Denominal verb

In grammar, denominal verbs are verbs derived from nouns.[1] Many languages have regular morphological indicators to create denominal verbs.


English examples are to school, from school, meaning to instruct; to shelve, from shelf, meaning to put on shelves; and to symbolize, from symbol, meaning to be a symbol for.

Some common denominalizing affixes in English are -ize/-ise (e.g., summarize), -ify (e.g., classify), -ate (e.g., granulate), en- (e.g., enslave), be- (e.g., behead), and zero or -∅ (e.g., school).[2]

A variety of semantic relations are expressed between the base noun X and the derived verb. Although there is no simple relationship between the affix and the semantic relation,[2] there are semantic regularities that can define certain subclasses. [3] Some common terms used to refer to these subclasses include: [1][4][5]

  • resultative: to make something into an X, e.g., victimize, cash
  • locative: to put something in X, e.g., box, hospitalize
  • instrumental: to use X, e.g., sponge, hammer
  • ablative: to remove something from X, e.g., deplane, unsaddle
  • privative: to remove X from something, e.g., pit (olives), behead, bone, defrost
  • ornative: to add X to something or to cover something with X, e.g., rubberize, salt
  • similative: to act like or resemble X, e.g., tyrannize, guard
  • performative: to do or perform X, e.g., botanize, tango


In Rgyalrong languages, denominal derivations are extremely developed and have given rise to incorporating and antipassive constructions [6][7](Jacques 2012, 2014).


Many Latin verbs are denominal.[8] For example, the first conjugation verb nominare (to name) is derived from nomen (a name),[8] and the fourth conjugation verbs mollire (to soften) derive from mollis (soft).[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Clark, Eve V.; Clark, Herbert H. (December 1979). "When Nouns Surface as Verbs". Language. 55 (4): 767–811. doi:10.2307/412745. JSTOR 412745.
  2. ^ a b Carolyn A. Gottfurcht, Denominal Verb Formation in English, Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 2008 full text
  3. ^ Rimell, Laura D. (2012). Nominal Roots as Event Predicates in English Denominal Conversion Verbs.
  4. ^ Kastovsky, Dieter (1973). "Causatives". Foundations of Language. 10 (2): 255–315. ISSN 0015-900X. JSTOR 25000716.
  5. ^ Plag, Ingo (1999). Morphological Productivity: Structural Constraints in English Derivation. De Gruyter Mouton. doi:10.1515/9783110802863. ISBN 978-3-11-080286-3.
  6. ^ Jacques, Guillaume (2012). "From denominal derivation to incorporation". Lingua. 122 (11): 1207–1231. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2012.05.010. ISSN 0024-3841.
  7. ^ Jacques, Guillaume (2014). "Denominal affixes as sources of antipassive markers in Japhug Rgyalrong". Lingua. 138: 1–22. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2013.09.011. ISSN 0024-3841.
  8. ^ a b Moreland, Floyd L.; Fleischer, Rita M. (1990). Latin: An Intensive Course. London, England: University of California Press. p. 29. ISBN 0520031830.
  9. ^ Fortson, Benjamin W. IV (2004). "13.13". Indo-European Languages and Culture. Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-0315-2.