Methods and word formation patterns in modern English



The vocabulary of modern English was replenished mainly in the process of word formation and in the process of borrowing new words from other languages.

"Word formation is a set of operating rules of the language and methods of formation of new words based on the existing ones" [Bochkareva, T.S.]. Word formation is closely connected to the vocabulary and grammar. Connection of word formation with the vocabulary is manifested in the fact that each new word, emerged in the language, is a unit of the vocabulary of the language. A link to the grammar can be seen in the fact that the creation of new words in the language occurs in certain models, and every word is a certain part of speech.

In modern linguistics, decided to allocate the following main ways of word formation: 1) prefixation; 2) suffixes; 3) compounding; 4) conversion; 5) reduction.

Prefixes - "the process of formation of new words by means of the addition of the prefix (prefix) to the stem of the word." Unlike suffixes that are involved in the formation of words belonging to different parts of speech, prefixes, are mainly involved in the formation of words within the same part of speech. The prefixes change the lexical meaning of the word stems, but rarely they affect its lexical and grammatical components. The following are distinguished: among them: 1) productive (un-, re-, anti-, inter-, etc.); 2) unproductive (mis-, out-, dis-, de-, co-).; 3) non-productive (im-, in-, il-, ir-, en-.).

Suffixes - the way of word formation, in which a suffix is added to the stem of a word. Primarily suffixes serve to form new words, and secondly, for forming one part of speech from the other and, thirdly, to change the word’s lexical meaning. As well as prefixes, suffixes are divided into: 1) productive (-er, -ist, -ee, -ism, -ing, - ness, -ed, -ly, etc.); 2) unproductive (-ling, -ie, -let, etc.); 3) non-productive (-or, -ard, -ship, -hood, -dom, -ful, etc.).

Compounding – method of derivation, in which the bases of two or three words are added together. The complicated word (compound word) is formed as a result of this process. Compound words in the English language are mainly composed of the foundations of the various parts of speech, coupled with no change.

Conversion - a method of forming new words, in which the external shape is not changed, but the word passes into another grammatical category, gaining new features and the new value. In the formation of a new word by conversion, not only its grammatical meaning changes, but also lexical, which leads to the emergence of a new word.

Cut - method of word formation, at which a portion of the base is cut off, which is either the same as the word or phrase, which is united by a common sense. In modern linguistics reduction can be divided into lexical (truncated words and acronyms) and graphic. Examples of truncated words are: doc <doctor; frig <refrigerator. Acronyms are formed from the initial letters of words in the phrase, united by a common sense, such as the Air Force <British Broadcasting Corporation. As for the graphic cuts, they are also plentiful, and mostly are used to refer to actions, units or quantities (kg, km, mph, Dr, Mr, etc.). The conventionality of this type of contractions is seen in the fact that they are reproduced fully (hence the name of the type) in oral speech.

Based on the foregoing, we can say that the lexical composition of the language is open-ended, i.e., there is a possibility of replenishment of new units, and above all an opportunity to connect with the existing word-formation processes and word formation.  

After all, word formation in its essence and nature meets best the needs of the nomination, using the existing language and vocabulary items.

The need for new titles is satisfied not only by borrowing, which is only an additional source. In language, as we have seen, there is a specially designed system of means and rules specifically for the purposes of the nomination by which on the basis of already existing units in the language new words are formed. Among these tools, we can identify the most productive, the most actively functioning ones in the language. From all of the ways of updating the vocabulary of the language above, the conversion is one of the most productive ways operating in English. This method of word formation to a greater extent is typical for the English language due to its analytical system. Conversion as a way of word formation is also observed in the Russian language. For example: выходной день - day (adjective) и выходной – day off (noun), избитый человек which means a beaten man (communion) и избитые истины which is hackneyed truth (adjective). However, in the English language conversion is more productive.


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