vend n. - backform?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 8 20:35:42 UTC 2009


At 3:47 PM -0400 8/8/09, Alison Murie wrote:
>The compressed air pump at a local gas station  (75ยข)" Three minutes
>each vend."
>AM
>
I'm not sure why it would be a back-formation,
although the verb "to vend" might itself be if
it's derived from "vending (machine)" or
"vender", but even as a zero-formation from the
verb "vend" I'm not sure how easy it would be to
make the case.  The OED has cites for the noun
going back to 1618 (with the meaning "sale,
opportunity of selling") and for the verb going
back to 1622, so they've both been around for a
while.  Still, the verb (and the derived suffixal
nouns and gerundives) are a lot more frequent
than the bare noun "(a) vend".  So it could be a
zero-derivation (or back-formation?) for an
individual speaker if not for the language.
Ontogeny doesn't always recapitulate phylogeny.

LH

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