The distinction between functional categories and lexical categories is at the heart of present-day grammatical theory, but plays an equally central role in, among other topics, theories on language acquisition, code switching and aphasia. In the course of time, various diagnostic criteria have been identified which distinguish one class from another: e.g. productivity, distribution, lack versus presence of semantic content. Although for certain clear-cut cases (e.g. the distinction between Noun and Determiner) this distinction is quite straightforward, there are many lexical items for which it is less easy to decide whether they side with the lexical categories or the functional ones. The category "Preposition", for example, is a well-known case of uncertainty. This book deals with such "in between"
- categories, i.e. lexical items that display both lexical and functional characteristics. In view of their hybrid status, they are termed "Semi-lexical Categories".
The articles in this volume discuss the existence of semi-lexical categories in the nominal, verbal and prepositional domain and address questions such as: What distinguishes semi-lexical categories from truly lexical ones and in what sense are they different from truly grammatical functors? Is this distinction expressed in terms of their lexical feature composition, and if so, what features are involved?
How do these semi-lexical heads combine in syntactic structure and how do they project syntactically? What is the licensing function of semi-lexical heads? Are semi-lexical heads present in child grammars?
The articles in this book explore the notion of "semi-lexical categories" on the basis of a variety of languages, among others
Bangla, Czech, English, Italian, Korean, Urdu, Vietnamese.
Furthermore, various construction types are discussed: e.g. classifier con-structions, serialisation, auxiliary structures, light verb constructions, and verb-particle structures