word formation handout

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					                          English Word Formation Processes
                     Dr. Kristin Lems, English Language Specialist
             INGLES ABRE PUERTAS - ENGLISH SUMMER TOWN 2012
                        12 Ways to Make New Words in English
               (besides what we already know about prefixes and suffixes)

   1. Coinage               5.   Clipping            9. Conversion
   2. Borrowing             6.   Acronym             10. Paired word soundplay
   3. Compounding           7.   Abbreviation        11. Scale change
   4. Blending              8.   Backformation       12. Combination

1. Coinage – a new word is created from nothing (no identifiable morpheme)
Examples                                    Your examples
a. Xerox
b. Skype
c. Adderol
2. Borrowing – a new word is created by borrowing from another language
Examples                                    Your examples
a. Kowtow (from Chinese, to bow and
scrape)
b. Seance (from French, a mysterious
spiritual meeting)
c. Webmeister (meister from German,
“Master”)
3. Compounding – a new word is created by combining two existing words (free
morphemes)
Examples                                    Your examples
a. backhand
b. steamship
c. underground
4. Blending – a new word is created by combining bits of two other words
Examples                                    Your examples
a. smog (smoke + fog)
b. webinar (web + seminar)
c. brunch (breakfast + lunch)
5. Clipping – a new word is created by clipping off the beginning or end of a word
Examples                                    Your examples
a. lab
b. gym
c. glam

6. Acronym – a new word is created from the first letters of a group of words
Examples                                    Your examples
a. laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated
Emission of Radiation)
b. ZIP (zone improvement plan)
c. BICS and CALP (Cummins)
7. Abbreviation – a new word is created by saying alphabet letters of a group of words
Examples                                      Your examples
a. LOL
b. SOS
c. IOU
8. Backformation – a new word is formed by clipping part of another word and creating
a new morpheme from it, which is then combined with existing morphemes
Examples                                      Your examples
a. signorama (sign + orama from panorama)
b. drinkathon (drink + thon from marathon)
c. hightech (high + tech from technology)
9. Conversion – a new word is formed by changing the part of speech of another word
Examples                                      Your examples
a. chair a meeting
b. he friended me
c. boat launch
10. Paired word sound play – a new word is created by repeating a short word with a
changed vowel
Examples                                      Your examples
a. splish splash
b. seesaw
c. flip flop
11. Scale change – a new word is formed by adding an affix that indicates its scale
Examples                                      Your examples
a. megaton
b. minimart
c. supersize
12. Mixed Processes – combinations of the above
Examples                                     Your examples
a. I was ‘booking (on Facebook)
b. They are homeschooling….
c. bad karma
How to teach: Teach one a week, have students bring in examples, put on a “word wall” – take photos
of English signs and media – make up your own words – have a new word making contest, etc……

         Dr. Kristin Lems, Professor, ESL/Bilingual Education ~ National Louis University
       5202 Old Orchard Rd., ~ Skokie, IL 60077 USA ~ klems@nl.edu or find me on Skype,
                                Facebook, linkedin, Academia.edu

				
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posted:11/4/2012
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