, word formation
is the creation of a new word
. Word formation is sometimes contrasted with semantic change
, which is a change in a single word's meaning. The line between word formation and semantic change is sometimes a bit blurry; what one person views as a new use of an old word, another person might view as a new word derived from an old one and identical to it in form; see Conversion (linguistics)
. Word formation can also be contrasted with the formation of idiomatic
expressions, though sometimes words can form from multi-word phrases; see Compound (linguistics)
and Incorporation (linguistics)
A similar concept is Derivation.
The following articles describe various mechanisms of word formation:
- Agglutination (the process of forming new words from existing ones by adding affixes to them, like shame + less + ness → shamelessness)
- Back-formation (removing seeming affixes from existing words, like forming edit from editor)
- Blending (a word formed by joining parts of two or more older words, like smog, which comes from smoke and fog)
- Acronym (a word formed from initial letters of the words in a phrase, like English laser from light amplified by stimulated emission of radiation)
- Clipping (morphology) (taking part of an existing word, like forming ad from advertisement)
- Compound (linguistics) (a word formed by stringing together older words, like earthquake)
- Conversion (linguistics) (forming a new word from an existing identical one, like forming the verb green from the existing adjective)
- Loanword (a word borrowed from another language, like cliché, which comes from French)
- Calque (borrowing a word or phrase from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation; for example the English phrase to lose face, which is a calque from Chinese)
- Phono-semantic matching (matching a foreign word with a phonetically and semantically similar pre-existent native word/root)
- Semantic loan (the extension of the meaning of a word to include new, foreign meanings)
- Neologism (a completely new word, like quark)
- Onomatopoeia (the creation of words that imitate natural sounds, like the bird name cuckoo)
- Hadumod Bussmann (1996), Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, London: Routledge.
- Joachim Grzega (2004), Bezeichnungswandel: Wie, Warum, Wozu? Ein Beitrag zur englischen und allgemeinen Onomasiologie, Heidelberg: Winter.
- Peter Koch (2002), “Lexical Typology from a Cognitive and Linguistic Point of View”, in D. Alan Cruse et al. (eds), Lexicology: An International Handbook on the Nature and Structure of Words and Vocabularies / Lexikologie: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur von Wörtern und Wortschätzen, [Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft 21], Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, vol. 1, pp. 1142-1178.
- Ghil'ad Zuckermann (2003). Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave Studies in Language History and Language Change). ISBN 1-4039-1723-X.