PL EN


2012 | 22 | 2 | 98-122
Article title

English back formation in the 20th and the early 21st centuries

Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The subject of the present study is a description and analysis of English back-formation in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. Investigation of an overall sample of 768 back-formed items has resulted in the following findings: Productivity of back-formation remains on the same level as it was in the first half of the 20th century. The most productive process is formation of verbs from action nouns. Back-formation of verbs from agent nouns has decreased, formation of verbs from adjectives almost disappeared. Adjectives can be seen as a minor source of back-formed nouns. There is a growth in involvement of compounds in this process. The most frequent subtracted suffixes are -ing, -ion/-ation and -er, all of them being involved in the formation of verbs. Stylistically unmarked items prevail, but they are often limited in use. Prefix back-formations continue to be formed. Inflectional back-formations seem to be on the decline. The class of adjectives back-formed from agent nouns is a new type that might continue in occurrence. From the analysis of the material investigated, the following main conclusion has been made: Back-formation can be considered a transparent, analysable and productive word-formation process, which has an indisputable potential for generating new words in the future.
Year
Volume
22
Issue
2
Pages
98-122
Physical description
Document type
ARTICLE
Contributors
  • Linguistica Pragensia, Ústav pro jazyk český AV ČR, v.v.i., Letenská 4, 118 51 Praha 1, Czech Republic
References
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  • MARCHAND, H. (1969): The Categories and Types of Present-Day English Word-Formation. München, C. H. Beck.
  • PENNANEN, E. V. (1966): Contributions to the Study of Back-Formation in English. Acta Academiae Socialis Ser. A, vol. 4 (Vammala, 1966), Tampere.
  • PENNANEN, E. V. (1975): What happens in backformation? In: E. Hovdhaugen (ed.), Papers from the Second Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics. Oslo, Oslo University, Department of Linguistics.
  • PLAG, I. (2003): Word-Formation in English. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Merriam Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary on CD ROM, 2003, version 3.0.
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Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.cejsh-c6132e64-005f-4d69-92ef-505116b7d540
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