A Study of English Neologism from the Perspective of Lexicology
|School||Wuhan University of Technology|
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||English Neologism New Word-formation FUDGE Scale|
Language may change when changes take place in social life. As the most active factor of language, lexicon is very sensitive to the changes in social life. From the 1990s, tremendous changes have taken place in the fields ranging from economy, politics, science, technology, to education. New words and expressions emerge once new things and new concepts appear in social life. And large numbers of new words and expressions reflecting these new things are coming into the English language in an endless stream. This paper attempts to study the very phenomenon of English neologisms from the perspective of lexicology with the application of word-formation theory and FUDGE Scale."Neologism" can be defined as "a newly-created word, or expression, or a new meaning for an existing word." Neologisms are often accepted as parts of the already existing vocabulary. Other times, however, they disappear from common usage. Whether or not a neologism continues as part of the existing vocabulary depends on many factors. Each day in the English language, many new words are born. Yet only a few remain as serious candidates for the dictionary and have a place in our permanent vocabulary. Why so many and yet so few? And is it possible to predict which few will be successful? What determines the success of a neologism? Books and papers about neologism are abundant. However, most of the researches concerned focus on the morphemic structure of new words; few of them discuss the success of new words. Thanks to vastly increased knowledge about new words and their histories, it is now possible to answer the above questions. That’s what this paper attempts to do.What’s more, it is not enough to teach learners only the words that have already existed in the language. Advanced learners should be taught the productive processes by which new entries enter the vocabulary so that they can make sense of the new words that they will come across. Teachers of advanced learners should acquaint them with the rules of word formation which native speakers intuitively apply to form new terms and understand those created by others. The knowledge of the patterns involved in word formation will help students to increase their vocabulary permanently.The paper attempts to provide an exploration of neologism from the following five chapters. The first part is the general introduction of the purpose and significanceof the research on neologism. Then a brief review of studying neologism is carried out, including the definition of word, the definition of neologism, and a survey of the research background. In chapter two, a comprehensive study based on the reasons, versions, and classification of English neologisms is conducted. Chapter three is put forward to reveal the rules governing the formation of new words. Three major methods about new word formation are discussed. Chapter four focuses on the factors determining the success of new word. Special attention is paid to the FUDGE scale. Then a detailed test of the most current English new words is carried out with application of the FUDGE scale to predict the success of those new words. In chapter five, after careful examination of these individual examples of new words, a conclusion is made to work out the general principles that govern the creation and the success of new words.