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Word Formation

The formation of longer, more complex words from shorter, simpler WORDS. In the
West, the analysis of word form began in classical Greece and passed in due course
to Rome. Philosophers including Plato and Aristotle and grammarians such as
Dionysius Thrax and Terentius Varro developed the study of the ways in which words
were formed as a part of GRAMMAR, founding a long and subtle tradition that was
inherited and extended by 19c comparative philology and 20c linguistics. The
classical study was based only on GREEK and LATIN words, and contrasted simple
word and complex word. The simple word was discussed either in terms of its ROOT
(a basic element without adaptations or inflections), such as Greek log, whose core
meaning was speech, or as a root word, consisting of a root, stem, and inflection
(in most cases cited in standard forms, such as the nominative singular for nouns),
such as Greek lgos (speech, word) and Latin verbum (word, verb). The complex
word was discussed in terms of two processes or categories: (1) Derivation, in which
AFFIXES and inflections could be added to a root, as with logiks, an adjective
formed from lgos, and verbalis, and adjective formed from verbum. (2)
Composition, in which two or more roots could be combined, with appropriate
affixes and inflections added, as with the nouns biologa and biologists formed
from bos (life) and lgos, and agricultura, formed from ager (field) and cultura
(cultivation).
In linguistics, word formation is the creation of a new word. Word formation is
sometimes contrasted with semantic change, which is a change in a single word's
meaning. The boundary between word formation and semantic change can be
difficult to define: a new use of an old word can be seen as a new word derived from
an old one and identical to it in form (see conversion). Word formation can also be
contrasted with the formation of idiomatic expressions, although words can be
formed from multi-word phrases

A. Derivation
Derivation is probably the most common word formation process in the English
language. It is achieved by adding affixes: prefixes are added at the beginning of a
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word, suffixes added to the end of a word, or infixes which are inserted inside a
word, but infixes are unusual in English.
Derivational affixes can change the word class of the item they are added to. If both
inflectional and derivational affixes are used, then the derivational affixes are inner,
closer to the stem, and inflectional affixes are outer, furthest from the stem.
E.g. fright + en + ed = frightened
resign + ation + s = resignations
Derivational affixes
They are usually divided into class-changing and class-maintaining derivation
affixes. Class-changing derivational affixes change the word class of the word to
which they are added. In English, they are usually suffixes.

resign (verb) + ation = resignation


active (adjective) + ist = activist.

Class-changing derivation affixes

NOMINALIZERS (noun derivational affixes, nominal affixes)


VERBALIZERS (verb derivational affixes, verbal affixes)
ADJECTIVIZERS (adjective derivational affixes, adjectival affixes)
ADVERBIALIZERS (adverb derivational affixes, adverbial affixes)

Class-maintaining derivation affixes


Class-maintaining derivational affixes do not change the word class of the word to
which they are added. They are mainly prefixes:

anti+malaria anti-malaria
dis+agree disagree
scholar + ship scholarship
un + tie untie
ex + wife ex-wife
green + ish greenish
re + open reopen
Mis-, be-, ex-, mal-, re-, un-, dis-, in-,

Derivation Suffixes

1. Nominal suffixes
Nominal suffixes are often employed to derive abstract nouns from verbs,
adjectives, and nouns. Such abstract nouns can denote actions, results of
actions, or other related concepts, but also properties, qualities, and the like.
-age
This suffix derives nouns that express an activity (or its result) as in coverage,
leakage, spillage, and nouns denoting a collective entity or quantity, as in
acreage, voltage, yardage. Due to inherent ambiguities of certain coinages, the
meaning can be extended to include locations, as in orphanage. Base words
may be verbal or nominal and are often monosyllabic.
-al
A number of verbs take -al to form abstract nouns denoting an action or the
result of an action, such as arrival, overthrowal, recital, referral, renewal. Base
words for nominal -al all have their main stress on the last syllable.
-ance (with its variants -ence/-ancy/-ency)
Attaching mostly to verbs, -ance creates action nouns such as absorbance,
riddance, retardance.
-ant
This suffix forms count nouns referring to persons (often in technical or
legal discourse, cf. applicant, defendant, disclaimant) or to substances involved
in
biological, chemical, or physical processes (attractant, dispersant, etchant,
suppressant).
Most bases are verbs of Latinate origin.
-dom
The native suffix -dom is semantically closely related to -hood and -ship, which
express similar concepts. -dom attaches to nouns to form nominals which can
be paraphrased as state ofbeing X as in apedom, clerkdom, slumdom,
yuppiedom, or which refer to collective entities, such as professordom,
studentdom, or denote domains, realms or territories as in kingdom, cameldom,
maoridom.
-(e)ry

Formations in -(e)ry refer to locations which stand in some kind of connection to


what is denoted by the base. More specific meanings such as place where a
specific activity is carried out or place where a specific article or service is
available could be postulated (cf., for example, bakery, brewery, fishery, pottery
or cakery, carwashery, eatery), but examples such as mousery, cannery,
rabbitry speak for an underspecified meaning, which is then fleshed out for each
derivative on the bas is of the meaning of the base.
-ful
The nominal suffix -ful derives measure partitive nouns (similar to expressions
such as a lot of, a bunch of) from nominal base words that can be construed as
containers: bootful, cupful, handful, tumblerful, stickful. . There is also an
adjectival suffix - ful.
ee
The meaning ofthis suffix can be rather clearly discerned. It derives nouns
denoting sentient entities that are involved in an event as nonvolitional
participants (socalled episodic ee). Thus, employee denotes someone who is
employed, a biographee is someone who is the subject ofa biography, and a
standee is someone who is forced to stand (on a bus, for example).
(e)ry
Formations in (e)ry refer to locations which stand in some kind of connection to
what is denoted by the base. More specific meanings such as place where a
specific activity is carried out or place where a specific article or service is
available could be postulated (cf., for example, bakery, brewery, fishery, pottery
or cakery, carwashery, eatery), but examples such as mousery, cannery,
rabbitry. Speak for an underspecified meaning, which is then fleshed out for
each derivative on the basis of the meaning of the base. In addition to the
locations, (e)ry derivatives can also denote collectivities (as in confectionery,
cutlery, machinery, pottery), or activities (as in summitry having many political
summits, crookery foul deeds).

-er (and its orthographic variant -or)


The suffix -er can be seen as closely related to -ee, as its derivatives frequently
signify entities that are active or volitional participants in an event (e.g. teacher,
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singer, writer, etc.). This is, however, only a subclass of -er derivatives, and
there is a wide range of forms with quite heterogeneous meanings. Apart from
performers of actions we find instrument nouns such as blender, mixer,
steamer, toaster, and nouns. Denoting entities associated with an activity such
as diner, lounger, trainer, winner (in the sense
winning shot).
Furthermore, -er is used to create person nouns indicating place of origin or
residence

(e.g.

Londoner,

NewYorker,

Highlander,

New

Englander).

This

heterogeneity suggests that the semantics of -er should be described as rather


underspecified, simply meaning something like person or thing having to do
with X. The more specific interpretations of individual formations would then
follow from an interaction of the meanings, of base and suffix and further
inferences on the basis of world knowledge.
-er is often described as a deverbal suffix, but there are numerous forms (not
only inhabitant names) that are derived on the basis of nouns (e.g. sealer,
whaler, noser, souther), numerals (e.g. fiver, tenner), or even phrases (fourwheeler, fourthgrader). The orthographic variant -or occurs mainly with Latinate
bases ending in /s/ or /t/, such as conductor, oscillator, compressor.
2. Verbal suffixes
-ate
Forms ending in this suffix represent a rather heterogeneous group. There is a
class of derivatives with chemical substances as bases, which systematically
exhibit so-called ornative and resultative meanings. These can be paraphrased
as provide with X (ornative), as in fluorinate, or make into X (resultative), as
in methanate. However, a large proportion off orms in -ate do not conform to
this
pattern, but show various kinds of idiosyncrasies, with -ate being apparently no
more than an indicator of verbal status. Phonologically, -ate is largely restricted
to attachment to words that end in one or two unstressed syllables.
-en
The Germanic suffix -en attaches to monosyllables that end in a plosive,
fricative or affricate. Most bases are adjectives (e.g. blacken, broaden, quicken,

ripen), but a few nouns can also be found (e.g. strengthen, lengthen). The
meaning of -en formations can be described as causative make (more) X.
-ify
This suffix attaches to three kinds of base word: to monosyllabic words, to words
stressed on the final syllable, and to words stressed on the penult followed by a
final syllable ending in unstressed /i /. Neologisms usually do not show stress
shift, but some older forms do (humidhumdify, solidsoldify). These
restrictions have the effect that -ify is in (almost) complementary distribution
with the suffix ize. Semantically, -ify shows the same range of meanings as -ize
and the
two

suffixes

could

therefore

be

considered

phonologically

conditioned

allomorphs.
-ize
Both -ize and -ify are polysemous suffixes, which can express a whole range of
related concepts such as locative, ornative, causative/factitive, resultative,
inchoative, performative, similative. Locatives can be paraphrased as put into
X, as in computerize, hospitalize, tubify. Patinatize, fluoridize, youthify are
ornative examples (provide with X), randomize, functionalize, humidify are
causative (make (more) X), carbonize, itemize, trustify and nazify are
resultative (make into X), aerosolize and mucify are inchoative (become X),
anthropologize and speechify are performative (perform X), cannibalize,
vampirize can be analyzed as similative (act like X). The suffix -ize attaches
primarily to bases ending in an unstressed syllable and the derivatives show
rather complex patterns of base allomorphy.
3. Adjectival suffixes
The adjectival suffixes of English can be subdivided into two major groups. A
large proportion of derived adjectives are relational adjectives, whose role is
simply to relate the noun the adjective qualifies to the base word of the derived
adjective. For example, algebraic mind means a mind having to do with
algebra, referring to algebra, characterized by algebra, colonial officer means
officer having to do with the colonies, and so on.
On the other hand, there is a large group of derived adjectives that express
more specific concepts, and which are often called qualitative adjectives.
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Sometimes, relational adjectives can adopt qualitative meanings, as can be


seen with the derivative grammatical, which has a meaning having to do with
grammar in the sentence she is a grammatical genius, but which also has a
qualitative sense conforming to the rules Of grammar , as in
This is a grammatical sentence. Note that relational adjectives usually occur
only in
attributive position, i.e. as prenominal modifiers (as in a lexical problem). If we
find them in predicative position in a clause (as in This sentence is
grammatical), they usually have adopted a qualitative sense.
-able/-ible
This suffix chiefly combines with transitive and intransitive verbal bases, as in
deterrable and perishable, respectively, as well as with nouns, as in serviceable,
fashionable.
The semantics of deverbal -able forms seem to involve two different cases,
which have been described as capable of being Xed (cf. breakable, deterrable,
readable), and liable or disposed to X (cf. agreeable, perishable, variable;
changeable can have both meanings). What unites the two patterns is that in
both cases the referent of the noun modified by the -able adjective is described
as a potential non-volitional participant in an event. In this respect, -able closely
resembles episodic -ee. Denominal forms can convey the same meaning, as e.g.
marriageable, jeepable, kitchenable, roadable.
-al
This relational suffix attaches almost exclusively to Latinate bases (accidental,
colonial, cultural, federal, institutional, modal). All derivatives have stress either
on their penultimate or antepenultimate syllable. If the base does not have its
stress on one of the two syllables preceding the suffix, stress is shifted to the
antepenultimate syllable ofthe derivative (e.g. colonycolonial).
Apart from the allomorphy already discussed in section 2.2 (-ar after bases
ending in [l], -al elsewhere), there are the two variants -ial (as in confidential,
labial, racial, substantial) and -ual (as in contextual, gradual, spiritual, visual).
With bases ending in [s] or [t], -ial triggers assimilation of the base-final sound
to[] (e.g. facial, presidential). The distribution of -ial and -ual is not entirely
clear, but it seems that bases ending in -ant/ance (and their variants) and -or
obligatorily take -ial (e.g. circumstantial, professorial).
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-ary
Again a relational adjective-forming suffix, -ary usually attaches to nouns, as in
complementary, evolutionary, fragmentary, legendary, precautionary. We find
stress-shifts only with polysyllabic base nouns ending in -ment (cf. Complim
entary vs. momentary).
-ed
This suffix derives adjectives with the general meaning having X, being
provided with X, as in broad-minded, pig-headed, wooded. The majority of
derivatives are based on compounds or phrases (empty-headed, pig-headed,
air-minded, fair-minded).
-ful
Adjectival -ful has the general meaning having X, being characterized by X and
is typically attached to abstract nouns, as in beautiful, insightful, purposeful,
tactful, but verbal bases are not uncommon (e.g. forgetful, mournful, resentful).
-ing
This verbal inflectional suffix primarily forms present participles, which can in
general also be used as adjectives in attributive positions (and as nouns, see
above). The grammatical status of a verb suffixed by -ing in predicative position
is not always clear. In the changing weather the -ing form can be analyzed as an
adjective, but in the weather is changing we should classify it as a verb (in
particular as a progressive form). In the film was boring, however, we would
probably want to argue that boring is an adjective, because the relation to the
event denoted by the verb is much less prominent than in the case of changing.
-less
Semantically, denominal -less can be seen as antonymic to -ful, with the
meaning

being

paraphrasable

as

without

X:

expressionless,

hopeless,

speechless, thankless.
-ly
This suffix is appended to nouns and adjectives.With base nouns denoting
persons, -ly usually conveys the notion of in the manner of X or like an X, as
in brotherly, daughterly, fatherly, womanly. Other common types of derivative
have bases denoting temporal concepts (e.g. half-hourly, daily, monthly) or
directions (easterly, southwesterly).
-ous
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This suffix derives adjectives from nouns and bound roots, the vast majority
being of Latinate origin (curious, barbarous, famous, synonymous, tremendous).
Like derivatives in -al, -ous formations are stressed either on the penultimate or
the antepenultimate syllable with stress being shifted there, if necessary (e.g. pl
atitude platitudinous). There are further variants of the suffix, -eous (e.g.
erroneous, homogeneous), -ious (e.g. gracious, prestigious), and -uous (e.g.
ambiguous, continuous).
4. Adverbial suffixes
-ly
The presence of this exclusively de-adjectival suffix is for the most part
syntactically triggered and obligatory, and it can therefore be considered
inflectional. However, in some formations there is a difference in meaning
between the adjective and the adverb derived by -ly attachment: shortly,
hardly, and dryly are semantically distinct from their base words and hotly,
coldly, and darkly can only have metaphorical senses. Such changes of meaning
are unexpected for an inflectional suffix, which speaks against the classification
of adverbial -ly as inflectional.
-wise
This suffix derives adverbs from nouns, with two distinguishable subgroups:
manner/dimension adverbs, and so-called viewpoint adverbs. The former adverb
type has the meaning in the manner of X, like X as in The towel wound
sarongwise about his middle, or indicates a spatial arrangement or movement,
as in The cone can be sliced lengthwise.
Derivation Prefixes
There are two kinds of the prefix un- in English. The first is attached to adjectives to
form new adjectives, and the second is attached to verbs to form new verbs. The
two kinds of the prefix un- do not change the part of speech. The prefix unattached to adjectives means not.
Prefix unPrefix

Base

Derived Word

(Adjective)

(Adjective)

Meaning

UnUnUnUnUnUn-

Able
Afraid
Aware
Fit
Free
Happy

Unable
Unafraid
Unaware
Unfit
Unfree
Unhappy

not
not
not
not
not
not

able
afraid
aware
fit
free
happy

The prefix un- can also be added to the adjectives of the derived words that have
been formed by morphological rules. The examples are follows:
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

UnUnUnUnUnUn-

(Adjective)
acceptable
avoidable
believable
predictable
reachable
readable

(Adjective)
unacceptable
unavoidable
unbelievable
unpredictable
unreachable
unreadable

not
not
not
not
not
not

acceptable
avoidable
believable
predictable
reachable
readable

The second prefix un- joins with verbs to form new verbs. In this case the prefix unmeans to do the opposite of . the examples are follows :
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

Un-

(Verb)
Bind

(Verb)
Unbind

to do the opposite

Un-

Cover

Uncover

of binding
to do the opposite

Un-

Do

Undo

of covering
to do the opposite

Un-

Dress

Undress

of doing
to do the opposite

Un-

Load

Unload

of dressing
to do the opposite

Un-

Lock

Unlock

of loading
to do the opposite
of locking

Prefix in-

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The prefix in- is the derivational bound morpheme mostly attached to adjectives.
This prefix does not change the part of speech either. The rule of prefix in- attached
to adjectives can be stated as: {in-} + ADJECTIVE new ADJECTIVE. This rule says
that

the prefix in- attached to an adjective creates a new adjective. The new

adjective is indicated by the change of meaning not in the derived word. Look at
the examples below:

Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

InInInInInIn-

(Adjective)
Accurate
Tolerant
Efficient
Expensive
Legal
Moral

(Adjective)
Inaccurate
Intolerant
Inefficient
Inexpensive
Illegal
Immoral

not
not
not
not
not
not

accurate
tolerant
efficient
expensive
legal
moral

The prefix in- attached to nouns are very rare. The following are the examples of the
prefix in- attached to nouns.
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

In-

(Noun)
Balance

(Noun)
Imbalance

absence

InIn-

Decorum
Decision

Indecorum
Indecision

balance
lack of decorum
the state of being

of

unable to decide
The change of phonetic representation because of the meeting of phonemes in
morphological process is called morphophonemic change. The morpheme in- which
attaches to the bases with bilabial phonemes in initial position will change to im-. In
other words, the morpheme in- will be pronounced im- if it meets the bilabial
phonemes. The examples are as follows:
Prefix
Base /bilabial/
InBalance
InPerfect
InMoral
The morpheme in- which attaches to the bases with

Derived Word
Imbalance
Imperfect
immoral
the phoneme /k/ in initial

position will change to /i-/. The phone [] is not symbolized by the orthographic
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symbol but we can hear this sound when it is pronounced rapidly

as explained

above. The examples are as follows:


Prefix
In-

Base /k/
Complete

Derived Word
incomplete

InIn-

Correct
Consistent

ikmpli:t/
incorrect
inconsistent

/
/ikrekt/

/iknsistnt/
The morpheme in- which attaches to the bases with liquid phonemes in initial
position will change to liquid phonemes. The morpheme in- in this case will be
pronounced like the phone of the liquid phonemes which follow it. The examples are
as follows:
Prefix
Base /liquids/
InLegal
InRational
The morpheme in- which attaches to the bases with

Derived Word
Illegal
Irrational
vowel phonemes in initial

position will be pronounced /in-/. The examples are as follows:


Prefix
InIn-

Base /liquids/
Efficient
Expensive

Derived Word
Inefficient
Inexpensive

Prefix reThe prefix re- is the derivational bound morpheme attached to verbs to form new
verbs. The meaning of the prefix re- is again. Look at the examples below:
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

ReReReReReRe-

(Verb)
Arrange
Consider
Count
Pay
Print
Write

(verb)
Rearrange
Reconsider
Recount
Repay
Reprint
Rewrite

arrange again
consider again
count again
pay again
print again
write again

Prefix disThe prefix dis- is a derivational morpheme which can be attached to verbs to form
new verbs. This prefix has several meanings but its basic meaning is not
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

Dis-

(Verb)
Agree

(Verb)
Disagree

not agree
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DisDisDisDisDis-

Appear
Like
Close
Connect
Continue

Disappear
Dislike
Disclose
Disconnect
Discontinue

be seen no more
not like
allow to be seen
take apart
give up

The prefix dis- can be attached to nouns to form new nouns. The following are the
examples :
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

Dis-

(Noun)
Advantage

(Noun)
Disadvantage

unfavorable

Dis-

Comfort

Discomfort

condition
absence

of

comfort
DisHarmony
Disharmony
lack of harmony
DisHonor
Dishonor
absence of honor
The prefix dis- can also be attached to adjectives to form new adjectives. The
examples are as follows:
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

Dis-

(Adjective)
Able

(Adjective)
Disable

make unable to do

DisDis-

Honest
Similar

Dishonest
Dissimilar

something
not honest
not similar

Prefix misThe prefix mis- is the derivational bound morpheme attached to verbs to form new
verbs. The new meaning created by this prefix is wrong. The following is the list of
verbs to which the prefix mis- can be attached.
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

MisMisMisMisMis-

(Verb)
Direct
Judge
Match
Quote
Remember

(Verb)
Misdirect
Misjudge
Mismatch
Misquote
Misremember

direct wrongly
judge wrongly
match wrongly
quote wrongly
remember

Mis-

Understand

Misunderstand

wrongly
understand
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wrongly

Prefix preThe prefix re- is the derivational bound morpheme attached to verbs to form new
verbs. The new meaning created by this prefix is before. The following is the list of
verbs to which the prefix pre- can be attached.
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

PrePrePrePrePre-

(Verb)
Arrange
Cook
Determine
Select
Wash

(Verb)
Prearrange
Precook
Predetermine
Preselect
Prewash

arrange before
cook before
determine before
select before
wash before

Prefix aThe prefix a- is a derivational morpheme which can be attached to adjectives to


form new adjectives. This prefix has several meanings but its basic meaning is not.
Prefix

Base

Derived Word

Meaning

a-

(Verb)
Moral

(Verb)
Amoral

not concerned in

a-

Political

Apolitical

morals
unninvolved

aa-

Typical
Sexual

Atypical
Asexual

politics
not typical
without sex

in

B. Compound
Compounding is the word formation process in which two or more lexemes combine
into a single new word. Compound words may be written as one word or as two
words joined with a hyphen. There are three forms of compound words:
- the closed form, in which the words are melded together, such as firefly,
secondhand, softball, childlike, crosstown, redhead, keyboard, makeup, notebook;
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- the hyphenated form, such as daughter-in-law, master-at-arms, over-the-counter,


six-pack, six-year-old, mass-produced; and
- the open form, such as post office, real estate, middle class, full moon, half sister,
attorney general.
Compound Words are the most part Nouns, Adjectives and Verbs
Compound Words-Nouns may be formed:
i.

Noun + Noun:
Examples:
Moonlight
Armchair
Postman
Railway
Shoemaker
Horse-power
Screwdriver
Tax-payer
Airman
Manservant
Fire-escape
Chess-board

ii. Adjective + Noun:


Examples:
Sweetheart
Nobleman
Shorthand
Blackboard
Quicksilver
Stronghold
Halfpenny
iii. Verb + Noun:
Examples:
Spendthrift
Makeshift
Breakfast
Telltale
Pick-packet
Cut-throat
Daredevil
Hangman
Scarecrow
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The Formation of Words has few rules which determine the nature of the words
formed thus.
iv. Gerund + Noun:
Examples:
Drawing-room
Writing-desk
Looking-glass
Walking-stick
Blotting-paper
Stepping-stone
Spelling-book
v. Adverb (or Preposition)+ Noun:
Examples:
Outlaw
Afternoon
Forethought
Foresight
Overcoat
Downfall
Afternoon
Bypass
Inmate
Inside
vi. Verb + Adverb:
Examples:
Drawback
Lock-up
Go-between
Die-hard
Send-off
vii. Adverb + Verb:
Examples:
Outset
Upkeep
Outcry
Income
Outcome

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Compound Words-Adjectives:
i. Noun + Adjectives (or Participle):
Examples:
Blood-red
Sky-blue
Snow-white
Skin-deep
Lifelong
World-wide
Headstrong
Homesick
Stone-blind
Seasick
Love-lorn
Hand-made
Heart-broken
Moth-eaten
Note-worthy
ii. Adjective + Adjective:
Examples:
Red-hot
Blue-black
White-hot
Dull-grey
Lukewarm
ii. Adverb + Participle:
Examples:
Longsuffering
Everlasting
Never-ending
Thorough-bred
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Well-deserved
Outspoken
Down-hearted
Inborn
Far-seen
iii. Noun + Verb:
Examples:
Waylay
Backbite
Typewrite
Browbeat
Earmark
iv. Adjective + Verb:
Examples:
Safeguard
Whitewash
Fulfill
v. Adverb + Verb:
Examples:
Overthrow
Overtake
Foretell
Undertake
Undergo
Overhear
Overdo
Outbid
Outdo
Upset
Ill-use

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C. Blending
A blend is a word that is made up of parts of other words that are combined to form
a new word. Blends can also be called portmanteau words.
-

The beginning of one word is added to the end of the other. For example, brunch

is a blend of breakfast and lunch.


simultaneous + broadcast simulcast
smoke + fog smog
spoon + fork spork
cellulose + diaphane cellophane
haggle + tussle hassle
telephone + marathon telethon
twist + fiddle twiddle
pain + sting pang
clap + crash clash
blow + spurt blurt
The beginnings of two words are combined. For example, cyborg is a blend of

cybernetic and organism.


internal + communication intercom
modulator + demodulator modem
slovenly + language slang
bold + rash brash
blankout + beep bleep
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, and the word motel is a blend of motor and hotel
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.

D.Clipping
Clipping is the word formation process which consists in the reduction of a word to
one of its parts. Clipping is also known as "truncation" or "shortening." 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, exam(ination), math(ematics), and lab(oratory) originated in
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school slang; spec(ulation) and tick(et = credit) in stock-exchange slang; and


vet(eran) and cap(tain) in 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.
Clipping mainly consists of the following types:
- Back clipping
Back clipping 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),
fax (facsimile), gas (gasoline),
gym (gymnastics, gymnasium),
memo (memorandum),
mutt (muttonhead),
pub (public house),
pop (popular music).
- Fore-clipping
Fore-clipping retains the final part.
Examples are :

chute (parachute),
coon (raccoon),
gator (alligator),
phone (telephone),
pike (turnpike),
varsity (university).
- Middle clipping

In middle clipping, the middle of the word is retained.


Examples are:

flu (influenza),
jams or jammies (pajamas/pyjamas),
polly (apollinaris),
shrink (head-shrinker),
tec (detective).
- Complex clipping
Clipped forms are also used in compounds. One part of the original compound

most often remains intact.


Examples are:
cablegram (cable telegram),
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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 (1983), 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, photo op, sci-fi, and sitcom
are all compounds made of clippings.

E. Acronym
Acronym is the process whereby a new word is formed from the initial letters of the
constituent words of a phrase or sentence. For example, from the initial letters of
the words of the phrase North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the word NATO \ "neItU\
is formed. Similarly, from the initial letters of the constituent words of the phrase
unidentified flying object, the word UFO \ juef "U\ (or\ " jufU\) is formed. In a
like manner, from the constituent words of the sentence I owe you, the word IOU \
aIU"ju\ (notice the adaptation in spelling) is formed. And from the Situation
normal, all fouled up, snafu \snoe"fu\ (army slang) is formed. The words created
by this process are called acronyms; all of them function as nouns.
Types of Acronyms
There are two main types of acronyms, namely:
-

Acronyms which are pronounced as a word; e.g., NASA \ "noes\ (= National


Aeronautics and Space Administration), radar \ "reIdAr\ radar \ "reIdAr\
(radio detecting and ranging), laser (= light amplification by stimulated emission
of radiation), UNESCO \ju"neskU\ (= United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization), BASIC \ "beIsIk\ (= Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic
Instruction Code), COBOL \ "kUbl\ (Common Business Oriented Language), etc.
As can be seen, acronyms of this type often derive from phrasal names. Many of
them belong to the jargon (i.e., specialized language) of particular occupations,
organizations or fields of study (esp. scientific, administrative, political) and
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might be completely meaningless to the persons who are not familiarized with
them. Notice also that some of these acronyms are of so frequent an occurrence
that people often use them without the slightest idea of what the words stand for;
-

e.g., laser, radar.


Acronyms which

are

pronounced

as

sequences

of

letters

(also

called

'alphabetisms'); e.g., C.O.D. \ siU"di\ ( = cash on delivery), MIT \


emaI"ti\ (= Massachusetts Institute of Technology), VIP \ viaI"pi\ (= very
important person). In writing, the more institutionalized formations have no
periods between their component letters. This tendency is especially more
common in British English than in American English; e.g., DIY \ diaI"waI\ (=
do-it-yourself), FBI \ efbi"aI\ (= Federal Bureau of Investigations). Note that
each constituent letter of these acronyms usually represents a full word or
constituent in the compound, or just a part of a word, as in the following
examples: TB \ ti"bi\ (= tuberculosis), TV \ti"vi\ (= television), c/o (=
(in) care of).6 Likewise, notice that some of these acronyms are given a quasiphonetic written form; e.g., Emcee for M.C. (= Master of Ceremonies), Deejay for
DJ (= disc jockey), etc.

F. Back Formation
Back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme, usually by removing actual
or supposed affixes in which a word changes its form and function. Word of one
type, which is usually a noun, is reduced and used as a verb. Sometimes a backformation arises through the assumption that it must already exist, and that its
source word is the derivative term. Such an assumption, while misguided, is
altogether reasonable, being based on a summary analysis of the source words
morphology. Back-formations are frequently made by dropping -tion or -ion from a
noun, and adding -e when appropriate, to form a new verb, such as donate from
donation. From evolution we get evolute, which has technical meanings as a noun in
mathematics and as an adjective in botany, but as a verb meaning the same as
evolve, it is a needless variant. Similarly superfluous are cohabitate for cohabit,
interpretate for interpret, and solicitate for solicit. Solicitate has a standard
adjectival use; it is only its unnecessary use as a verb that I advise against. Last
week I heard someone on the radio say installating, as if he had forgotten all about
install. But some of these may eventually become standard, even installate. In most
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of the examples Ive included so far, the change has occurred at the end of the
word, i.e. the removed affix has been a suffix. Back-forming by removing prefixes is
less common, except in humorous contexts such as Jack Winters How I met my
wife, which boasts a litany of deliberately malformed terms like chalant, ept, and
peccable.
Regardless of how back-formations are formed, they are often initially considered to
be irregular, even ignorant, and suitable only for informal use in slang or jokes.
Sometimes, as we have seen, there is no need for them because the semantic niche
they purport to inhabit has already been filled. Other back-formations, such as
enthuse and liaise, inhabit a grey area of acceptability. And then there are many
that serve a useful purpose and have become standard.
Examples are :
- automate from automation
- beg from beggar
- diagnose from diagnosis
- drowse from drowsy
- edit from editor
- execute from execution
- free associate from free association
- grovel from grovelling (or -l-) (adj.)
- injure from injury
- intuit from intuition
- kidnap from kidnapper
- orate from oration
- pea from pease
- peddle from peddler
- reminisce from reminiscence
- resurrect from resurrection
- scavenge from scavenger
- self-destruct from self-destruction (from destroy, destruction)
- sleaze from sleazy
- statistic from statistics
- surveil from surveillance
- televise from television
- vaccinate from vaccination
- window-shop (v.) from window-shopping

G.Conversion
In linguistics, conversion, also called zero derivation, is a kind of word formation;
specifically, it is the creation of a word from an existing word without any change in
form. Conversion is more productive in some languages than in others; in English, it
is a fairly productive process.

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Often a word of one lexical category (part of speech) is converted to a word of


another lexical category; for example, the noun green in golf (referring to a puttinggreen) is derived ultimately from the adjective green. Conversions from adjectives
to nouns and vice versa are both very common and unnotable in English; much
more remarked upon is verbing, the creation of a verb by converting a noun or other
word (e.g., the adjective clean becomes the verb to clean).

H.Neologism
Neologism is a completely new word, like quark.
a. Loanword is a word borrowed from another language. Ex: clich, from French
b. Onomatopoeia is the creation of words that imitate natural sounds. Ex: the bird
name cuckoo.
c. Phono-semantic matching is matching a foreign word with a phonetically and
semantically similar pre-existent native word/root.
d. Eponym is creation of a totally new word. This word formation process is not
frequent, however large corporations attempt to outdo one another to invent
short eye-catching names for their products. Some examples of these could
include: aspirin or xerox. Sometimes the products that the companies want to
sell simply take over the name of the creator or inventor.

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