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Hapax Legomena and the Productivity of the Old English Weak Verb Suffixes1

Authors:

Roberto Torre Alonso ,

Universidad de La Rioja, ES
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Gema Maíz Villalta

The National Distance Education University (UNED), ES
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to measure the productivity of the Old English weak verb suffixes -ettan, -læcan, -sian, -nian, -lian, -erian and -cian from a synchronic point of view by taking into account the role played by hapax legomena. Productivity in the narrow sense P and global productivity P* are measured and frequency is calculated in terms of type and token. Three types of hapax legomena are distinguished, namely absolute hapaxes (unique formations that appear in one text), relative hapaxes (formations that appear in different texts, but only once in each text) and mixed hapaxes (a subsumption of both types). This typology of hapaxes puts the focus on -sian, -erian, -lian and -cian, which range between very low and zero productivity.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.325
How to Cite: Torre Alonso, R. and Maíz Villalta, G., 2014. Hapax Legomena and the Productivity of the Old English Weak Verb Suffixes1. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 13(3), pp.188–211. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.325
Published on 20 Dec 2014.

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