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Word Formation Processes in English

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on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Word Formation Processes in English

Word Formation Processes in English
Word formation process in English are :
coinage, conversion, borrowing, compounding, blending, clipping, backformation, acronym, and derivation.
Coinage:
A coinage is a new word, a word never used before, in other words the invention of totally new words

aspirin, vaseline, xerox , and google.


New words which have been formed from somebody’s name or a place name are called as
eponyms



sandwich
’, from Earl of sandwich who was the first person to insist on having his bread and meat together,

cardigan
’ , named after Earl of Cardigan,

jeans
’ , from the Italian city Genoa where the type of cloth was first made.

volt
’ which was coined from the person who first invented it Alessandro Volta.

Conversion:
Changing the part of speech of a word to gain a new use, e,g, when a noun is being used as a verb.

Verbs > Nouns
‘spy’ (V) – ‘a spy’ (N)
Nouns > Verbs
‘friend’ (N) - ‘friend me on Facebook’ (V)
‘google’ (N) - ‘google it’ (V)
Phrasal verbs > Nouns
‘to print out, to take over’ (VP) - ‘a printout, a takeover (N)
Verbs > Adjectives

see through, stand up’ (V) - ‘in see-through glass , a standup comedian’.
Adjectives > Verbs
‘an empty room’ (Adj) – ‘ to dirty and to empty’ (V)

Borrowing:

Taking over of words from other languages.

croissant
( French ),
lilac
( Persian ),
piano
( Italian ),
pretzel
( German ),
sofa
( Arabic )
tattoo
( Tahitian ),
tycoon
( Japanese ), and
yogurt
( Turkish).

Even other languages have borrowed English terms into their own vocabulary.


suupaamaaketto
( supermarket ) and

taipuraitaa
( typewriter ) are adapted in Japanese.

sport
,
klub
, and
futbal
are also adapted into Hungarians.


kintrol
( control ),
camb
(camp),
hoz
( hose ),
bib
(pipe)
koob
(cup), and
termis
( thermos ) are used in Arabic.

Compounding:

The words that are formed with a combination of two or more parts or elements (free morphemes) to form a new word are called compound words.
These words are pronounced as one single word.

Restroom
(rest+room)
Spoonful
(spoon+ful)
Bedroom
(bed+room)

Clipping:

Clipping is a process where a polysyllabic word is eliminated to become shorter.

‘advertisement’  ‘
ad
’,
‘laboratories’  ‘
lab
’,
‘mathematics’  ‘
maths
’.

English speakers also like to clip each other’s names, as in
Mike
,
Sam
, and
Tom
.

There is also a particular type of reduction known as
hypocorisms.

In this process, a longer word is reduced to a single syllable, then
–y
or
–ie
is added in the end.
movie
( ‘ moving pictures’ ) and
telly
( ‘television’)

Backformation:
In this process, a word of one type is reduced to form a word of another type and thus leading a noun to be changed into a verb.

Babysitter >
babysit
Television >
televise

Donation >
donate

Emotion >
emote
Enthusiasm >
enthuse


Acronyms:

Acronyms are words which are formed by the initial letters of other words.

CD
(compact disk ) “separate letters”
NATO
,
NASA
, or
UNISCO
“single word”

Laser
(light amplification by simulated emission of radiation ),
PIN
(personal Identification number )
Zip
(zone improvement plan ) code.

Derivation/affixation:

Creating a new word out from an old word, by adding suffix or prefix is called derivation.

The word is formed by two or more parts, the main part is called the base or the
stem
, and the second part is called
affixes.


Affixes
can be either
prefix
or
suffix
and sometimes
infixes

, ‘
in-

un-
‘, ‘
re-
‘ and ‘
pre-
‘ are some of the common prefixes,

-ist
’, ‘
-er
’, ‘
-ite
\ and ‘
-ity
are some of the common suffixes.


• The importance of the process of how a word is shaped in English is still underestimated by planners, book writers and teachers. The word-formation is usually taken for- granted and words are still assigned to categories e.g. verb, noun, adverb, adjective etc.

• EFL students are left to their abilities to use dictionaries and guessing skills to understand such processes.
so, how can a foreign language learner come to perceive, for example, that ‘
carelessness
’ is formed by the addition of two suffixes ‘
less
’ and ‘
ness
’, and not a ordinary vocabulary item?
Lyons (1981) does not even see the necessity of listing a word like ‘politeness’ in a dictionary as a vocabulary unit, since both its meaning and its grammatical properties are predictable.
According to Corson (1985), “difficulties for many people in articulating and decoding words in a context often seem due to
the form

rather than to

the meaning
of the words”.
If a language learner is familiar with how these words are combined, they got the core base of vocabulary and their growth.
So, morphological knowledge should be presented to students in early levels.

It’s also a good idea to provide the ESL students a basic knowledge of the meaning of the borrowed words and Latin roots.

Because ESL students can learn new words easily and faster by comparing and contrasting between a foreign word and a similar word in their native language.

- by the knowledge of the affixation process the teacher can ask his students to find the stem word, or ask them to form adverbs or adjectives by using some affixes.
- Also, he can ask to decode a certain acronym to the full statement.
- By introducing the borrowing process, students can be asked about the origin of these borrowed words.

Such exercises would help EFL/ESL students not only decode new vocabulary, but also to encode them.
There are different exercises that the teacher can include these processes to teach students new vocabulary.
The reason behind teaching word-formation processes is that learners are likely to attach meanings to words which they have never encountered before if they can recognize the presence of familiar morphemes



Therefore, students need to know facts about word formation processes and how to put words to fit different grammatical contexts as words can change their shape and their grammatical value, too.

• Word-formation processes are very essential for EFL teaching, it has been said that it is very possible that one of the main reasons for the poor performance in English among EFL learners could be found in their English curriculum that does not include teaching the English word formation which is usually taken for-granted



Therefore, curriculum planners, book writers, designers and English language teachers should attribute much importance to these processes.
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