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functional shift Syllabification: func·tion·al shift

Entry from US English dictionary

Definition of functional shift in English:


A shift in the use of a word to a new grammatical function, such as the use of the nouns contact and impact as verbs.
Example sentences
  • Its functional shift to a noun adjunct in the Pledge is a small but significant reinterpretation of the past to make it more congenial to current ideological purposes.
  • Conversion, or functional shift, is the process by which words extend their grammatical function: for example, from verb to noun (run in go for a run), and from noun to verb (position in positioning people).
  • This paper surveys this phenomenon, then considers how a functional shift from nominal-marking to verbal-marking morphology could have occurred.
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