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PROCESSES OF WORD FORMATION I> DEFINITION Word formation is the creation of new words.

. Hereafter are several ways of doing this.


two or more independent existing words form a new one. written either as a single word (e.g. stomachache), as hyphenated words (e.g. selfconfident), or as 2 words (e.g. bus stop). occurs in all word classes: - Noun: coffee shop, egghead, sleeping bag, swimming pool, tooth brush. - Verb: down size, download, upload, upgrade. - Adjective: bad-tempered, hotheaded, newly-wed, home-made - Adverb: furthermore, moreover, kind-heartedly

- Pronoun: something, anything, nobody, nothing - Preposition: across from, because of, next to, prior to. - Auxiliary: be going to, had better, would rather. - Conjunction: however, no matter what, in order that, wherever. class of the final component determines the grammatical category of the compound, e.g. mother-in-law (noun), download (verb), headstrong (adjective), etc. compounds formed with a preposition usually fall in the category of the non-prepositional components of the compound, e.g. workout, break-up, downturn, downfall, etc.

II.2> Affixation/ derivation

the most common process is accomplished by means of a large number of affixes which are added to base morphemes. involves the changes of grammatical potential, form, and/or meaning of a word consists of prefixation and suffixation. Prefixation: the addition of a bound morpheme at the beginning of a base to form a new word, e.g. dislike, inject, repay. Suffixation: the addition of a bound morpheme takes place at the end of a base, e.g. audience, childlike, realism.

II.3> Clipping/shortening
way of creating new words by omitting/cutting off the beginning, the end, or both, of a word, resulting a part which can stand for the whole original word and is referred to as clipped word. words formed by this process are usually found in everyday casual speech. E.g.: airplane plane advertisement ad Elizabeth Liz clipped words are also formed from grammatical units. E.g.: American Indian (modifier+N)Ameriandian medical care (modifier+N) medicare usually occur first in slang & argot, & then some make their way into standard English. E.g.: chapman (fellow) chap quacksalver (very bad doctor) quack

II.4> Blending
combing parts of other words/; fusion of 2 words into 1, usually the 1st part of 1 word with the last part of anotherThe resultant blend partakes of both original meanings [Stageberg, 1983:51]. -E.g.: slang language slanguage positive electron positron binary digit bit words formed by this process are termed blendings, or fusions, or portmanteau words. Many blends are nonce words, here today & gone tomorrow.

II.5> Acronymy
words are formed from the initial letters of a set of other words words derived by this process are labeled acronyms. resulting words are either capitalized (NATO, AIDS) or written in the same way as common nouns (laser, radar). can be pronounced as the spelling indicates, e.g. NATO[1] /ne1t6$/, AIDS[2] /e1dz/, laser[3] /le1z6/, radar[4] /re1d6/, or produced by articulating each letter when the string of letters is not easy to pronounced, e.g. IFM[5] /a1 em ef/, NFL [6]/en ef el/. [1] NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization [2] AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome [3] laser: light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation [4] radar: radio detecting and ranging [5] IMF: International Monetary Fund [6] NFL: National Football League

Numerous in large organizations (army, government, big business): JVC (Victor Company of Japan), Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) Military acronyms: CQ (call to quarters), TD (temporary duty), PX (post exchange), C/O (care of)

II.6> Back formation/reversion a word of one type is reduced to form another word of different type. a word is formed from the one that looks like its derivative. applies chiefly to the coining of verbs from nouns. e.g.: televise (v) television (n) baby-sit (v) baby-sitter (n) is the reverse of suffixation also called reversion.

Other processes of word formation

Coinage/Invention -inventing names for new products: nylon, aspirin -using specific brand names as the generic name for different brands of these types of products: Vaseline, Frigidaire -changing proper name of individuals or places to common nouns: sandwich was named for the 4th Earl (Count) of Sandwich who put his food between 2 slices of bread so that he could eat while he gambled.

Borrowing - from French: champagne, beige, fianc - from German rucksack, kindergarten - from Italian: cantata, opera, concerto, hamburger - from American Indian languages: shampoo, cot - from Vietnamese: pho, ao dai

Conversion/function shift/category change E.g.: -This is a must. (The verb must is converted into a noun.) -This room can house four persons comfortably. (The noun house is changed into a verb.) -The black are always the ones that suffer. (The adjective black becomes a noun.)

Semantic shift/semantic change/semantic progression E.g.: with the advent of computer technology mouse ( a kind of rodent has been used to refer to the input device into a computer). whose metaphorical origins are all but lost E.g.: broadcast originally meant "to cast seeds out"; with the advent of radio and television, the word has been extended to indicate the transmission of audio and video signals. Outside of agricultural circles, very few people use broadcast in the earlier sense.

Echoism/onomatopoeia (t tng hnh/tng thanh) E.g.: -for natural sounds, words like quack (duck), bark (dog), roar (lion), meow (cat) are typically used in English -machines and their sounds are also often described with onomatopoeia; e.g. in honk or beep-beep for the horn of automobiles; vroom or brum for engines. Some of these words are used both as nouns and as verbs. -sometimes things are named after the sounds they make, e.g.: many birds are named after their calls, such as the cuckoo (grayish brown European bird), the whooping crane (American crane with loud whooping).

Antonomasia (tn ring ch loi) is the use of a proper name to designate a member of a class. For example, Solomonthe wisest king of Israel, now refers to a wise ruler, or Don Juanthe name of a character in Spanish legend who is skilled at persuading women to have intimacy with him, now is used to refer to a libertine man.

Reduplication (hin tng ly) Another way to invent words is reduplicationthe process of making new words by repeating parts of words. There is a variety of this: rhyming, exact and ablaut (vowel substitution). Examples are respectively okey-dokey, wee-wee, and zig-zag.

III> Exercise: Identify the processes of word formation

N o . 1 2 Words Word formation process 11


door bell bank draft



newsboy Phil promgirl

escalator splatter laze orate


TOEIC megastar consultation



4 5



6 7


8 9

flu prof house keep




20 1 0


Answer key
1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9

door bell Compounding (door + bell) bank draft Compounding (bank + draft) TOEIC acronymy (Test of English International Communication) megastar prefixation (mega-+ star) consultation suffixation (consult) dorm clipping (dormitory) flu clipping (influenza) prof clipping (professor) house keep back-formation (housekeeper)



transceiver blending (transmitter & receiver)

11 S.O.S acronymy (Save Our Souls) 12 newsboy clipping (newspaper boy) 13 Phil clipping (Philip) 14 promgirl clipping (promotion girl) 15 escalator blending (escalate + elevator) 16 splatter blending (splash + spatter) 17 laze back-formation (lazy) 18 orate back-formation (oration) 19 unexpectedly affixation=prefixation+suffixation (un-+expect+ed+-ly) 20 FIFA acronymy (Federation of International Football Association)