..., utter the sound.... Exs are hail 1200, nay say nay, refuse

13.., mum 1399, obs. Hosht reduce to silence etc., whoo (16th century),

humph (17th century), encore, dee-hup (to a horse), pshaw, halloa, yaw

(speak affectedly, hurrah (18th century), tally-ho (fox-hunting term),

boo, yes, heigh-ho sigh, bravo, tut, bow-wow, haw-haw, boo-hoo weep

noisily etc. (Biese/4/ also Jespersen/7/).

The meaning say... may occur with other words also when they are

used as exclamation or interjections, as with iffing (other verb forms are

not recorded), hence order hence (obs., 1580). And it may be reckoned

here all the words of the type sir call sir.

From about 1600 on, geminated forms also occur as verbs. A few have

been mentioned in the foregoing paragraph; others are snip-snap

(1593),dingle-dangle, ding-dong, pit-pat (17th century), pitter-patter,

wiggle-waggle (18th century), criss-cross, rap-tap, wig-wag (19th century)


The limits of verbal derivation.

Derivation from suffixed nouns is uncommon. Bieses/4/ treatment of

the subject suffers from a lack of discrimination. He has about 600

examples of substantives and adjectives; but the suffixes are mere

terminations. Words such herring, pudding, nothing, worship are not

derivatives. The terminations -ace, -ice, -ogue, -y (as in enemy) have

never had any derivative force.

Theoretically it would seem that the case of a suffixal composite such

as boyhood is not different from that of a fill compound such as spotlight.

But obviously the fact that suffixes are categorizes generally prevents

suffixal derivatives from becoming the determinants of pseudo-compound

verbs. There are very few that are in common use, such as waitress (rec.),

package (rec., chiefly in form packaged, packaging), manifold OE

(obsolescent today), forward 1596, referee 1889, such adjectives as dirty,

muddy. Many more are recorded in OED (as countess, patroness, squiress,

traitress play the..., fellowship, kingdom a.o.).

Another reason seems to be still more important. Many of the nominal

suffixes derive substantives from verbs., and it would be contrary to

reason to form such verbs as arrival, guidance, improvement, organization

when arrive, guide, improve, organize exist. Similar consideration apply to

deadjectival derivatives like freedom or idleness. The verb disrupture is

recorded in OED (though only in participial forms) but it is not common.

Reverence is used as a verb, but it is much older (13.., 1290) than the

verb revere (1661). It should also be noted that the alternation

revere/reverence shows characteristics of vowel change and stress which are

irregular with derivation by means of -ance, -ence. For same reason

reference is not a regular derivative from refer, which facilitated the

coinage reference provide with references etc. 1884.

There are no verbal derivatives from prefixed words either. The verb

unfit make unfit 1611 is isolated.

Type look substantive fr. look verb (deverbal


Deverbal substantives are much less numerous than denominal verbs. The

frequency-relation between the two types has been approximately the same in

all periods of the language. An exception is to be made for the second half

of the 13th century when the absolute number of conversion-substantives is

larger that of the verbs formed from substantives (Biese/4/).

Form the 13th century are recorded (unless otherwise mentioned in

parentheses, the resp. Verbs are OE) dread (1175), have, look, steal, weep,

call (1225), crack, noise, dwell, hide, make, mislike, mourn, show, spit,

spittle, stint, wrest act of twisting a.o.

From the later ME period are recorded (indications in parentheses

refer to the respective verbs) fall (OE), feel (OE), keep (OE), lift (ME),

move (ME), pinch (ME), put (ME), run (OE), snatch (ME), sob (ME), walk

(OE), wash (OE).

From the 16th century date craze (ME), gloom (ME), launch (ME), push

(ME), rave (ME), say (OE), scream (ME), anub (ME), swim (OE), wave (OE);

from the 17th century contest (1579), converse (ME), grin (OE), laugh (OE),

produce (1499), sneeze (1493), take (ME), yawn (OE); from the 18th century

finish (ME), hand (OE), pry (ME), ride (OE), sit (OE). From the 19th

century fix (ME), meet (OE), shampoo (1762), spill (OE).

As for the meaning of deverbal substantive, the majority denote the

act or rather a specific instance of what the verbal idea expresses quote,

contest, fall, fix, knock, lift etc. This has been so from the beginning

(Hertrampf and Biese/4/). The abstract nouns, including nouns of action,

are not only the most common type of conversion-substantives; they are also

those of the greatest importance during the early periods of the

development of conversions (Biese/4/). The conversion-substantive used in

a personal or concrete sense are, especially in the earlier stages, of

comparatively slight importance (ib.).

Concrete senses show mince minced meat, produce product, rattle

instrument, sprout branch, shoot branch, shear shorn animal, sink

sewer, clip instrument, cut passage, opening, spit spittle, stride

one of a flight of steps.

Sbs denoting the result of the verbal action are catch, take, win

victory, cut provision, find, melt melded substance, snatch excerpt

from a song e.c.

Place-denoting are fold, bend, slip, wush sandbank, dump etc.

Sbs denoting the impersonal agent are draw attraction, catch (of a

gate, a catching question etc.), sting animal organ, tread part of the

sole that touches the ground, do, take-in, all tricky contrivance, wipe

handkerchief sl etc.

There are also number of substantives denoting a person. OE knew the

type boda bode (corresponding to L scriba, OHG sprecho) which in ME was

replaced by the type hunter. Several words survived, however, as bode, help

(OE help), hint (the last quotation in OED is from 1807), and they are

occasional ME formations, as ally 1380 (if it is not rather French allie);

but could be apprehended as formed after the type. Obs. Cut (a term of

abuse) 1490 does not seem to have any connection with the verb cut, and

scold scolding woman 1200 is doubtful, the verb is first quoted 1377.

The word wright, which now occurs only as a second-word of cpds (cart-

wright etc.) is no longer apprehended as an agent noun (belonging to wolk).

Otherwise all deverbal substantives denoting a personal agent are of Modern

English origin, 16th century or more recent. The type probably came into

existence under the influence of the types pickpocket and runabout. Exs are

romp child or woman fond of romping 1706, flirt 1732, crack cracksman

1749 (thieves sl), bore tiresome p. 1812, sweep chimney sweeper 1812,

coach tutor, trainer 1848 (misleadingly classed in OED, as if from

substantive coach), discard discarded person. The great number of

depreciative terms is striking.

For the sake of convenience it is repeated here the examples of such

personal deverbal substantives as form the second-words of cpds: upstart

1555, by-blow 1595=obs. By-slip 1670 bastard, chimney-sweep 1614, money-

grub 1768, shoeblack and bootbleck 1778, new-come new arrival 1577,

bellhop, carhop rec.

The formation if deverbal substantives may be considered from the

angle of syntactical grouping. No doubt there are different frequency-rates

for a word according to the position which it has in a sentence. Biese/4/

has devoted a chapter to the question and has established various types of

grouping which have influenced the growth of the type. It can be seen that

deverbal substantives frequently occur in prepositional groups (to be in

the know), that type are often the object of give, make, have, take (less

so of other verbs), that only 11% of the examples show the deverbal

substantives as subject of the sentence and that they are frequently by

adjuncts. The most important patterns are (be) in the know and (have) a

look. Exs of the first type are phrases such as in the long run, upon the

go, with a thrust of his hair, after this sit, for a tell, for the kill,

for the draw, of English make, at a qulp, etc.

As for the t. (have) a look, the use of phrasal verbs with

conversion-substantives may be said to be a very marked feature during all

periods from early ME up to the present time. As shown by these quotations,

the origins of this use may be said to go back as far as the OE period

(Biese/4/). Exs are; have a wash, a smoke, a swim, a chat etc., give a

laugh, a cry, a break, a toss, a whistle, the chick, the go-by etc., take a

ride, a walk, a swim, a read, the lead etc., make a move, a dive, a bolt, a

bow etc. etc.

It will be interesting to compare zero-derivatives with the -ing

substantives. Historical speaking there is no longer a competition so far

as the formation of common substantives is concerned. The number of new-

formed -ing substantives has been steadily decreasing since the beginning

of the MoE period. According to Biese/4/ the figures for newly introduced

-ing substantives, as compared with zero-derivatives of the same verbs, are

as follows: 13th century = 62, 14th = 80, 15th = 19, 16th =12, 17th century

=5, 18th century =2, 19th century =0. Biese/4/ has obviously considered the

rise of new forms only, but the semantic development of -ing substantives.

Otherwise his figures would have been different. Any verb may derive an

-ing substantive which can take the definite article. The -ing then

invariably denotes the action of the verb: the smoking of the gentlemen

disturbed me. The zero-derivative, as compared with the ing, never denotes

the action but gives the verbal ideal in a nominalized form, i.e. the

notional content of the verbal idea (with the secondary implication of the

idea act): the gentlemen withdrew for a smoke. In their use with phrasal

verbs -ing forms have become obsolete, whereas there is an ever increasing

number of conversion substantives used in conjunction with verbs like make,

take etc....(Biese/4/). On the other hand, common substantives in ing are

now chiefly denominal, denoting something concrete, chiefly material which

eliminates ing as a rival for zero-derivatives. According to Biese/4/ this

distinction is already visible in the early stages of conversion. Biese/4/

points out that a prepositional substantive following a substantive is

almost always a genitivus subjectivus (the grind of wheels), whereas the

same type of group following an -ing substantive is most often a

genitivens objectivus which is certainly an observation to the point, as

it shows the verbal character of the -ing substantives as compared with the

more nominal character of zero-derivatives.

A few instances of semantically differentiated derivatives are

bother/bothering, build/building, proceeds/proceedings, meet/meeting,

set/setting, turn/turning, bend/bending, find/finding, sit/sitting,

cut/cutting, feel/feeling, paint/painting.

Sometimes deverbal substantives are only idiomatic in the plural: it

divers me the creeps (the jumps), turn on the weeps A sl, have the prowls A

sl, the bends caisson disease, for keeps for good.

An apparent exception are derivatives from expressive verbs in -er

(type clatter) and -le (type sparkle) which are pretty numerous (Biese/4/),

but in fact most of these verbs are not derivatives in the way verbs in

-ize or -ify are, because few simple verbs exist alongside of the

composites. These words are better described as composites of expressive

elements, so the suffixes are not categorizes.

Derivation from prefixed verbs is restricted to composites with the

prefixes dis-, mis-, inter-, and re- (see the respective prefixes). With

other prefixes, there have only been attempts at nominal derivation.

Biese/4/ has befall, beget, begin, behave, belay, belove, beseech, bespeak,

bestow, betide, betrust as substantives. But they were all short-lived and

rare. With the exception of belay 1908, a technical term, none seems to be

in use today.

Biese/4/ has established a so-called detain- type, i.e. substantives

derived from what he considers to be prefixed verbs. It do not seen the

point of this distinction as one could analyze very few of his 450 words or

so. The majority are unit words.

Zero-derivation and stress.

It shall now be made a few remarks about such types as have not been

: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6