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Processes By Which New Words Come Into A Language

1101 words - 5 pages

Processes by which new words come into a languageLanguage is like a living organism, that is, they can grow(e.g. English) and they can die(e.g. Latin). English is probably one of the more successful languages at growing. You can probably travel to any country in the world and run into someone who knows a few words of English. We might ask the question, how does a language grow? Well, one way is adding new words.New words can enter a language in a number of ways. In the remainder of this question, I will discuss four ways in which it enters the English language.BorrowingBorrowing means just what it says, words are 'borrowed' from other languages. Borrowed words can be of two types: direct and ...view middle of the document...

4.To show intellectualism. That is, to show that your language is worldly and able to easily adapt to change. Greek and Latin words are often used to create scientific words (e.g. epidemiology, theorem, gastric).(Methods of Word Formation, n.d.)BlendingBlending is the combining of two words to make a new word. When these words are combined letters are dropped. Not many words are formed in this way. Let's look at a few examples:breakfast + lunch = brunchsmoke + fog = smogmotor + hotel = motelCompoundsAre new words produced by joining to words together. Unlike blending, when these words are combined no letters are dropped (e.g. fire + place = fireplace). Many words are formed this way. Fromkin(2000) points out that the combinations possible are almost endless. Here is a chart of some of the possible combinations she suggests:Adjective Noun VerbAdjective bittersweet poorhouse highbornNoun headstrong rainbow spoonfeedVerb carryall pickpocket sleepwalk(Fromkin, 2000, pp.80)From Fromkin's chart on compounds, I came up with the following general formulas for compound words:(1) ai + af = A Where a = word with different grammaticalproperty than 'b'(2) ai + ... + bf = B b = word with different grammaticalproperty than 'b'A = new word with same grammaticalproperty as 'a'B = new word with same grammaticalproperty as 'b'i = initial wordf = final wordFormula (1) is saying that if 'a' is a noun then 'A' will be a noun. The same holds true for verbs and adjectives.In formula (2), combining 2 or more words of different grammatical properties will result in 'B', which is a word with the same grammatical property as the last word ( bf ). Here is an example:black(adj.) + board(noun) = blackboard(noun)These formulas look nice, but formula (2) is not...

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