Functional shift


Functional shift

In linguistics, functional shift occurs when an existing word takes on a new syntactic function. For example, the word "like", formerly only used as a preposition in comparisons (as in "eats like a pig"), is now also used in the same way as the subordinating conjunction "as" in many dialects of English (as in "sounds like he means it"). The boundary between functional shift and conversion (the derivation of a new word from an existing word of identical form) is not well-defined.

Shakespeare uses functional shift, for example using a noun to serve as a verb. Researchers found that this technique allows the brain to understand what a word means before it understands the function of the word within a sentence. [Liverpool University, UK [http://www.liv.ac.uk/news/press_releases/2006/12/shakespeare_brain.htm Reading Shakespeare has dramatic effect on human brain] , 18th December 2006] .

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • functional shift — n. the conversion of a linguistic form from one part of speech to another, as the use of a noun as a verb …   English World dictionary

  • functional shift — a change in the grammatical function of a word, as in the use of the noun input as a verb or the noun fun as an adjective. Also called functional change. [1940 45] * * * …   Universalium

  • functional shift — noun or functional change : the process by which a word or form comes to be used in a second or third grammatical function (as a noun used in a verb function) compare class cleavage …   Useful english dictionary

  • functional shift — func′tional shift′ n. ling. a change in the grammatical function of a word, as in the use of the noun input as a verb …   From formal English to slang

  • functional shift — noun Date: 1942 the process by which a word or form comes to be used in another grammatical function …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Functional shift — Переключение на команды управления …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • shift — shiftingly, adv. shiftingness, n. /shift/, v.t. 1. to put (something) aside and replace it by another or others; change or exchange: to shift friends; to shift ideas. 2. to transfer from one place, position, person, etc., to another: to shift the …   Universalium

  • functional change. — See functional shift. * * * …   Universalium

  • functional change — noun see functional shift …   Useful english dictionary

  • functional change. — See functional shift …   Useful english dictionary


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