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DPs may represent derivative structure at different levels of generalisation:

a) at the level of structural types specifying only the class membership of ICs and the direction of motivation, such as a+-sf -> N, prf- + +n -> V, prf- n -> N, n + -sf -> N, n + -sf -> V, etc. In terms of patterns of this type, known as structural formulas,1 all words may be classified into four classes: suffixal derivatives, e.g. friendship, glorified, blackness, skyward;prefixal derivatives, e.g. rewrite, exboxer, non-smoker, un-happy,etc.; conversions, e.g. a cut, to parrot, to winter,etc.; compound words key-ring, music-lover, wind-driven,etc. But derivational formulas are not indicative either of any one lexical-grammatical or lexical class of words, as, for example, the formula a + -sf may equally represent suffixal nouns as in blackness, possibilityand verbs, as in sharpen, widen,or adjectives as in blackish.

b) derivative structure and hence derivative types of words may be represented at the level of structural patterns which specify the base

See ‘Word-Group’, § 7, p. 70.

classes and individual affixes thus indicating the lexical-grammatical and lexical classes of derivatives within certain structural classes of words. DPs of this level are based on the mutual interdependence of individual affixes and base classes and may be viewed in terms of each. The suffixes refer derivatives to specific parts of speech and lexical subsets as, for example, v + -er -> N signals that the derivatives built on this pattern are de-verbal nouns which represent a semantic set of active agents, denoting both animate and inanimate objects, e.g. reader, runner, singer,unlike, for example, denominal nouns with the underlying pattern п+ -еr -> N which stands for agents denoting residents or occupations, e.g. Londoner, villager, gardener.The DP n+-ish -> A signals a set of adjectives with the lexical meaning of resemblance, whereas a + -ish -> A signals adjectives meaning a small degree of quality, etc.

c) DPs may be specified as to the lexical-semantic features of both ICs. DPs of this level specify the semantic constraints imposed upon the set of derivatives for which the pattern is true and hence the semantic range of the pattern. For example, the nominal bases in the pattern n+-ess -> N are confined to nouns having in their semantic structures a component ‘a male animate being’, e.g. lioness, traitress, stewardess,etc.; the nominal bases in n+-ful2 -> N are limited by nouns having a semantic component ‘container’, e.g. lungful, carful, mouthful,whereas in n+ -ful1 -> A the nominal bases are confined to nouns of abstract meaning. The same is true of the pattern n + -y -> A which represents different semantic sets of derivatives specified by semantic constraints imposed on both the bases and the suffix: nominal bases denoting living beings are collocated with the suffix -y meaning ‘resemblance’, e.g. birdy, spidery, catty,etc., but nominal bases denoting material, parts of the body attract another meaning of the suffix -y that of ‘considerable amount, size’ resulting in the adjectives like powdery, grassy, leggy, starry,etc.

Itfollows that derivational patterns may be classified into two types — structural pattern (see b, above) and structural-semantic pattern (see c).

§ 12. Derivational Types of Words

According to their derivational structure words fall into two large classes: simple, non-derived words or simplexes and derivatives or complexes. Complexes are classified according to the type of the underlying derivational pattern into: derived and compound words. Derived words fall into affixational words, which in their turn must be classified into suffixal and prefixal derivatives, and conversions. Each derivational type of words is unequally represented in different parts of speech.

Comparing the role each of these structural type of words plays in the language we can easily perceive that the clue to the correct understanding of their comparative value lies in a careful consideration of 1) the importance of each type in the existing word-stock and 2) their frequency value in actual speech. Of the two factors frequency is by far the most important. According to the available word counts in different parts of speech, we find that derived words numerically constitute the largest class of words in the existing word-stock, derived nouns comprise approximately 67% of the total number and adjectives about 86%, whereas

compound nouns make about 15% and adjectives only about 4%. Simple words come to 18% in nouns, i.e. a trifle more than the number of compound words; in adjectives simple words come to approximately 12%.1 But if we now consider the frequency value of these types of words in actual speech, we cannot fail to see that simple words occupy a predominant place in English. According to recent frequency counts, about 60% of the total number of nouns and 62% of the total number of adjectives in current use are simple words. Of the total number of adjectives and nouns, derived words comprise about 38% and 37% respectively while compound words comprise an insignificant 2% in nouns and 0.2% in adjectives.2 Thus it is the simple, non-derived words that constitute the foundation and the backbone of the vocabulary and that are of paramount importance in speech. It should also be mentioned that non-derived words are characterised by a high degree of collocability and a complex variety of meanings in contrast with words of other structural types whose semantic structures are much poorer. Simple words also serve as basic parent forms motivating all types of derived and compound words. At the same time it should be pointed out that new words that appear in the vocabulary are mostly words of derived and compound structure.

§ 13. Historical Changeability of Word-Structure

Neither the morphemic nor the derivational structure of the word remains the same but is subject to various changes in the course of time. Changes in the phonetic and semantic structure and in the stress pattern of polymorphic words may bring about a number of changes in the morphemic and derivational structure. Certain morphemes may become fused together or may be lost altogether. As a result of this process, known as the process of simplification, radical changes in the structure of the word may take place: root-morphemes may turn into affixational or semi-affixational morphemes, polymorphic words may become monomorphic, compound words may be transformed into derived or even simple words. There is no doubt, for instance, that the Modern English derived noun friendshipgoes back to the Old English compound frēōndscipein which the component scipewas a root-morpheme and a stem of the independently functioning word. The present-day English suffixes -hood, -dom, -likeare also known to have developed from root-morphemes. The noun husbandis a simple monomorphic word in Modern English, whereas in Old English it was a compound word consisting of two bases built on two stems hus-bond-a.

Sometimes the spelling of some Modern English words as compared with their sound-form reflects the changes these words have undergone. The Modern English word cupboardjudging by its sound-form ['kAbэd] is a monomorphic non-motivated simple word. Yet its spelling betrays its earlier history. It consisted of two bases represented by two monomorphic stems [kAр] and [bo:d] and was pronounced ['kAp,bod]; it signified

1 Though no figures for verbs are available we have every reason to believe that they present a similar relation.

2 We may presume that a similar if not a more striking difference is true of verbs, adverbs and all form words.

'a board to put cups on’; nowadays, however, having been structurally transformed into a simple word, it denotes neither cupnor boardas may be seen from the phrases like* boot cupboard, a clothes cupboard.A similar course of development is observed in the words blackguard['blæg-a:d] traced to ['blæk,ga:d], handkerchief['hæŋkэt∫if] that once was ['hænd,kэ:t∫if], etc.

In the process of historical development some word-structures underwent reinterpretation without radical changes in their phonemic shape; there are cases when simple root-words came to be understood as derived consisting of two ICs represented by two individual items, e.g. beggar, chauffeur, editor.The reinterpretation of such words led to the formation of simple verbs like to edit, to beg,etc.

§ 14. Summary and Conclusions

1. There are two levels of approach to the study of word-structure: the level of morphemic analysis and the level of derivational or word-formation analysis.

2. The basic unit of the morphemic level is the morpheme defined as the smallest indivisible two-facet language unit.

3. Three types of morphemic segmentability of words are distinguished in linguistic literature: complete, conditional and defective. Words of conditional and defective segmentability are made up of full morphemes and pseudo (quasi) morphemes. The latter do not rise to the status of full morphemes either for semantic reasons or because of their unique distribution.

4. Semantically morphemes fall into root-morphemes and affixational morphemes (prefixes and suffixes); structurally into free, bound and semi-free (semi-bound) morphemes.

5. The structural types of words at the morphemic level are described in terms of the number and type of their ICs as monomorphic and polymorphic words.

6. Derivational level of analysis aims at finding out the derivative types of words, the interrelation between them and at finding out how different types of derivatives are constructed.

7. Derivationally all words form two structural classes: simplexes, i.e. simple, non-derived words and complexes, or derivatives. Derivatives fall into: suffixal derivatives, prefixal derivatives, conversions and compounds. The relative importance of each structural type is conditioned by its frequency value in actual speech and its importance in the existing word-stock.

Each structural type of complexes shows preference for one or another part of speech. Within each part of speech derivative structures are characterised by a set of derivational patterns.

8. The basic elementary units of the derivative structure are: derivational bases, derivational affixes, derivational patterns.

9. Derivational bases differ from stems both structurally and semantically. Derivational bases are built on the following language units: a) stems of various structure, b) word-forms, c) word-groups or phrases. Each class and subset of bases has its own range of collocability and shows peculiar ties with different parts of speech.

10. Derivational affixes form derived stems by repatterning derivational bases. Semantically derivational affixes present a unity of lexical meaning and other types of meaning: functional, distributional and differential unlike non-derivational affixes which lack lexical meaning.

11. Derivational patterns (DP) are meaningful arrangements of various types of ICs that can be observed in a set of words based on their mutual interdependence. DPs can be viewed in terms of collocability of each IC. There are two types of DPs — structural that specify base classes and individual affixes, and structural-semantic that specify semantic peculiarities of bases and the individual meaning of the affix. DPs of different levels of generalisation signal: 1) the class of source unit that motivates the derivative and the direction of motivation between different classes of words; 2) the part of speech of the derivative; 3) the lexical sets and semantic features of derivatives.

V. Word-Formation


§ 1. Various Types and Ways of Forming Words

The available linguistic literature on the subject cites various types and ways of forming words. Earlier books, articles and monographs on word-formation and vocabulary growth in general both in the Russian language and in foreign languages, in the English language in particular, used to mention morphological, syntactic and lexico-semantic types of word-formation. At present the classifications of the types of word-formation do not, as a rule, include lexico-semantic word-building. Of interest is the classification of word-formation means based on the number of motivating bases which many scholars follow. A distinction is made between two large classes of word-building means:

To Class I belong the means of building words having one motivating base. To give an English example, the noun catcheris composed of the base catch-and the suffix -er, through the combination of which it is morphologically and semantically motivated.1

Class II includes the means of building words containing more than “ one motivating base. Needless to say, they are all based on compounding (cf. the English compounds country-club, door-handle, bottle-opener,etc., all having two bases through which they are motivated).

Most linguists in special chapters and manuals devoted to English word-formation consider as the chief processes of English word-formation affixation, conversion and compounding.

Apart from these a number of minor ways of forming words such as back-formation, sound interchange, distinctive stress, sound imitation, blending, clipping and acronymy are traditionally referred to Word-Formation.

Another classification of the types of word-formation worked out by H. Marchand is also of interest. Proceeding from the distinction between full linguistic signs and pseudo signs 2 he considers two major groups: 1) words formed as grammatical syntagmas, i.e. combinations of full linguistic signs which are characterised by morphological motivation such as do-er, un-do, rain-bow;and 2) words which are not grammatical syntagmas, i.e. which are not made up of full linguistic signs. To the ‘ first group belong Compounding, Suffixation, Prefixation, Derivation by a Zero Morpheme3 and Back-Derivation, to the second — Expressive Symbolism, Blending, Clipping, Rime and Ablaut Gemination,* Word-Manufacturing.5 It is characteristic of both groups that a new coining is based on a synchronic relationship between morphemes.

1 See ‘Semasiology’, §§ 17, 22, pp. 25-30.

2 See also ‘Word-Structure’, § 3, p. 92.

3 Another term for “conversion."

4 These are based on the principle of coming words in phonetically variated rhythmic twin forms, e. g. bibble-babble, shilly shally, boogie-woogie, claptrap, etc.

5 This is the coining of artificial new words by welding more or less arbitrary parts of given words into a unit, e. g. Pluto(‘pipeline under the ocean’), Cominch(‘Commander- in-chief), etc.

§ 2. Word-Formation. Definition. Basic Peculiarities

In the present book we proceed from the understanding of Word-Formation and the classification of word-formation types as found in A. I. Smirnitsky’s book on English Lexicology.

Word-Formation is the system of derivative types of words and the process of creating new words from the material available in the language after certain structural and semantic formulas and patterns. For instance, the noun driveris formed after the pattern v+-er, i.e. a verbal stem +-the noun-forming suffix -er. The meaning of the derived noun driveris related to the meaning of the stem drive- ‘to direct the course of a vehicle’ and the suffix -ermeaning ‘an active agent’: a driveris ‘one who drives’ (a carriage, motorcar, railway engine, etc.). Likewise compounds resulting from two or more stems joined together to form a new word are also built on quite definite structural and semantic patterns and formulas, for instance adjectives of the snow-whitetype are built according to the formula п+а, etc. It can easily be observed that the meaning of the whole compound is also related to the meanings of the component parts. The structural patterns with the semantic relations they signal give rise to regular new creations of derivatives, e.g. sleeper, giver, smiler or soat-blасk, tax-free,etc.

In conformity with structural types of words described above1 the following two types of word-formation may be distinguished, word-derivation and word-composition (or compounding). Words created by word-derivation have in terms of word-formation analysis only one derivational base and one derivational affix, e.g. cleanness (from clean), to overestimate(from to estimate), chairmanship(from chairman), openhandedness(from openhanded),etc. Some derived words have no derivational affixes, because derivation is achieved through conversion 2, e.g. to paper(from paper),a fall(from to fall),etc. Words created by word-composition have at least two bases, e.g. lamp-shade, ice-cold, looking-glass,” daydream, hotbed, speedometer,etc.

Within the types, further distinction may be made between the ways of forming words. The basic ways of forming words in word-derivatiоn, for instance, are affixation and conversion. It should be noted that the understanding of word-formation as expounded here excludes semantic word-building as well as shortening, sound- and stress-interchange which traditionally are referred, as has been mentioned above, to minor ways of word-formation. By semantic word-building some linguists understand any change in word-meaning, e.g. stock — ‘the lower part of the trunk of a tree’; ’something lifeless or stupid’; ‘the part of an instrument that serves as a base’, etc.; bench — ‘a long seat of wood or stone’; ‘a carpenter’s table’, etc. The majority of linguists, however, understand this process only as a change in the meaning 3 of a word that may result in the appearance of homonyms, as is the

1 See ‘Word-Structure’, § 11, p. 103.

2 See ‘Conversion’, § 16,'p. 127, see also ‘Word-Structure’, § 7, p. 96.

3 See also ‘Semasiology’, § 22, p. 30; §§ 25, 26, 39, pp. 34-47.

case with flower — ‘a blossom’ and flour — ‘the fine meal’, ‘powder made from wheat and used for making bread’; magazine — ‘a publication’ and magazine — ‘the chamber for cartridges in a gun or rifle’, etc. The application of the term word-formation to the process of semantic change and to the appearance of homonyms due to the development of polysemy seems to be debatable for the following reasons:

As semantic change does not, as a rule, lead to the introduction of a new word into the vocabulary, it can scarcely be regarded as a wordbuilding means. Neither can we consider the process a word-building means even when an actual enlargement of the vocabulary does come about through the appearance of a pair of homonyms. Actually, the appearance of homonyms is not a means of creating new words, but it is the final result of a long and labourious process of sense-development. Furthermore, there are no patterns after which homonyms can be made in the language. Finally, diverging sense-development results in a semantic isolation of two or more meanings of a word, whereas the process of word-formation proper is characterised by a certain semantic connection between the new word and the source lexical unit. For these reasons diverging sense-development leading to the appearance of two or more homonyms should be regarded as a specific channel through which the vocabulary of a language is replenished with new words and should not be treated on a par with the processes of word-formation, such as affixation, conversion and composition.

The shortening of words also stands apart from the above two-fold division of word-formation. It cannot be regarded as part of either word-derivation or word-composition for the simple reason that neither the derivational base nor the derivational affix can be singled out from the shortened word (e. g. lab, exam, Euratom, V-day,etc.).

Nor are there any derivational patterns new shortened words could be farmed on by the speaker. Consequently, the shortening of words should not be regarded as a way of word-formation on a par with derivation and compounding.

For the same reasons, such ways of coining words as acronymy, blending, lexicalisation and some others should not be treated as means of word-formation. Strictly speaking they are all, together with word-shortening, specific means of replenishing the vocabulary different in principle from affixation, conversion and compounding.

What is said above is especially true of sound- and stress-interchange (also referred to as distinctive stress). Both sound- and stress-interchange may be regarded as ways of forming words only diachronically, because in Modern English not a single word can be coined by changing the root-vowel of a word or by shifting the place of the stress. Sound-interchange as well as stress-interchange in fact has turned into a means of distinguishing primarily between words of different parts of speech and as such is rather wide-spread in Modern English, e.g. to sing — song, to live — life, strong — strength,etc. It also distinguishes between different word-forms, e.g. manmen, wifewives, to know — knew, to leave — left,etc.

Sound-interchange falls into two groups: vowel-interchange and consonant-interchange.

By means of vowel-interchange we distinguish different parts of speech, e.g. full — to fill, food — to feed, blood — to bleed,etc. Insome cases vowel-interchange is combined with affixation, e.g. long — length, strong — strength, broad — breadth,etc. Intransitive verbs and the corresponding transitive ones with a causative meaning also display vowel-interchange, e. g. to rise — to raise, to sit — to set, to lie — to lay, to fall — to fell.

The type of consonant-interchange typical of Modern English is the interchange of a voiceless fricative consonant in a noun and the corresponding voiced consonant in the corresponding verb, e.g. useto use, mouth — to mouth, house — to house, advice — to advise,etc.

There are some particular cases of consonant-interchange: [k] — [t∫]: to speakspeech, to break — breach;[s][d]: defence — to defend; offence — to offend; [s]— [t]: evidence — evident, importance — important,etc. Consonant-interchange may be combined with vowel-interchange, e.g. bath — to bathe, breath — to breathe, life — to live,etc.

Many English verbs of Latin-French origin are distinguished from the corresponding nouns by the position of stress. Here are some well-known examples of such pairs of words: ´export n — to ex´port v; ´import n — to im´port v; ‘conduct n — to con'duct v; ‘present n — to pre’sent v; ´contrast n — to con´trast v; ´increase n — to in´crease v, etc.

Stress-interchange is not restricted to pairs of words consisting of a noun and a verb. It may also occur between other parts of speech, for instance, between adjective and verb, e.g. ´frequenta— to fre´quent v; ´absent a — to ab´sentv, etc.

§ 3. Word-Formation as the Subject of Study

Word-formation is that branch of Lexicology which studies the derivative structure of existing words and the patterns on which a language, ‘in this case the English language, builds new words. It is self-evident that word-formation proper can deal only with words which are analysable both structurally and semantically, i.e. with all types of Complexes.1 The study of the simple word as such has no place in it. Simple words however are very closely connected with word-formation because they serve as the foundation, the basic source of the parent units motivating all types of derived and compound words. Therefore, words like writer, displease, atom-free,etc. make the subject matter of study in word-formation, but words like to write, to please, atom, freeare not irrelevant to it.

Like any other linguistic phenomenon word-formation may be studied from two angles — synchronically and diachronically. It is necessary to distinguish between these two approaches, for synchronically the linguist investigates the existing system of the types of word-formation while diachronically he is concerned with the history of word-building. To illustrate the difference of approach we shall consider affixation. Diachronically it is the chronological order of formation of one word from some other word that is relevant. On the synchronic plane a derived word is regarded as having a more complex structure than its correlated word

1 See ‘Word-Structure’, § 12, p. 104.

regardless of the fact whether it was derived from a simpler base or amore complex base. There are cases in the history of the English language when a word structurally more complex served as the original element from which a simpler word was derived. Those are cases of the process called back-formation (or back-derivation) 1, cf. beggarto beg; editor — to edit; chauffeur — to chauffand some others. The fact that historically the verbs to beg, to edit,etc. were derived from the corresponding agent-nouns is of no synchronous relevance.

While analysing and describing word-formation synchronically it is not enough to extract the relevant structural elements from a word, describe its structure in terms of derivational bases, derivational affixes and the type of derivative patterns, it is absolutely necessary to determine the position of these patterns and their constituents within the structural-semantic system of the language as a whole. Productivity of a derivative type therefore cannot be overlooked in this description.

§ 4. Productivity of Word-Formation Means

Some of the ways of forming words in present-day English can be resorted to for the creation of new words whenever the occasion demands — these are called prоduсtive ways of forming words, other ways of forming words cannot now produce new words, and these are commonly termed non-productive or unproductive. For instance, affixation has been a productive way of forming words ever since the Old English period; on the other hand, sound-interchange must have been at one time a word-building means but in Modern English, as has been mentioned above, its function is actually only to distinguish between different classes and forms of words.

It follows that productivity of word-building ways, individual derivational patterns and derivational affixes is understood as their ability of making new words which all who speak English find no difficulty in understanding, in particular their ability to create what are called о с-casional words or nonce-wоrds.2 The term suggests that a speaker coins such words when he needs them; if on another occasion the same word is needed again, he coins it afresh. Nonce-words are built from familiar language material after familiar patterns.3 Needless to say dictionaries do not as a rule record occasional words. The following words may serve as illustration: (his) collarless(appearance), a lungful(of smoke), a Dickensish(office), to unlearn(the rules), etc.


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