English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Are there any terms used to describe the conversion of a noun into an adjective and vica versa?

redundant -> redundancy

Synonyms are when two words mean the same thing. Is there a term similar to this for these purposes?

share|improve this question
Related: Is there a term for when the noun and adjective have greatly different forms, such as "dog" and "canine"? – Hexagon Tiling Apr 8 '12 at 5:31
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The process of changing a word with one grammatical function into a word with a similar meaning but a different function is called Derivation.

Derivation one of the two varieties of Morphology (the other is Inflection). English has almost no inflection left, so its morphology is almost all derivation, and quite a lot of that is Zero Derivation, where there's no suffix (He's growing like a weed vs. I have to weed the garden)

share|improve this answer
What do you think about @shoe's adjectivization and nominalization? – Kris Apr 8 '12 at 8:23
Those are specific types of derivation. Verbalization, unfortunately, already has a useful and potentially confusing meaning, so a linguist that wanted to talk about verb-forming derivation might use a still more specific form, like causativization. The combination of derivational markers -ize, -ate, and -ion is quite productive for technical terms. – John Lawler Apr 8 '12 at 14:15

The specific term for turning a word into an adjective is adjectivization. Nominalization (or substantivation ) is the process of turning a word into a noun.

share|improve this answer
I really wish there were a way to LINK these two answers together and give them both credit, as I have found this answer to have value as well as the first. Thank you :D – earthmeLon Apr 8 '12 at 20:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.