Publication details [#2170]

Clark, Eve V. and Herbert H. Clark. 1979. When nouns surface as verbs. Language 55 (4) : 767–811.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


C. and C. propose that the use of denominal verbs (such as in 'to porch a newspaper' and 'to Houdini one's way out of the closet') is regulated by a convention; in using such a verb, the speaker means to denote the kind of state, event, or process that, he has good reason to believe, the listener can readily and uniquely compute on this occasion, on the basis of their mutual knowledge, in such a way that the parent noun (viz. porch, Houdini) denotes one role in the state, event, or process, and the remaining surface arguments of the denominal verb denote others of its roles.