• • • I. DEFINITION & CHARACTERISTICS I.1> Definition “A word is a free form that can not be divided wholly into smaller forms.” a word comes into being when the concept (meaning) and sound (form) are united the smallest unit of a language which are independent in terms of both meaning and form E.g.: sound; teacher

I.2> Characteristics
a> Indivisibility • A word “cannot be cut into without a disturbance of meaning, one or two other or both of the several parts remaining as a helpless waif on your hands” • E.g.: ”sleep” is a word because it is indivisible, i.e. structurally impermeable: nothing can be inserted between its elements

b> Internal cohesion & positional mobility. • component morphemes of a particular word always occur in a fixed order to form a meaningful unit (internally stable) -E.g. acceptable: ac-, -cept, -able, these elements always combine in the order: ac- + cept + -able, never is there the possibility of a sequence like cept-ac-able. • the word, as a whole, is flexible in its position: words can change their positions in an order which produces an acceptable sequence. -E.g.: we can form three meaningful sentences from he, slowly, left: • Slowly, he left. • He left slowly. • He slowly left.

II> STRUCTURE-BASED CLASSIFICATION OF WORDS • Simple words are those which consist of a single free morpheme, e.g. man, work, horse. • Complex words are the ones made form one base with the addition of (an) affix(es). subclasses: 2 types: C-FB, complex words made up of one free base with the addition of (an) affix(es); have 1 free form as an IC. E.g.: care ful, homeless ness C-BB, complex words composed of one bound base combining with (an) affix(es) E.g.: in clude; infanti cide

• Compound words are those made from the combination of two or more than two independent words, with or without bound morphemes • are written either as a single word (e.g. stomachache), as hyphenated words (e.g. self-confident), or as two words (e.g. swimming pool).

Types of compounds 1. Derivational compounds: derivational suffix is attached to the combination as a whole: honeymooner, ill-mannered, heart-shaped, three-headed 2. Repetitive compounds: 2a. Reduplicative compounds: the second element is the proper repetition of the first element with intensifying effect: drip-drip (sound of rain drops dripping down), hushhush (very secret or confidential)

2b. Ablaut compounds: twin forms consisting of 1 basic morpheme (usually the second), sometimes a pseudo-morpheme which is repeated in the other constituent with a different vowel: chit-chat (gossip), ping-pong (table tennis), ding-dong (fight, argument) 2c. Rhyme compounds: twin forms consisting of two elements (most of two pseudo-morphemes), which are conjoined to rhyme: lovey-dovey (darling), harum-scarum (disorganized)

Differences between a compound word and a grammatical structure
• Phonologically: stress pattern E.g.: in two-word compound nouns

● ∙





gerund + noun compound noun

present part. + head N noun phrase=GS

• Syntactically: 1. a compound word can not be separated by the insertion of the other elements because it is an indivisible solid block; by the contrast, a grammatical structure can. E.g.: -the Cp.N dancing teacher (teacher who teaches dancing) can not be inserted by any interfering material without changing its meaning - with the noun phrase dancing teacher (teacher who is dancing) we can insert nationality adjective English to form a new phrase dancing English teacher.

2. a component of a compound word cannot participate in grammatical structure while the one of a grammatical structure can E.g.: -Cp.N dark room (a place where we can take out films out of a camera and develop photographs) an extremely dark room: wrong -NP dark room (room with little light) It’s not good to read books in an extremely dark room like this: O.K. 3. arrangement of elements E.g.: -verb adverbial composite: turn down (verb root+ adverbial particle) -compound word: Cp.N downturn (particle + verb).

• Semantically: • while the meaning of a grammatical structure is the total of the meanings of its elements, the meaning of a compound word is unpredictable (Cp.words have specialized/idiomatic meanings). E.g.:-I had a bird’s eye view= I saw the eye of a bird  NP -In my opening lecture I propose to give you a bird’s-eye view of the 18th century French literature.= an overall summary  Cp. N

No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



sharpener book shop
container portable car pool antiwar pure fatherland highlander

Complex-free base


11 12 13 14 15

newly-wed existentialism armchair combination







1 2 3 4 5 sharpener bookshop container portable car pool C-FB Cp C-BB C-BB Cp 10 occur C-BB

(a group of car owners who take turns to drive everyone in the group to work, so that only 1 car is used at a time)

6 7 8 9

antiwar pure fatherland highlander


11 cooperation C-FB 12 newly-wed Cp 13 existentialism C-FB 14 armchair Cp 15 combination 16 analyzing C-BB 17 touched C-FB 18 seize S 19interchangeable C-FB 20 carnal C-BB

1. David’s car is a hardtop Cp (a car with a metal roof) 2. This car has a rather hard top. GS (The car has a top which is rather hard) 3. It was a jack-in-thebox.Cp (a toy in the form of a box with afigure inside that springs up when the lid is opened) 4. The plant in the box is rare. GS (The plant that is grown in the box…)

5. A hót dòg is not a hòt dóg. Cp-GS (a hot sausage served in hot bread roll, often with onions & mustard; a dog which is hot) 6. He has a dog in the manger attitude. Cp (He is a person who stops others enjoy sth he can’t use or doesn’t want) 7. He has a dog in the manger attitude. GS (an annoying attitude) 8. She has a stròng hóld on him. GS (a hold which is strong) 9. She has a strónghòld on him. Cp (support)

10. He found his father-in-law. Cp (his wife’s father) 11. He found his father in trouble. GS (his father who is in trouble) 12. They bought it in the bláck màrket. Cp (market where people sell & buy things illegally) 13. They caught in the black, completely lightless market because the electricity went off. GS (market that is black & completely lightless) 14. Her spénding mòney was a source of annoyance to his father. Cp (the money spent by her) 15. Her spènding móney was a source annoyance to his father. GS (the way according to which she spends her money)


• 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 another…The 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, fiancé - 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 (từ tượng hình/tượng 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 (tên riêng chỉ loại) • is the use of a proper name to designate a member of a class. For example, Solomon—the wisest king of Israel, now refers to a wise ruler, or Don Juan—the 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 (hiện tượng láy) • Another way to invent words is reduplication—the 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)

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