Контрольная работа "Minor types of word formation"

Minor types of word formation
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Main types of word formation: inflection and derivation. Types of clipping, unclipped original. Blending, back-formation and reduplication. Sound and stress interchange. Phonetic, morphological, lexical variations. Listing and institutionalization.

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In English language as in many other languages there are a lot of different types of word building or word formation, also called word manufacturing. These types appear because of different interesting historic cases and are part of the whole English grammar. A good competent and qualified philologist should know a lot about these types of word manufacturing, including inflection and derivation, loanwords and minor types of word building. This knowledge can be very useful for people who are learning English grammar.

This essay is dedicated to the examination of the minor types of word building including back-formation, clipping, blending, reduplication, different language variations and so on. The essay consists of the introduction, the main part (contains detailed information about listed and other types of word building with many examples), conclusion and used literature.

Different literature including works of famous scientists, textbooks for studying English and online sources of information was used for writing of this essay.


In English language we define two main ways of making new words: internal and external. Internal way means updating of language vocabulary due to its internal potential. It is a productive way of word manufacturing. Internal way includes conversion, affixation, compression, abbreviation, desaffixation. External way means loanwords.

The main types of word building include inflection and derivation. Typically inflection contributes a morpheme that is required in order to ensure that the word has a form that is appropriate for the grammatical context in which it is used (tall-taller). Whereas inflection is driven by the requirement to form a word with the appropriate form in a particular grammatical context, derivation is motivated by the desire to create new lexical items using preexisting morphemes and words. When you need a new word, you do not usually need to make it up from scratch. It is possible to create new lexical items by recycling preexisting material. This is derivation. It takes one of these forms: affixation, conversion, stress placement or compounding.

Let's briefly examine them. Conversion is a way of word-formation without affix use as a result of which is formed categorically different word conterminous in some forms with initial word (the story was filmed).

Affixation is a way of new words formation by addition of word-formation affixes to the word stem (superwar, smarty, cuty, environmentalist).

Desaffixation is a way of word-formation at which words are formed by rejection of a suffix or an element externally similar to a suffix (beggar - to beg, legislator - to legislate, burglar - to burgle).

Abbreviation means formation of new words by reduction (truncation of word stem). As a result new words are formed with the incomplete, truncated word stem (or stems), called abbreviations (sis - sister, prof - professor, sec - second, dif - difference).

Compression is the formation of compound words on the basis of word-combinations and sentences by decreasing the level of components of an initial word-combination or the sentence (do it your self - on the do-it-your-self principle; stay slim - a stay-slim diet; cat and dog - a cat and dog life).

Apart from listed ways of word building English grammar also includes minor types of word building. Minor types of word building mean non-productive means of word formation in present-day English. They include reduplication, clipping, blending, sound interchange, distinctive stress, back-formation and others.


Clipping as one of minor types of word building consists in the reduction of a word to one of its parts, e.g.:

Mathematics - maths

Laboratory - lab

Captain - cap

Gymnastics - gym

There are three types of clipping:

1. Back clipping or apocopation is the most common type, in which the beginning is retained. The unclipped original may be either a simple or a composite. Examples are: ad (advertisement), cable (cablegram), doc (doctor), exam (examination), gas (gasoline), math (mathematics), memo (memorandum), gym (gymnastics, gymnasium) mutt (muttonhead), pub (public house), pop (popular concert), trad (traditional jazz), fax (facsimile).

2. Fore-clipping or aphaeresis retains the final part. Examples are: phone (telephone), varsity (university), chute (parachute), coon (racoon), gator (alligator), pike (turnpike).

3. In middle clipping or syncope, the middle of the word is retained. Examples are: flu (influenza), tec (detective), polly (apollinaris), jams (pyjamas), shrink (head-shrinker).

4. Clipped forms are also used in compounds. One part of the original compound most often remains intact. Examples are: cablegram (cable telegram), op art (optical art), org-man (organization man), linocut (linoleum cut). Sometimes both halves of a compound are clipped as in navicert (navigation certificate). In these cases it is difficult to know whether the resultant formation should be treated as a clipping or as a blend, for the border between the two types is not always clear. According to Bauer (1993), the easiest way to draw the distinction is to say that those forms which retain compound stress are clipped compounds, whereas those that take simple word stress are not. By this criterion bodbiz, Chicom, Comsymp, Intelsat, midcult, pro-am, sci-fi, and sitcom are all compounds made of clippings.

Accepted by the speakers of the language clipping can acquire grammatical categories (used in plural forms).

According to Marchand (1969), clippings are not coined as words belonging to the standard vocabulary of a language. They originate as terms of a special group like schools, army, police, the medical profession, etc., in the intimacy of a milieu where a hint is sufficient to indicate the whole. For example, in school slang originated exam(ination), math(ematic), lab(oratory), and spec(ulation), tick(et = credit) originated in stock-exchange slang, whereas vet(eran), cap(tain) are army slang. While clipping terms of some influential groups can pass into common usage, becoming part of Standard English, clippings of a socially unimportant class or group will remain group slang.


This type of word building is blending part of two words to form one word (merging into one word), e.g.

Smoke + fog = smog

Breakfast + lunch = brunch

Smoke + haze = smaze

Hurry + bustle = hustle

Shine + glimmer = shimmer

Most blends are formed by one of the following methods:

The beginning of one word is added to the end of the other. For example, brunch is a blend of breakfast and lunch. One of the two may be a whole word if it is short. This is the most common method of blending. A monosyllabic word is divided into its onset and rime if necessary. A blend of this type typically has the same number of syllables as the second word.

broccoli + cauliflower > broccoflower

breakfast + lunch > brunch

camera + recorder > camcorder

education + entertainment > edutainment

information + commercial > infomercial

motor + hotel) > motel

simultaneous + broadcast > simulcast

smoke + fog > smog

spoon + fork > spork

stagnation + inflation > stagflation

The beginnings of two words are combined. For example, cyborg is a blend of cybernetic and organism.

Two words are blended around a common sequence of sounds. For example, the word Californication, from a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is a blend of California and fornication.

Multiple sounds from two component words are blended, while mostly preserving the sounds' order. Poet Lewis Carroll was well known for these kinds of blends. An example of this is the word slithy, a blend of lithe and slimy. This method is difficult to achieve and is considered a sign of Carroll's verbal wit.

When two words are combined in their entirety, the result is considered a compound word rather than a blend. For example, bagpipe is a compound, not a blend, of bag and pipe.

Many corporate brand names, trademarks, and initiatives, as well as names of corporations and organizations themselves, are blends. For example, Wiktionary, one of Wikipedia's sister projects, is a blend of wiki and dictionary. Also, Nabisco is a blend of the initial syllables of National Biscuit Company.

Blends are also commonly used by the media and fans to describe celebrity supercouples. It originally started with “Bennifer”, which stood for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Now, it has branched out to cover major couples such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, known together as “TomKat”, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, known together as “Brangelina”, and Vince Vaughn...