Conceptualised Deviations from Expected Normalities: A semantic comparison between lexical items ending in -ful and -less

Forskningsoutput: Working paper


In our article, we start by posing the question why some adjectival stems can end both in -ful and -less, while others take only one of the endings. Together these items make up around 1% of the entries in a good dictionary. It soon becomes clear that we need to use several basic concepts from cognitive linguistics to answer our question: boundedness, mass vs. individual, part-whole relations and container metaphors. By this we can divide the -ful and -less items into a number of subgroups with different semantics. The most important aspect of their semantics, however, is that both -ful and -less express deviations from our expectations of how the normal world is structured. In other words; they represent the world by negating it


  • Kenneth Holmqvist
  • Jaroslaw Pluciennik
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Filosofi


StatusPublished - 1995