• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The word formation process. Analyse the importance of word formation mechanism in maintaining the vitality of language

Extracts from this document...


(a) Write a short introduction about word formation process. [20] The term "word formation", as the name suggest, is all about creating new words. "Word formation process" is the process by which new words are created or invented. Every language is in constant need for new words. This is mainly because of the development in the technological field. New products are coming on the market and all of them need names by which to be called. Because of these new inventions and changes, a language needs to borrow, derive or otherwise coin new words simply because new things need names. The formation of words does not just appear like that out of the blue, but rather, there are several methods that are used to create new words. Before considering the techniques used to coin new words, let us consider language as a tool for communication and some vicissitudes it has undergone with the elapsing of time. The only means by which humans communicate is language (be it spoken or body language). It is the most vital tool of interaction between men. With time, language needs to change in order to meet with the requirements of the people. As Martina Wagener said in an article, "language is dynamic, it changes constantly". If we take the word "gay" for example, its meaning has changed. ...read more.


Some examples of borrowing are organised in the table below. Words Source of borrowing Croissant French Sofa Arabic Deksi Bhojpuri Zebra Bantu "Calque" is a type of borrowing. It is also known as a 'loan translation' because "there is direct translation of elements of word into the borrowing language" (Yule 2006). "Gratte-ciel" (a French term) is a very common example of calque. "Gratte-ciel" can literally be translated as "sky scraper". The last most common word formation process remaining is compounding. Compounding is the process of combining words together to form a new word that "does not denote two things, but one" and that is "pronounced as one unit" (Winicwski 2007). In simpler words, compounding means joining together two different independent words to create a one. Typically there are three types of compounding namely, solid, hyphenated and open compounding. The table below show examples of each of the three types of compounding. Types of Compounding Words Used Words Formed Solid "finger" + "print" Fingerprint Hyphenated "good" + "looking" Good-looking Open "reading" + "material+ Reading material Besides these three major word formation processes, there are also minor word formation processes. They are minor in the sense that they are not as much used as borrowing, derivation and compounding in coining new words. Acronymic formations, clipping, onomatopoeia, blending and back formation would fall in the category of minor word formation processes. ...read more.


Here again we should take English language as example. English is an international language. This is greatly because of the word formation mechanism used to coin new words in the language. With a lot of vocabulary in the English language, the latter has become versatile. A word can be changed into a very or an adjective. An example is the word "danger" which can be transformed into the verb "endanger" and adjective "dangerous". So word formation increases the importance of language. When a language creates new words, by borrowing for instance, it not only helps maintain that language's own vitality but also other languages can borrow from the initial language. For example English borrowed the word "sofa" from Arabic, and Creole borrowed the word "sofa" from English. When English borrows, there are other languages that borrow from the "borrower" language. This keeps other languages alive as well. A language can die. Absence of word formation process can cause its death. There are many ways in which a language can die. "Many of India's languages are at risk of dying our" (National Geographic News 2009). Linguists have maintained that a language dies due to several occurrences like influence of the west, lack of speakers of that language and most importantly, lack of word formation kills a language. In Mauritius, the Bhojpuri language is feared to be extinct. This is why the government has decided to inculcate Bhojpuri in the curriculum of primary schooling. (c) Borrowings in Mauritian Creole Source of borrowings. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Argumentative or Persuasive Essays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Argumentative or Persuasive Essays essays

  1. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both the Prescriptive and Descriptive approaches to language. ...

    Considering global integration and globalization of all the fields of economy, politics and communication, a Corpus with ISO certification is a very important tool to banish any doubts that can be provoked by either approach. Conclusion Considering numerous and constant debates of many linguists from all over the world, it

  2. Media plays an important role in our everyday lives. Why is it important to ...

    as being amenable to interpretation without reference to their place in the economic structure of capitalism" (Sinclair, J, 2002, pp.15). Moving on to the structuralism, it is largely based in France, was a wide intellectual movement (Sinclair, J, 2002, pp.16).

  1. What do you understand by Pidgins and Creoles? Discuss with examples why these languages ...

    It is merely a question of implication; therein the copular is unstated yet inferred. The linguistic complexity of creole languages is often unappreciated by non-speakers, therein a creole may be reckoned as ?ungrammatical? or ?corrupt? in the sense that it does not conform to the predetermined grammatical rules of neither the substrate or superstrate language.

  2. Bruner and Wittgenstein: Language Learning

    Language is the vehicle of thought (Wittgenstein 1953, §329) in at least the crucial sense in which we ground our communities qua communities: if there is no discernible understanding of language, we can never know whether we share in the same meanings, expectations, agreements, and so forth. Thus, an understanding of language has become a measuring stick for what it means to be another human being, a person.

  1. What makes a new word successful? A response to Metcalfs FUDGE Model

    Level 1 shows the word spreading in usage but still only recognised by a section of society i.e. thousands. The move from level 1 to level 2 is very significant and it is here that a word becomes wide spread and commonly known within language and people?s active vocabularies.

  2. What happens to the "lost language" in language attrition?

    When 1 language is selection this automatically acts as a hindrance for the other language as it heightens that language?s activation threshold. Thus the less frequently these items are accessed, the more stimulus is needed for activation consequently the activation threshold is higher and access to these items becomes harder

  1. Analysis of Language Use in Hugh MacDiarmid's "Water Gaw" and Gerard Manley Hopkins ...

    The ?watergaw? is translated as a ?broken shaft of rainbow? (HM), deviating semantically from defining the beauty and delicateness of a glimpse or whisper of a rainbow. The harsh ?broken? with its plosive ?b? phoneme, connoting negativity , is reinforced by ?shaft? which takes on a harsher denotation due to

  2. What is the usefulness of comparing human language with other communication systems? How similar ...

    This can also be linked to the early stages of a human life when babies cry). This is called the Continuity theory. Or, whether human language has imposed itself upon this basic communication: Discontinuity theory. Secondly, one must ask what counts as communication.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work