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A DOZEN WAYS TO MAKE NEW ENGLISH
1. COINAGE (NEOLOGISM)
process of inventing or making up new words
(neologisms) in order to suit certain purposes.
These are often invented by companies with new
products or processes, or taken from names.
“to coin a phrase”
2. BORROWING (LOAN WORDS)
-Words are created by borrowing from another language and
incorporating into English.
-Sometimes the original meaning is altered, and the pronunciation
may change. Since some words were borrowed long ago, it may be
hard to recognize that they were ever not part of English.
coup de gracechaos
taking over of words from other languages – loan
words: alcohol (Arabic), lilac (Persian), boss (Dutch), pretzel (German),
piano (Italian), croissant (French), robot (Czech), tycoon (Japanese),
yogurt (Turkish), zebra (Bantu), shampoo (Hindi), rodeo (Spanish).
Loan – translations or calque: From German Ubermensch to
superman; also French un gratteciel to
A new word is composed of two free morphemes to
create a new meaning. Examples:
-ringtone - wallpaper-underestimate
HOW TO PUNCTUATE?
Sometimes compound words are two distinct
words, sometimes they are hyphenated, and
sometimes they are simply pressed together into a
Hmmmmm…..Jet lag, jet-lag, or jetlag?
A new word is created from blends or parts of morphemes
in two other words to form a new single morpheme.
1.Combining beginning part of a word with the end part
of another word to form a new word – gasoline + alcohol –
gasohol;smoke + fog – smog; breakfast + lunch – brunch;
motor + hotel – motel;television + broadcast – telecast
2. Combining beginning part of a word with the beginning
part of another word to form a new word – teleprinter +
exchange – telex; modulator + demodulator – modem
5. CLIPPING (OR SHORTENING)
a word of more than one syllable is reduced
to a shorter form
gasoline – gas; advertisement – ad; condominium –
condo;facsimile – fax; telephone – phone;
math, lab, prof, gym, Sam, Sue,Tom, Ed, etc.
The first letter of a group of words is combined into a
single word. The resulting word is sometimes
– CD(compact disk); VCR (video cassette recorder); PIN
(personalidentification number); ATM (automatic teller
machine); NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization); NASA
(National Aeronautics and Space
Administration);UNESCO(United Nations Educational Scientific
andCultural Organization); radar (radio detecting and ranging
The first letters of a group of words are combined into
a single word whose letter names are pronounced
a reduction process – Typically, a word of one type (usually a
noun) is reduced to form another word (usually a verb).
Examples: „televise‟ (from television), „donate‟ (from donation)
`opt`(from option), „babysit‟ (from babysitter).
Backformed verbs –
work, edit, sculpt, burgle, peddle, swindle
from nouns –
worker, editor, sculptor, burglar, peddler,swindler by removing
agentive morpheme [-er]
Hypocorism (favored in Australian and
First, a longer word is reduced to a single
syllable, then -y or -ie is added to the end –
„Aussie‟ (Australian), „telly‟ (television), „bookie‟
(bookmaker),„brekky (breakfast), „hankie
(9) Conversion:a change in the function of a word („functional shift‟)
or („category change‟) without any reduction:
1. N to V: paper – papering; butter – buttered; bottle – bottled;
vacation – vacationing; salt – salted; milk – milked.
2. V to N: guess – a guess; spy – a spy;
run – a run; printout – a printout.
3. V to Adj: see through – see-through material; stand up – standup
4. Adj to V: dirty – dirtied; empty – emptied; total – totaling.
5. Adj to N: crazy – a crazy, nasty – a nasty
6. Post conversion semantic change;
a doctor – to doctor a manuscript;
total – to total a car
to run around – a runaround (excuses, delays, deceptions)
10. PAIRED WORD SOUND PLAY
A “double word” is created in two ways:
1-the second word has a change of vowel, usually formed lower in the
2-the second type is a rhyme, with the first consonant changing. There
may be a slight onomatopoetic association, but not always.
hip hophelter skelter
wishy washybow wow
11. SCALE CHANGE
Affixes are added to a base word to indicate its
dimension, sometimes using affixes from other
12. MULTIPLE PROCESSES
Most words are formed through multiple processes!
-deli is borrowed from German (delicatessen) and then
-snowball is compounded from two free morphemes to form
a noun, then converted into a verb (snowballed, etc.);
-Internet is a product of clipping (international plus
network), blending (inter+net) and conversion (netiquette)
Loss of capital letters + derivation: „waspish‟ from WASP
(White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) + suffix -ish.
most common word-formation process – accomplished by
adding small ‘bits’ called ‘affixes’ (prefixes, suffixes, and infixes) to
-Prefixes: co-, ex- re-, un-, pre-, mis-, dis-, co-author, ex-wife,
reexamine, unhappy, prejudge, mislead, disarm.
-Suffixes: -ful, -ness, -ish, -ism, -less
careful, goodness, childish, terrorism, hopeless.
-Infixes: not normally found in English. An example from
Kamhmu, a language spoken in South East Asia, infix -rn-
(to drill) see – srnee (a drill)
(to chisel) toh – trnoh (a chisel)
(to eat with a spoon) hiip – hrniip (a spoon)
(to tie) hoom – hrnoom (a thing with which to tie)
Q-Can you identify the different word-formation processes
involved in producing each of the underlined words in these
?TBDon‟t you ever worry that you might get-1
machine?xeroxDo you have a-2
every Saturday night.partiesShiel still-4
.kickassfrom Zee Designs areskateboardsThese new-5
.vet, not adocWhen I'm ill , I want to see a-6
thebabysittingwhen I wasburgledThe house next door was-7
.comfyit is nice and-sofaI like this old-8
do you have?RAMHow much-9
!techieYour friend Jason is such a-10
that site.bookmarkYou should-11
.bloggersWe are paying too much attention to-12
.downloadsSubscribers have unlimited-13
who rarely leave theirnetizensThere are some teenage-14
more carefully.keyboardI can`t get some of the students to-15