How are New Words Created in English.ppt by handongqp


									English Word
Dr. Kristin Lems, English Language Specialist, for
There are (at least) 12 ways to make new
words in English
Word formation processes most of
us already know

   Adding a prefix
       do      -> undodo
   Adding a suffix
       brief   -> briefly
   Adding a combination of prefixes and suffixes
       Comfort -> uncomfortably
A little bit about
Morphemes – units of meaning
   Words are made of morphemes
       Their spelling or pronunciation might change, but
        their meaning can be seen in the word
           Example: cupboard (2 morphemes: a board cups can
            be put on….but pronounced differently now)
           Example: scratched (2 morphemes: scratch and the
            past tense morpheme –ed)
       Words composed of two morphemes might melt
        together over time until they can’t be separated
           Example: overwhelm (1 morpheme: whelm can’t be
            used to form other words – except as a joke)
 A dozen ways to make new English
1.   Coinage       7. Abbreviations
2.   Borrowing     8. Backformation
3.   Compounding   9. Conversion
                   10. Paired word sound play
4.   Blending
                   11. Scale change
5.   Clipping      12. Multiple processes
6.   Acronyms
1. Coinage (neologism)

  A completely new word is made up from
   scratch to suit certain purposes. These are
   often invented by companies with new
   products or processes, or taken from names.
“to coin a phrase”
 Examples:
       xerox      kleenex
       Vaseline   yahoo
       Nylon      Google
       Skype
2. Borrowing (loan words)
   Words are created by borrowing from another
    language and incorporating into English.
   Sometimes the original meaning is altered, and the
    pronunciation may change. Since some words were
    borrowed long ago, it may be hard to recognize that
    they were ever not part of English.
   Examples
       Tortilla                * nuance
       coup de grace           *chaos
       kowtow                  and this song says it!
       alchemy
       espresso
Borrowing – or theft??
3. Compounding

   A new word is composed of two free
    morphemes to create a new meaning.
       buyout            do-it-yourself
       spyware           homeplate
       ringtone          underestimate
       freefall          backpedal
       makeover          overstate
       turnaround        upstage
How to punctuate?

   Sometimes compound words are two distinct
    words, sometimes they are hyphenated, and
    sometimes they are simply pressed together
    into a new word.
       Hmmmmm…..Jet lag, jet-lag, or jetlag?
4. Blending (portmanteau words)

   A new word is created from blends or parts of
    morphemes in two other words to form a new
    single morpheme. Examples:
    brunch                  smog
    prequel                 Sexting
    Groupon                 jazzercise
5. Clipping (or shortening)
    New words are made by shortening the perceived
    ending of another word or phrase.
   Examples:
     pro                 psych (class)
     meds                combo
     prof                prom
     oped                gym
     demo                exam
     zoo
Clipping can ALSO be at the
beginning of a word:

  (tele)phone
  (neighbor)hood

 Or in the middle of a morpheme:

    (we)blog (web + log)
6. Acronyms

   The first letter of a group of words is combined into a
    single word. The resulting word is sometimes
    capitalized but later made lower case. Examples:

       Radar
       Scuba
       pin (number)
       zip (code)
       POTUS
       AWOL
7. Abbreviations

 The first letters of a group of words are
 combined into a single word whose letter
 names are pronounced separately.
                                 Mixed form of
    RSVP           R&B
                                 and acronyms:
    LOL            B&B
    BFF            AKA          JPEG
    RIP                         ASAP
More punctuation issues

   When to put a period?

       R.I.P. or RIP?

       Over time, the periods fall out….
8. Backformation
    People cut off a piece of an existing word,
    create a new morpheme from it, and combine
    it with other morphemes to create a new
    word. Sometimes the part of speech
   Example: television -> televise
       priority -> prioritize

       donation -> donate

       enthusiasm - > enthuse

       sermon -> sermonize
Example of backformation

 “Our job is to set a tone at the top
 to incent people to do the right
 thing….and to catch people who
 make mistakes…”
    Charles Prince, Citigroup,
9. Conversion (or Category shift)
New words are formed when the grammatical
  category of a word is changed with no
  changes to the basic letters of the word.
 Examples:
    butter (N -> V)
    empty (adj -> V, N)
    this movie is a must (V - > N)
    chair (N -> V)
    “friend” on Facebook (N -> V)
    homeschool (N ->V)
    The “can do” spirit (V -> adj.)
Interview with teacher Will
Richardson, 10-12-10
   You’ve written that too many teachers are
    “un-Googleable.” What do you mean by
    that and why does it matter?
   …the kids in our classrooms are going to be
    Googled—they're going to be searched for
    on the Web—over and over again….the
    people I learn from on a day-to-day basis are
    Googleable. They’re findable, they have a
    presence, they’re participating…
10. Paired word sound play
 A “double word” is created in two ways:
1. the second word has a change of vowel,
   usually formed lower in the mouth.
2. the second type is a rhyme, with the first
   consonant changing. There may be a slight
   onomatopoetic association, but not always.
Changed vowel         rhyme
       hip hop         helter skelter
       singsong        willy nilly
       wishy washy     bow wow
       seesaw          hurdy gurdy
       splish splash   nitwit
11. Scale Change

 Affixes are added to a base word to indicate
 its dimension, sometimes using affixes from
 other languages
      droplet      sermonette
      megamall     nanosecond
      hankie       micromanage
      operetta     dinette
      Supersize    bachelorette
12. Multiple processes
Most words are formed through multiple
   deli is borrowed from German (delicatessen) and then
   snowball is compounded from two free morphemes to
    form a noun, then converted into a verb (snowballed,
   Internet is a product of clipping (international plus
    network), blending (inter+net) and conversion
   cyberbullying is a blend (cyber + bully) and a conversion
    (N -> V-> Gerund)
How does understanding word
formation help students?
   Pattern recognition helps wire the brain with
    new places to store knowledge

   Metacognitive skills help us learn languages

   Shows that language in their own lives
    (internet and pop culture) has interest, value
    and meaning
How does understanding word
formation help teachers?
   The more you understand about how your
    object of study ~ English ~ is put together,
    the better you can teach it!

   It can explain a lot of new words

   It brings some potential fun activities into the
Word Formation in the English
learning classroom
1.   Students keep track of words as you read or
     study them and put them into their word
     formation categories. Look at Spanish
     words which follow the same patterns.

2.   Students create compound words and
     illustrate them.

3.   Students create a product name and explain
     why it will sell well. Illustrate or design the
Word formation in the classroom,
4. Create a crossword puzzle specializing in
   each of the word formation methods, or
   have students create one
5. Create a dialog using only text message
   acronyms. Have students write out the full
   words and then perform the dialog for each
6. Create a list of clipped words and have
   students write out the whole words. Call the
   place you keep it a “clip board.”
this material can be found in the book:

                 Lems, K., Miller, L.D. &
                 Soro, T.M. (2010).
                 Teaching Reading to
English          language learners: Insights
                 from Linguistics. New York:
Please contact me for more information
or conversation on this (or any) topic!

Kristin Lems, Professor
ESL/Bilingual Education
National Louis University
5202 Old Orchard Rd.,
Skokie, IL 60077 or on Skype, Facebook,

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