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José M. García-Miguel
Universidade de Vigo
Vol. 40 (2013), Artículos, Páginas 355-388
Recibido: 06-05-2013 Aceptado: 06-05-2013
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This paper deals with some basic problems of linguistic categorization, such as the functional motivations of lexical categories, what does interlinguistic variation teach us about them, and whether they are universal or language specific. Some criteria proposed to decide if a categorial system is flexible are examined and they are claimed to serve rather to measure the degree of flexibility of a system but not to trace sharp boundaries between holistic types. Some other gradations are pointed out when more morphosyntactic and distributional properties of words are considered. The main conclusion is that structural patterns supporting lexical categorization are secondary in relation to function and are subject to both inter and intralinguistic continuous variation. Therefore, the focus should be put more on the typology of morphosyntactic strategies allowing the accommodation of lexical meanings to different communicative functions.

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