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Word Formation - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Word Formation. Etymology. The study of word origins. If you look at a dictionary entry, you’ll see the etymology of a word. It might be something historical, cultural, etc. Etymology. How does this help an ESL student?

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Word Formation

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  • The study of word origins.
  • If you look at a dictionary entry, you’ll see the etymology of a word.
  • It might be something historical, cultural, etc.
  • How does this help an ESL student?
  • Imagine a student encounters the word physique, how could you help her understand it?
  • Coinage happens when a brand name becomes the common name for something.
  • In the business world, this is called “branding.”
  • Examples: jello=gelatin, kleenex=tissue, iPod=MP3 player.
  • Can you think of any others?
  • Just like it sounds, borrowing occurs when English uses words from other languages.
  • Can be seen in Starbucks – mocha café latte
  • Most languages use borrowing. Why do you think this true?
  • This is simply combining two words to make one.

Noun + noun = bathtub, doormat

Adjective + noun = blacklist, lowball

Compound adjectives = easy-going, hard-boiled

  • Combining two words, but shortening both. Like compounding, but the whole word is NOT retained.
  • Smoke + fog = smog
  • Breakfast + lunch = brunch
  • Spiced + ham = spam
  • Jazz + exercise = jazzercise
  • Clipping is the shortening of words.
  • Some clipped words have become more common than their full-length counterparts.
  • Ad, auto, deli, demo, condo, lab, etc.
  • Other examples?
special y clipping
Special –y clipping
  • Hypocorisms are words shortened and finished with a –y sound.
  • Television = telly
  • Barbeque = barbie
  • Hipster = hippy

Brits and Aussies use this A LOT.

  • Of course, we all know what these are. But, these sometimes become everyday words without us really thinking about it.
  • Radar, scuba, AIDS, MADD, and of course, TESOL 
  • How has technology made these more relevant?
zero derivation
Zero Derivation
  • We mentioned this before: derivation without any affixes added. Also called conversion.

The poor

Down a beer

Up the price

Total a car

  • Words that sound like the sound they describe.
  • Buzz, hiss, splash, thud, clang, etc.

(like the old Batman TV show)

  • All onomatopoeias are NOT the same for all cultures
    • “Peeee”= “Beep” in Japanese
    • “Kakaraka”=“Cock-a-doodle-do” in Hindi
    • Can you think of any in another language?
multiple processes
Multiple processes
  • A word can undergo several of these processes we discussed.
  • Final thoughts?