Lexicology — Билет 12

Minor types of word formation

1) Shortening is the process and the result of forming a word out of the initial elements (letters, morphemes) of a word combination.

Shortenings are produced in 2 ways:

  • To make a new word from a syllable (rarer two) of the original words. The latter may lose it’s beginning (telephone – phone, defence — fence), it’s ending (holidays – hols, advertisement- ad), or both the beginning and the ending (influenza – flu, refrigerator — fridge)
  • To make a new word from the initial letters of a word group: U.N.O – United Nation Organization, B.B.C. and etc.

2) Blending is the process of combining parts of two words to form one word. Blends (blended words, blendings, fusions) are formations, that combine 2 words, and include and include the letters or sounds, they have in common as a connecting element.

E.g. Smog=smoke + fog

3) Sound-imitation is formation of words from sounds that resemble those associated with the object or action to be named or that seem suggestive of its qualities.

The words of this group are made by imitating different types of sounds that may be produced by animals, birds, human beings and inanimate objects. Sounds produced by the same kind of animals are frequently represented by different sound groups in different language:

  Russian English
Dogs Гавкать, Выть. Bark, Howl
Cock Кукареку Cock-a-doodle-doo
Cats Мяу Mew, Miaow
Cows Мууу Moo, Low
Frog Ква Croak
Duck Кряк Quack

The sound of the verbs to rush, to dash, to flash, may be said to reflect the brevity, swiftness and energetic nature of their corresponding actions.

4) In Reduplications new words are made up by doubling a stem, either without any phonetic changes as in buy-buy or with a variation of the root-vowel or consonant as inping-pong, chit-chat (the second type is called gradational reduplication).

5) Back-formation is the derivation of new words by subtracting a real or supposed affix from existing words through misinterpretation of their structure. In these cases the verb was made from the noun by subtracting what was mistakenly associated with the English suffix “-er”. In the case of the verb to beg and to burgle the process was reversed: instead of a noun made from a verb by affixation (as in painter from to paint), a verb was produced from a noun by subtraction.

6) Sound-interchange is a change of a phoneme in a morpheme resulting in a new lexical meaning. The process is not active in the language at present.

E.g. Song – to sing, food – feed.

7) Some homographic, and mostly disyllabic nouns and verbs of Romanic origin have adistinctive stress pattern. The stress distinction is neither productive nor regular.

E.g. ’Conduct (n) (behavior) – con’duct (v) (to lead or guide in a formal way).

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