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Words and word

Words and word - MLL 190 Notes Words and word-formation...

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MLL 190 Notes Words and word-formation processes - we can quickly understand a new word in our language (neologism) and accept the use of different forms of that new word. - Etymology – study of the origin and history of a word - Rather than act as if the language is being debased, we might prefer to view the constant evolution of new words and new uses of old words as reassuring sign of vitality and creativeness in the way a language is shaped by the needs of its users. - Coinage – invention of totally new terms. Most typical sources are invented trade names for commercial products that become general terms (ex: aspirin, nylon, Vaseline) - Eponyms – new words based on the name of a person or a place (ex: hoover, sandwich, jeans) - Borrowing – taking over words from other languages (ex: croissant) - loan translation (claque) – direct translation of the elements of a word into the borrowing language (gratte-ciel in French = scrape-sky) - Compounding – Compounding – joining of two separate words to produce a single form. - Blending – combination of two separate forms to produce a single new term (taking only beginning of one word & joining it to end of other word ex: smog (smoke + fog)). - Clipping – element of reduction that is noticeable in blending. When word of more than one syllable is reduced to shorter form (facsimile to fax), usually beginning in casual speech. - Hypocorisms – longer word is reduced to single syllable, then –y or –ie is added to end. Ex: movie (moving pictures), telly (television) - Backformation – specialized type of reduction process. A word of one type (usu. Noun) is reduced to form a word of another type (usu. Verb). Ex: Donate (from donation), televise (television). - Conversion – Change in the function of a word, as for example when a noun comes to be used as a verb. Ex: bottle, butter, chair - Conversion can involve verbs becoming nouns, verbs becoming adjectives and vice- versa (a dirty floor) - Acronyms – new words formed from initial letters of a set of other words. - Derivation – most common word-formation process accomplished by means of large number of small ‘bits’ of English language which are not usually given separate listings in dictionaries.
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