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LINGUISTICS FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS
• Properties of
• Sounds of
• Words in
• Word Formation
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WORDS AND WORD
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WORD FORMATION PROCESS
Coinage Borrowing Compounding
Clipping Backformation Conversion
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Also called Invention
The invention of a totally new term is called coinage.
◦ Example : nylon
Can be intentionally or accidently
The most typical sources are invented trade names for commercial
products that become general terms
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Other sources include name of a person or a place. They are
the eponyms or antonomasia.
◦ sandwich (from the 18th century Earl of Sandwich who first insisted on having
bread and meat together while gambling
◦ hoover (from the Hoover Suction Sweeper Company which produced the
first vacuum cleaner)
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Borrowing is one of the most common sources of new
words in English.
The words formed by borrowing of words from other
languages are called loanwords.
Over 80% of the English words are loanwords - from
over 120 languages.
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ketchup gweilo cha chaan teng laisee dim sum Chinese
balcony opera violin spaghetti macaroni Italian
kindergarten pretzel hamburger iceberg German
karaoke tsunami sushi origami tycoon karate soy Japanese
croissant macaroon resume mayonnaise coup d’etat French
yoga shampoo Indian
yogurt kebab Turkish
A special type of borrowing is loan-translation.
◦ red packet (Chinese) – loan-translation aka calque
Bahasa Malaysia was once considered the fastest growing language as it
borrows a lot from other languages
◦ Bagasi (baggage)
English also borrowed from Bahasa Melayu
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Compounding is the joining of two separate words to
produce a single word.
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Calquing is the word formation process in which a borrowed word or phrase is
translated from one language to another.
For example, the following common English words are calqued from foreign
◦ beer garden – German – Biergarten
◦ blue-blood – Spanish – sangre azul
◦ commonplace – Latin – locus commūnis
◦ flea market – French – marché aux puces
◦ free verse – French – vers libre
◦ loanword – German – Lehnwort
◦ long time no see – Chinese – hǎo jiǔ bu jiàn
◦ pineapple – Dutch – pijnappel
◦ scapegoat – Hebrew – ez ozel
◦ wisdom tooth – Latin – dēns sapientiae
Calques are also referred to as root-for-root or word-for-word translations
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When a word of more than one syllable is reduced to a shorter form,
the process is called clipping.
◦ advertisement → ad
◦ telephone → phone
◦ influenza → flu
◦ congratulations – congrats (not congrate hokay!)
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Backformation is the process of shortening a long word by cutting off an
affix to form a new word. The new word has a different part of speech
from the original word.
televise ← television
donate ← donation
babysit ← babysitter
backform ← backformation
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Blending is typically accomplished by combining the initial
part of one word and the last part of another word.
◦ brunch (breakfast + lunch)
◦ kidult (kid + adult)
◦ edutainment (education + entertainment)
◦ emoticon (emotion + icon)
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Conversion refers to the process of changing or converting the class of a
word without changing its form.
Assigns an existing word to a different word class (part of speech)
or syntactic category
The word email, for instance, can be used as a verb in Modern English
though it was only a noun in the past.
◦ butter (N) - V to butter the bread
◦ permit (V) - N an entry permit
◦ empty (A) - V to empty the litter-bin
◦ must (V) - N doing the homework is a must
◦ Microwave (N) - V microwave the curry
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Noun to Verb bottle – The wine was bottled in Napa Valley
Verb to Noun hit – He scored a hit in his first shot
cheat – He used some cheats in the computer game to
make him win easy
must – It is a must for you to take the test
Adjective to Noun regular – I am of the regulars at the restaurant in Tsim
final – It is obvious that my team will enter the finals.
crazy – Stop shouting like a crazy
Adjective to Verb empty – Can you empty the trash for me?
Acronyms is a type of abbreviation, which are new words formed from
the initial letters of a set of words.
They are pronounced as new single words.
◦ NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
◦ UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund)
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Derivation is also known as affixation.
New words are created by adding affixes to an existing word.
The most common word formation process.
◦ happy - unhappy, happiness
◦ arrange - rearrange
prefixes vs. suffixes
infixes inside the word
Tell them I’ve gone to Singabloodypore!
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Root and Affixes
Affixation is the most common word formation process in English.
Words are formed by adding affixes to roots.
Roots can be free or bound morphemes.
They cannot be further analyzed into smaller parts. They form the base
forms of the words.
Free roots are free morphemes. They can stand alone to function as
recollect, bilingual, uneasy, mislead, hardly, attractive
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Bound roots are bound morphemes.
They cannot stand alone to function as words because they are no longer
used in Modern English.Examples:
Affixes are bound morphemes. They can be classified into prefixes and
suffixes in English.
A prefix is an affix added to the beginning of other morphemes to form a
dislike, deactivate, inadequate, immobile, misleading, unaccountable
endurable, underachieve, overdeveloped, prerequisite, postgraduate, recy
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Echoism means the formation of words by imitating sounds.
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Folk Etymology refers to the changing of a word or a phrase over time
which results from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more
“Bryd-guman” from Old English was changed to bridegroom as the Old
English word guma (man) was obsolete.
In OE, the word for “island” was iegland or igand which ordinarily would
have become iland in modern English. But then the word isle came into
English from Old French which got it from Latin insula.
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Reduplication is the formation of a new word
by doubling a word:
either with change of initial consonants
with change of vowel
◦(chit-chat, zig-zag) or without change
(night-night, so-so and win-win).
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