Word-formation is a relatively new branch of linguistic studies. With the language constantly changing, it is hard to keep track of new trends and tendencies that influence it on every-day basis. As language is a flexible system of signs, it is its natural predisposition to be shaped and influenced by its users who are able to adopt it according to their will. Whether inspired by a foreign culture or simply answering to one's onomastic needs, the creative potential of coining new words is hardly limited. What is to be found in the contents of this book is a piece on English word-formation theory backed up by examples from other languages.
This handbook is aimed at advanced learners of English, preferably university students. It consists of several chapters that introduce the reader to the notion of word-formation from the branch of linguistics backed up with various examples from English and more.
1. Concatenative morphology
Concatenative processes are by far the ones which happen to be the most productive in the Indio-European language family . Thus, they are of major concern when it comes to discussing word-formation processes in either English. These include the following: compounding, affixation and incorporation. The last is almost non-existent in the English language. Concatenation is a process which deals with the formation of new lexical items by putting at least two distinct morphemes together. However, as it is often the case in morphology, establishing clear borders for certain categories is a rather daunting task and one definition very rarely proves sufficient. The blurry cases would involve such processes as back-formation, which resembles suffix extraction, or reduplication in the branch of non-concatenative morphology.
2. Non-concatenative morphology
When a word is created as a result of linguistic operations on one morpheme, such process belongs to the branch of non-concatenation. The ones that can be observed as operating in the English language are discussed in this chapter. However, certain cases of wordformation prove not to be as clear exact as one would wish it to be. An example would be the process of reduplication, which although is said to operate on one base that is reiterated, often involves changes in the very and therefore is hard to classify as conconcatenation.
- Szymanek, Bogdan (1998). Introduction to Morphological Analysis. p. 34.