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Transcript
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).