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  • Иностранные языки

Неологизмы в современном английском языке


Neologisms in modern English


1. Introduction.

2. Neologisms as the means of enlargement of English vocabulary.

2.1. The definition of neologism.

2.2. The ways of forming :

a) word –derivation : compounding, affixation, conversion, abbreviation;

b) changing of the meaning;

c) borrowings.

3. Sources of neologisms.

4. Conclusions.

5. Bibliography.

The aims of the research are as follows:

  1. To study the mechanisms of neologisms formation in relation to the present-day computer, mobile industry and internet technologies;

  2. To classify the listed neologisms based on types of word formation;

  3. To compile a leaner’s dictionary of neologisms

The object of the present study: neologisms in the lexis of the English language.

Methods of investigation: theoretical (analysis and design), empirical (observation, comparison).

1. Introduction.

The English language today is mostly widely spread and used for international communication. It is constantly developing its internal and external resources, adapting to various changing circumstances due to its dynamic character and the development of the modern society. Various changes and achievements in social, cultural, political and scientific life generate new forms and content, improving and widening the expressive means and devices through their structural complication or simplification. The language is the first to bring reaction to the changes in different spheres of human life and activities.

Every social or political change, revolution, innovation is preceded by introduction of new words and terms: “iron curtain”, “perestroika” (Gorbachev reforms), etc. All these terms had corresponding consequences after being proclaimed.

Any historical period has a factor or some factors that cause the appearance of newfeatures and properties of a certain language. These factors - both linguistic and extralinguistic - play a crucial role in the research of the nature of linguistic changes, their inner essence and regularities. The transformations within a language take place on different levels: lexical, morphemic, phonetic, syntactic, etc. The most visible arelexical changes.That was one of the reasons to start exploring and investigating the nature of the language. Any new epoch was accompanied by bringing in new words denoting new things, objects and phenomena. The English language in this respect shares the destiny of other European languages. It developed from the Anglo-Saxon language to modern English, the native language of some 375 million people and the language of international communication. The great geographical discoveries and revolutions in science and society brought about new features to the English language and its vocabulary in particular. The newly created or borrowed words known as neologisms after a certain period of being taken as unusual and new entered the stock of the English vocabulary as its integral part. As a result, lexicological layer appears to be the first reliable factor of the constant and gradual linguistic transformation and development. The current paper is devoted to neologisms as the integral part of the modern English vocabulary. The modern period is characterized by active development and changes in social, political and scientific spheres of human life. They are accompanied by changes in the English language which is to reflect the objective reality. Effective communication is impossible without knowledge of modern trends and tendencies in various spheres of human activity which are immediately reflected in the language. The object of research is the lexical system of modern English, the types of neologisms , means of their formation and distribution. The present research work covers some of the aspects of such a complicated phenomenon as neologism,the attempt is made to single out the main features, i.e. those ones that are of primary importance for communication and social activity. The introduction of new words in technological, scientific, social and political spheres needs paying careful attention in order to find out their original and true sense, its scope and bounds.

2.1. The definition of neologism.

Most frequently, neologism is explained and defined as ‘a new word’. Thello_html_m52485d3.png
he well-known “Dictionary of Linguistic Terms” by O.S. Akhmanova provides a more detailed definition : “neologism is a word or phrase created for defining a new (unknown before) object or expressing a new notion”. The linguistic encyclopedia by V.N. Yartseva offers a broader definition: “neologisms are words, word meanings or collocations that appeared in a certain period in a language” Here the notion of neologism expands beyond the framework of a lexeme and includes also new meanings and collocations, which might be conveyed by old and known words. The first circle includes only those lexemes which have not existed up to a certain period of time, i.e. they cannot be found in the texts written before a given moment. Thus, it includes the smallest number of lexical units. For example such words as googling, Blairite, Eurabia had not existed even in the first half of 1990s.

The second circle represents the words that have changed their meaning but retained their old form, with their old meaning lost or moved towards secondary importance, e.g. web, net, mobile, etc. These units are the result of secondary nomination.

The last, third, circle contains those lexemes which have only added one or more new meanings without losing the significance of the old ones, they present the relations of polysemy, e.g. surf, printer, cut etc. Taking into consideration all the approaches to the definition of neologism, it will be taken in its all three meanings.

2.2. Ways of formation of neologisms.

The most characteristic and productive ways of word formation are compounding , affixation, conversion, abbreviation and borrowing.

Compounding as the type of word building is one of the most productive. New words are produced by combining two or more stems,new nouns are formed from verbs and adverbs by way of compounding. All processes of derivation follow the rule of analogy that is realised with the help of patterning. The rule of analogy allows to create new lexicological items and preserve the old material, so a certain succession (or even evolution) takes place in the language - a new item is connected with the old one and in turn may be used for producing next items in following derivational steps.


Touchscreen - an electronic visual display; crowdsourcing – an activity when a large group of people work on a project using a website;

website - a site on the Internet; hardware – parts of a computer; software - a computer program;

handshake - acknowledgement of the connection; download - to take files from the Net.

Affixation is also a basic means of word formation. New words derived this way usually consist of a root and an affix. Thus, there are some neologisms created with the help of the suffixes “-er” ; “-ing”:

a gamer- a person who plays computer games

a programmer – a specialist in programming

a user – a person using a computer a browser – a program goggling – the process of searching on the Internet Prefixes are also used: antivirus – a special program dealing with the protection against computer viruses interface ; There are some neologisms having a component “i”that is regarded as a prefix: iPod, iTunes, iPad, iBook, iCloud, iPhone. These are the names the corporation Apple gave to their products. The prefix “i” did not exist in English before, it was invented to make the word unusual to attract attention to the products, so it became the brand of the corporation : iPod – the name of the software ; iPad – the Net computer; iCloud – the Net service; iTunes – a mediaplayer with different functions; iBook – portable computers of several versions.

Conversion is creation of a new word only by changing the part of speech without any morphemic changes : update, back-up, to google,to skype, to e-mail , etc. Abbreviations or acronyms are widely used in technical and computer terminology : DOS – Disk Operating System; IT – Information Technologies ; MS- Microsoft ; CAD – Computer Aided Design ;

Sourses of neologisms.

The appearance of neologisms in a living language is a constant and regular process, its word stock is always adopting new words as a result of social and linguistic changes, innovations and development. The language is rapidly reacting to the emergence of new social phenomena, objects and activities which immediately

undergo the process of nomination. The question where neologisms come from, the question of their origin or source lies within the field of our scientific interest. The modern epoch produces a lot of inventions and innovations in every sphere of human activity - scientific, political, commercial and others. There appear new objects and devices that come into everyday life of many people. So, it is important to find and single out the sources where the neologism comes from a nd to define their types, the importance and distribution. So, the sources of neologisms can be divided into two types of different nature. These groups or sources are: linguistic and extra-linguistic.

The first one gives the word forms proper through the processes of word building and borrowing.

The extra-linguistic group of sources is numerous and includes various spheres of human activity, they are: social (relating to different sides of human society) ; political (relating to national and international politics); scientific (referring to various sciences);

technological (relating to devices); economic (referring to national and international economy).

n the whole linguistic and extra-linguistic sources of neologisms may be presented in the following scheme:

Political realities make a noticeable imprint on the vocabulary of newspaper articles,

especially the emergence of a new organization or political figure causes the appearance of a range of neologisms. Thus, with the emergence of articles covering different aspects of international terrorism, there have appeared a number of terms with negative connotations referring to the Islamic terrorist movement - Islamism, Islamophobia, Islamofascism etc. Some other new vocabulary refers to the international global politics, and the names to new political structures are given - European Union (EU), Chindia, Eurabia and others; and some new words are derived form them - Euroscepticism, Eurosphere, Eurorealism etc.

The social sphere has given names to the new phenomena. These neologisms refer to various aspects of human live and activity including work, leisure time activities, hobbies and so on - consumerisation, webinar, wardrobe malfunction, santorum, saddlebacking, fauxhawk end others. The economic sphere launched many lexemes denoting different brands, logotypes and trademarks that are not to be pointed out in the present paper, but still there emerge many words that have a broader meaning and denote some group of products, or commercial activities - laundromat, hoover, band-aid and others.

The scientific and technological sphere are very close to each other not only in the ontological sense but also in their terms which are being introduced virtually every day with every new invention, discovery or innovation. Many of them came into our daily life and activities and have already become quite trivial. Here are only some of them - Internet, World Wide Web (www), blog, Intranet, forum etc. Being a social phenomenon, the language enriches its vocabulary due to the development of different aspects of human life and activity.

4. Conclusions.

In this work we studied some aspects of neologisms and their word building means, some popular neologisms according to the word building type, the sphere of usage, the ability to create new forms. The major sources are Media, the Internet, computer technologies, sociology as the most developing spheres of human life. Every new event is reflected in the language thanks to which it is enlarged. We studied the mechanisms of neologism formation in connection with conceptual changes in the human mind due to the constant development of technologies and scientific achievements. A systematic study of newly appearing words improves the process of vocabulary memorization and contributes to vocabulary extension, thus preparing a person for living in the modern world.

Practical value: the collected material can be applied in dictionary compiling and improving the the learners’ skills of working with vocabulary.


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  4. Ахманова О.С. Словарь лингвистических терминов М.: Советская энциклопедия. 1996.

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  7. Карпов А.К. Учебный словарь лингвистический терминов и понятий. Нижневартовск: Издательство НГПИ. 2002.

  8. Локкет Брайен Почему так? М.: «Школа – Пресс». 1998.

  9. Малоземова С.И. Лексикология современного английского языка. Нижневартовск: Издательство НГПИ. 2003.

  10. Манерко Л.А «English through the History of the British People». Рязань: Рязанский государственный педагогический университет им. С.А. Есенина. 1998.

  11. Матюшенков В.С. Dictionary of slang in North America, Great Britain and Australia. М.: «Флинта», «Наука», 2002.

  12. Смирницкий А.И. Лексикология английского языка. М.: 1998

  13. Соколов И.М. Современная русская лексикология. М.: Высшая школа. 2001.

Краткое описание документа:

Работа посвящена изучению и анализу некоторых аспектов такого сложного феномена в лингвистике, как "неологизм".Рассматриваются конкретные примеры, связанные с развитием информационно-коммуникативных технологий, способы их образования, сферы применения в современном английском языке. Сделаны выводы и показано практическое применение неологизмов.

Дата добавления 05.08.2015
Раздел Иностранные языки
Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
Номер материала ДA-000975
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