Adjectives can be used as nouns in English as well as in German. In Modern German, however, they can assume a greater variety of forms than is possible in Modern English, partly as a result of the loss of inflectional endings in English; e.g. Modern German gut – das Gut, das Gute, der Gute, die Gute, die Guten, die Güter (also die Güte, die Gutheit) versus Modern English good – the good, the goods (also goodness). With regard to this phenomenon, two issues deserve attention: first of all, the historical development of adjectives as nouns in English and, secondly, their linguistic classification. The merit of this study is that it undertakes the first detailed analysis of this phenomenon with the aid of corpus material. The investigation leads to intriguing conclusions that combine several linguistic levels of description, and that break with traditional concepts of rigid word-classes in favor of a theory of degrees of »adjectiviness« and »nouniness«.
To summarize, the publication is a worthwhile contribution to the study of conversion both from the synchronic and diachrronic perspectives.
Linguistica Pragnesia (1/2016)