Free Download of : Word formation in English by Ingo Plag
What this book is about and how it can be used
The existence of words is usually taken for granted by the speakers of a language. To speak and understand a language means -among many other things -knowing the words of that language. The a verage speaker knows thousands of words, and new words enter our minds and our language on a daily basis. This book is about words.
More specifically, it deals with the internal structure of complex words, i.e. words that are composed of more than one meaningful element. Take, for example, the very word meaningful, which could be argued to consist of two elements, meaningand -ful , or even three, mean, -ing, and -ful . We will address the question of how such words are related to other words and how the language allows speakers to create new
words. For example, meaningfulseems to be clearly related to colorful , but perhaps less so to awful or plentiful . And, given that meaningfulmay be paraphrased as ‘having (a definite) meaning’, and colorful as ‘having (bright or many different) colors’, we could ask whether it is also possible to create the word coffeeful , meaning ‘having coffee’. Under the assumption that language is a rule-governed system, it should be possible to find meaningful answers to such questions.
This area of study is traditionally referred to as word-formationand the present book is mainly concerned with word -formation in one particular language, English. As a textbook for an undergraduate readership it presupposes very little or no prior kno wledge of linguistics and introduces and explains linguistic terminology and theoretical apparatus as we go along…….