Semantic coherence

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Semantic coherence is a notion introduced in Aronoff (1976) which entails that the meaning of a derivative is transparently a composition of the meaning of the base and that of the affix.


All English words of the form Xousness mean:

(i)	'the fact that Y is Xous'
(ii)	'the extent to which Y is Xous'
(iii)	'the quality or state of being Xous'

Hence, the meaning of Xousness words is fully compositional in meaning. This is not true for rival words of the form Xosity which have additional idiosyncratic meanings.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Aronoff, M. 1976. Word Formation in Generative Grammar, MIT-press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.