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TSLB3013 : Linguistics - Word Formation Processes

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Topic 4: Morphology - The Words of Language

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TSLB3013 : Linguistics - Word Formation Processes

  2. 2. WORD FORMATION PROCESSES • Affixation • Back-formation • Compounding • Blending • Clipping • Acronyms • Abbreviations • Coinage
  4. 4. ELEVATOR + OPERATOR = ELEVATOR OPERATOR An elevator operator (in British English, usually lift man, lift woman, or lift girl) is a person specifically employed to operate a manually operated elevator. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING UNDERSTANDING CONCEPT (CONT.)
  5. 5. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING KNOWLEDGE • The word formation process in which two or more lexemes (a basic lexical unit of a language) combine into a single new word. • Compound words may be written as one word or as two words joined with a hyphen.
  6. 6. MATH TIME! NOUN + NOUN = NOUN For example: girlfriend, paper clip, landlord, mailman ADJECTIV E + ADJECTIV E = ADJECTIV E For example: icy-cold, red-hot, worldly wise
  7. 7. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING • In English, the rightmost (situated furthest to the right) word in a compound is the head of the compound. The head is the part of a word or phrase that determines its broad meaning and grammatical category. • Thus, when the two words fall into different categories, the class of the second or final word determines the grammatical category of the compound: • noun + adjective = adjective, as in headstrong; • verb + noun = noun, as in pickpocket.
  8. 8. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING • On the other hand, compounds formed with a preposition are in the category of the non-prepositional part of the compound, such as (to) overtake or (the) sundown. This is further evidence that prepositions form a closed-class category that does not readily admit new members.
  9. 9. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING • Although two-word compounds are the most common in English, it would be difficult to state an upper limit: Consider three-time loser, four-dimensional space-time, sergeant-at-arms, mother-of-pearl, man about town, master of ceremonies, and daughter-in-law. Dr. Seuss uses the rules of compounding when he explains “when tweetle beetles battle with paddles in a puddle, they call it a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.” • Spelling does not tell us what sequence of words constitutes a compound; whether a compound is spelled with a space between the two words, with a hyphen, or with no separation at all depends on the idiosyncrasies of the particular compound, as shown, for example, in blackbird, six-pack, and smoke screen. Glossary: Idiosyncrasies /ˌɪdɪə(ʊ)ˈsɪŋkrəsis/ A distinctive or peculiar feature or characteristic of a place or thing
  10. 10. WORD FORMATION PROCESS COMPOUNDING • Like derived words, compounds have internal structure. This is clear from the ambiguity of a compound like top + hat + rack, which can mean ‘a rack for top hats’ corresponding to the structure in tree diagram (1), or ‘the highest hat rack,’ corresponding to the structure in (2).
  12. 12. THE MEANING OF A COMPOUND IS NOT ALWAYS THE SUM OF THE MEANINGS OF ITS PARTS. Red coat Redcoat? ‘Redcoat’ is a slang for British soldier during the American Revolutionary War.
  13. 13. OTHER COMPOUNDS REVEAL OTHER MEANING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE PARTS, WHICH ARE NOT ENTIRELY CONSISTENT BECAUSE MANY COMPOUNDS ARE IDIOMATIC. ‘Boathouse’ refers to the house for boats. BUT.. ‘Cathouse’ refers to… A slang for a house of prostitution or whorehouse.
  14. 14. GUESS WHAT? Looking glass Eating apple A mirror. Apple which is suitable for eating raw.
  15. 15. GUESS WHAT? Laughing gasBaby oil A mineral oil used to soften the skin. Non-technical term for nitrous oxide
  16. 16. MANY COMPOUNDS NOWADAYS DO NOT SEEM TO RELATE TO THE MEANINGS OF THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS AT ALL. • Jack-in-a-box • Turncoat • Highbrow • Bigwig • egghead
  17. 17. HOW DO WE PRONOUNCE COMPOUND WORDS? • The pronunciation of English compounds differs from the way we pronounce the sequence of two words that are not compounded. • In an actual compound, the first word is usually stressed (pronounced somewhat louder and higher in pitch), and in a non-compound phrase the second word is stressed. Thus we stress Red in Redcoat but coat in red coat.
  18. 18. BLENDING
  19. 19. BLENDING Blending is a process of forming a new word by taking and combining parts of two or more words. The new word formed is called a blend. Blends, according to Plag (2003) has two types: • IMPROPER BLENDS • PROPER BLENDS
  20. 20. IMPROPER BLENDS The meaning of the first is modified when combined with the other word. The new word carries the meaning of the second word. Example: - Breath + analyser = breathalyser - Motor + camp = mocamp - Motor + hotel = motel
  21. 21. PROPER BLENDS In this type, the new word contains the combined meaning of both source words Example: - Breakfast + lunch = brunch - Channel + tunnel = chunnel - Modulator + demodulator = modem - Stagnation + inflation = stagflation - Prim = sissy = prissy
  22. 22. REFERENCES Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. & Hyams, N. (2013). An introduction to language. (10th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. (9th ed.) (2015). London: Oxford University Press.
  23. 23. THANK YOU.