Various Ways of Word Creation

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  • Topic: Abbreviation, Acronym and initialism, Acronyms
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  • Published : January 15, 2013
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Various Types and Ways of Forming Words

The available linguistic literature on the subject cites various types and ways of forming words. Earlier books, articles and monographs on word-formation and vocabulary growth in general both in Russian language and in foreign languages, in the English language in particular, used to mention morphological, syntactic and lexico-semantic types of word-formation. At present the classifications of the types of word-formation do not, as a rule, include lexico-semantic word-building. Of interest is the classification of word-formation means based on the number of motivating bases which many scholars follow. A distinction is made between two large classes of word-building means: To Class I belong the means of building words having one motivating base. To give an English example, the noun catcher composed of the base catch- and the suffix –er, through the combination of which it is morphologically and semantically motivated. Class II includes the means of building words containing more than one motivating base. Needless to say, they are all based on compounding. Most linguists in special chapters and manuals devoted to English word-formation consider as the chief processes of English word-formation affixation, conversion and compounding. Apart from these a number of minor ways of forming words such as back-formation, sound interchange, distinctive stress, sound imitation, blending, clipping and acronymy are traditionally referred to Word-Formation. Another classification of the types of word-formation worked out by H. Marchand is also of interest. Proceeding from the distinction between full linguistic signs and pseudo signs he considers two major groups: 1) words formed as grammatical syntagmas, combinations of full linguistic signs which are characterized by morphological motivation such as do-er, un-do, rain-bow; and 2) words which are not grammatical syntagmas, which are not made up of full linguistic signs. To the first group belong Compounding, Suffixation, Prefixation, Derivation by Zero Morpheme and Back-Derivation, to the second – Expressive, Symbolism, Blending, Clipping, Rime and Ablaut Gemination, Word-Manufacturing. It is characteristic of both groups that a new coining is based on a synchronic relationship between morphemes.

Acronyms

An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters (as in CEO) or parts of words (as in Benelux and Ameslan). There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of various names for such abbreviations nor on written usage . In English and most other languages, such abbreviations historically had limited use, but they became much more common in the 20th century. Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.

Nomenclature

The term acronym is the name for a word from the first letters of each word in a series of words (such as sonar, created from soundnavigation and ranging).Attestations for "Akronym" in German are known from 1921, and for "acronym" in English from 1940.While the word abbreviation refers to any shortened form of a word or a phrase, some have used initialism or alphabetism to refer to an abbreviation formed simply from, and used simply as, a string of initials. Although the term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters, some dictionaries define acronym to mean "a word" in its original sense, while some others include additional senses attributing to acronym the same meaning as that of initialism. The distinction, when made, hinges on whether the abbreviation is pronounced as a word, or as a string of letters. In such cases, examples found in dictionaries include NATO (/‘neɪtoʊ/), scuba (‘sku:bə), and radar (/‘reɪdɑr/) for acronyms, and FBI (/ɛ,f,bi:’aɪ/) and HTML (/,eɪtʃ,ti,ɛm’ɛl/) for initialism. There is no agreement on what to...
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