Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Jets Fans and Raider Rooters

That phrase was in the title of a paper from years ago that discussed the relative ordering of inflectional and derivational processes. I have been noticing increasing use of expressions like "mobile phones free zone" where I would expect "mobile phone free zone". I have two theories as to why this might happen more: 1. "we" (English speakers, Natural Language speakers?) are less attached to the apparent constraint that we inflect after we derive or 2. "we" (English speakers) are less convinced that the inflectional processes in English are really inflectional at all.

The first theory sounds a bit dodgy to me, and would need a lot of cross-lingual research to determine. The second fits in quite nicely with another idea I have - see my next post!

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