Session 4: Morphology and Word Formation

Allomorph One morphological realization of a given functional transformation: dogs, oxen, children
Bound morpheme A morpheme that cannot form a word by itself: en-, -ly
Coinage The creation of a new word
  • Acronymy
Shortening forming a word out of initials (in the narrow sense, an acronym is pronounced as a word): radar, RAM
  • Alphabetism
Shortening forming a word out of initials, which are spelled out: PDA, PSA, BBC
  • Back-Formation
Shortening by dropping a supposed suffix: edit, enthuse
  • Blending
Shortening by combining two or more words: hangry, sext, smog
  • Borrowing
Adapting a foreign word to the target language: passé, sauna
  • Clipping
Shortening by dropping the beginning or end of a word: ad, phone
  • Compounding
The combination of preexisting words: telephone booth, no-hitter
  • Conversion
As-is adaptation to a different word class: boot (v), impact (v)
  • Derivation
Adaptation to a different word class or meaning through affixation: rewrite, tenderness
  • Eponymy
Using a personal name as a common noun: scrooge, mentor, volt
  • Ex nihilo
Without formal antecedent: quark
  • Loan translation
The element-for-element translation of a foreign word: foreword, thought experiment, Gehirnwäsche
  • Onomatopoeia
Formation based on a sound associated with the concept being named: shriek, boom
  • Trade name
The adoption of a brand name into the general lexicon: aspirin, tupperware
Derivational morpheme A bound morpheme that may be added onto a word to change its sense or grammatical category: un-, pre-, -ness, -ic
Free morpheme A morpheme that can form a word by itself: fish, for, gone
Functional morpheme A free morpheme that is a function word: of
Inflectional morpheme A bound morpheme that conveys grammatical information: -ed, -ing, -s, -’s
Lexical morpheme A free morpheme carrying lexical meaning: word
Morph Any realization of a morpheme, regardless of form: bits, bids, buses
Productivity Degree to which a process or morpheme continues to contribute new forms
Semantic loan The borrowing of a foreign sense into an existing lexeme: überziehen to mean “overdraw”