ENGLISH BACK-FORMATION IN THE 20th AND THE EARLY 21st CENTURIES Cover Image

ENGLISH BACK-FORMATION IN THE 20th AND THE EARLY 21st CENTURIES
ENGLISH BACK-FORMATION IN THE 20th AND THE EARLY 21st CENTURIES

Author(s): Naděžda Stašková
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Ústav pro jazyk český Akademie věd České republiky
Keywords: morphology; back-formation; word-formation; compound; neologism

Summary/Abstract: Naděžda Stašková: ENGLISH BACK-FORMATION IN THE 20th AND THE EARLY 21st CENTURIES 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.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 98-121
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: English