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Processes of Word Formation Relevance of word-formation to grammar The rules by which words are constructed are important to the study of grammar for two reasons: Firstly, They help us to recognize the grammatical class of a word by its structure; we are able to tell that the word organization is a noun from the fact that it ends in the suffix -ation. Secondly, They teach us that there is a flexibility in the application of grammatical rules, whereby the native speaker may transfer words, with or without the addition of affixes or other words, to a new grammatical class. Productiveness A rule of word-formation usually differs from a syntactic rule in one important respect: it is of limited productivity, in the sense that not all words which result from the application of the rule acceptable; they are freely acceptable only when they have gained an institutional currency in the language. Un- is a prefix that is added to an adjective. Examples wise excellent unwise *unexcellent -less is a suffix that is added to an adjective. selfish *selfishless Cont. The rules of word- formation provide a constant set of ‘models’ from which new words are created from day to day. The rules themselves ( like grammatical rules) undergo change. Cont. Affixes and compounding processes can become productive or lose their productivity; can increase or decrease their range of meaning or grammatical applicability. Cont. In the language, there are productive or marginally productive rules of word-formation, leaving aside “dead” processes, even though they may have fossilized existence in a number of words in the language. Examples The Old English affix –th, no longer used to form new words, survives in length long depth deep width wide Word-formation processes English calls upon a number of devices as a means of forming new words on the bases of the old. A form to which a rule of word-formation is applied a BASE (as distinct from STEM), and the chief processes of English word-formation by which the base may be modified are: Cont. The chief processes of English wordformation by which the base may be modified are: 1) AFFIXATION (Derivation) 2) CONVERSION 3) COMPOUNDING A. AFFIXATION (Derivation) (a) Adding a prefix to the base, with or without a change of wordclass. (eg: author co-author). (b) Adding a suffix to the base, with or without a change of word-class. (eg: drive driver). B. Conversion Conversion is the derivational process whereby an item is adapted or converted to a new word-class without the addition of an affix. In other words, assigning the base to a different word-class without changing its form (“zero affixation”, e.g.: drive (v)--- drive (n). Cont. We have seen that new words may be added to the vocabulary of a language by derivational processes. New words also enter a language in a variety of other ways. C. Compounding A compound is a unit consisting of two or more bases. In other words, by adding one base to another. Example Such compound words can be nouns eg: blood+test= blood test adjectives eg: tax+free= tax-free Verbs eg: spring+clean=spring-clean Examples Adjective Noun Verb Adjective bittersweet poorhouse whitewash Noun headstrong homework spoon feed Verb ____ pickpocket sleepwalk Cont. The right-hand member is the head of the compound, determining the syntactic category and meaning of the whole. The left-hand member is the modifier. Example modifier head For example: A morphology article is a kind of article. A houseboat is a kind of boat. A boathouse is a kind of house. Cont. Thus, when the two words fall into different categories, the class of the second or final word will be the grammatical category of the compound. Example noun + adjective = adjective headstrong, watertight, lifelong verb + noun = noun pickpocket, pinchpenny, daredevil. Examples noun+ verb = verb Steamroll adjective + verb = verb dryclean Cont. On the other hand, compounds formed with a preposition are in the category of the nonprepositional part of the compound; overtake, hanger-on, undertake, sundown, afterbirth. Number of compounds Though two-word compounds are the most common in English, it would be difficult to state upper limit. Consider the following: three-time loser four-dimensional space-time daughter-in-law Cont. Orthographically, Compounds are written (a) solid ,eg: bedroom (b) hyphenated,eg : tax-free (c) open, eg: reading material Cont. There is important distinction between compounds and phrases. We cover the following: 1) STRESS 2) COMPOSITIONALITY 3) TENSES AND PLURAL MARKERS 1.Stress compoun d For example: phras e Blackbird as opposed to black bird the compound has stress on black, while the phrase is stressed on bird. 2.Compositionality Moreover, a black bird is necessarily black, while a blackbird is a particular species of bird whatever its color. Test Compounds whose first element is an adjective (greenhouse) can be identified with the help of a test that illustrated in the following example: Compound with very: *We live next to a very [greenhouse]. Very with an adjective that is not part of a compound: We live next to a very green house. Compositionality ? This means that the semantics of this compound is noncompositional, i.e we can’t determine the meaning of the whole just from the meaning of the parts. The semantics of phrases is compositional. N A black The modifier has neither category nor meaning N N bird black bird N black bird blackbird Examples blackboard falling star magnifying glass looking glass laughing gas Cont. peanut oil olive oil baby oil The first meat from horses and the other is meat for dogs. What about the following sentence: Horse meat is dog meat. Cont. Some of the meanings of compounds can be figured out, but not all. For example: hunchback flatfoot (policeman or detective) turncoat ( a traitor) Redcoat ( British soldier during the American Revolutionary War) Cont. The point is that blackbird is a lexicalized compound whose internal structure is only of historical significance, unlike a non-lexicalized coinage such as morphology article. Cont. In time, with changes in pronunciation, even this historical structure becomes opaque. Thus husband is derived from “house” and “bond” ( Middle English). 3.Tense and plural markers A third distinguishing feature of compounds in English is that tense and plural markers cannot typically be attached to the first element, although they can be added to the whole. ( There are some exceptions, however, such as passers-by and parks supervisor.) Test *The player [dropped kick] the ball through the goal posts. The player [drop kick]ed the ball through the goal posts. *The [foxes hunter] didn’t have a license. The [fox hunter]s didn’t have a license. 4. INVENTION (Coinage) The invention of totally new terms. Our fanciful creation of somp would be one example. Words like aspirin and nylon, originally invented trade names, are others. D. ECHOSIM Echoism is the formation of words whose sound suggests their meaning, like hiss and quack, whisper…etc. 5.CLIPPING Clipping means cutting off the beginning or the end of a word, or both, leaving a part to stand for the whole. The resultant form is called a clipped word. Cont. The clipped form is normally felt informal. For ex. Lab, prof, exam, mike…etc Cont. The shortening may occur at (a) The beginning of the word: Phone telephone Plane airplane, aeroplane Bus omnibus Cont. (b) The end of the word (more commonly): ad advert(isment) photo photograph exam examination Cont. ( c) at both ends of the word (not a common type of clipping): Flu influenza Fridge refrigerator (esp. BrE) 6. ACRONYMY Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters ( or larger parts) of words that make up a descriptive phrase or a proper name. New acronyms are freely produced in Modern English, particularly for names of organizations. There are two main types: Cont. (1) Acronyms which are pronounced as sequences of letters can be called “alphabetisms” . (a) The letters represent full words: C.O.D. Cash on delivery FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation UN the United Nations Cont. (b) The letters represent elements in a compound or just parts of a word: TV television GHQ General Headquarters ID identification card TB tuberculosis Cont. (2) Acronyms which are pronounced as word, and are often used with out knowing what the letters stand for: Examples NATO the North Treaty Organization UNESCO the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 7. BLENDING The blend is a type of word formation which has become popular in English this century and which now accounts for a significant proportion of new words, particularly those deriving from commercial trade names or advertising, those which have a technical or scientific name. What is a blend? A blend is any word which is formed by fusing together elements from two other words and whose meaning shares or combines the meanings of the source words. The elements are normally the beginning of one and the end of the other. For example Smog smoke+ fog Interpol international police Motel motor hotel Newcast news broadcast Brunch breakfast+ lunch More Examples Oxbridge It is a word which is formed by putting together the first part of Oxford and the last part of Cambridge to form a new inclusive term for both universities. Cont. It is very noticeable that a fashion for such word formations began in the 1890s leading to an increased rate of word formation. Example Electrocute ( a blend of electricity and execute, first appeared in 1889) Brunch ( a blend taken early at lunchtime, was first recorded in 1896) Travelogue (travel + monologue, in 1903. Cont. The modern usage of blend as a technical term is quite strict. This is because the essential feature of a blend is that there be no point at which you can break the word with everything to the left of the breaking being morpheme and every thing to the right is being a morpheme, and with the meaning of the blend word being a function of the meaning of these morphemes. Examples Keypad Birdcage Townhouse They are regarded as compounds because the elements being put together are words in their own right. What about? Megastar Cyberspace Hypertext They are all compounds because they are combinations of freestanding words with prefixes or suffixes. Cont. The terminology is complicated by a subsidiary process in which blends can give rise to new prefixes which then affect the classification of later creations. Examples Motorcade ,formed as a blend of motor and cavalcade, which created a new suffix – cade that has been used in many words. Ex. Similarly, the prefix info- deriving from information has become heavily used in terms such as Infoglut Infoaut Infomercial Cont. Other examples are cyber- ( created from cybernetics) -thon ( from marathon ) Examples Franglish Spanglish Japlish These blends describe a language which has been heavily influenced by English. Cont. Brunch ( a blend of breakfast and lunch) Telex ( from teleprinter and exchange) Animatronics ( animated+ electronics ) Camcorder ( camera+ recorder) Cont. The boundary between the first and second components of blends can occur at various points. Cont. Smog Sm[oke –f]og Boost Boo[st –hoi]st Cont. Because (by+ cause) Goodbye (God +be [with] +you) Intercom (internal+ communication Motel ( motor+ hotel) For example Interpol Newcast international police news broadcast Backformation Typically, a word of one type (usually a noun) is reduced to form another word of one type (usually a verb). A good example of backformation is the process in whereby the noun television first came into use and the verb televise was created from it. Examples: edit donate emote (from ‘editor’) (from ‘donation’) (from ’emotion’) Borrowing One of the most common sources of new words in English is the process simply labeled borrowing, that is, the taking over of words from other languages. Cont. The English Language had adopted a vast number of loan-words from other languages, including alcohol (Arabic), boss (Dutch), croissant (French), lilac (Persian), piano (Italian) and yogurt (Turkish). Cont. Other languages borrow terms from English, as can be observed in the Japanese use of suupaamaaketto (supermarket).