1. Words formed through affixation: Affixation refers to the process of adding prefixes or suffixes to a base word to create a new word with a different meaning. In evaluating a text for words formed through affixation, one would look for words that have a recognizable prefix or suffix added to a root word.
For example, the word "unforgettable" contains the prefix "un-" which means "not" and the suffix "-able" which means "capable of being." The root word "forget" means "to fail to remember." By adding the prefix and suffix, the word "unforgettable" is created, meaning "impossible to forget."
In analyzing these words, one could consider the origin of the prefix or suffix, its productivity (i.e. how frequently it is used to form new words), its part-of-speech meaning (i.e. whether it changes the word from a noun to an adjective, etc.), its stylistic reference (i.e. whether it is associated with formal or informal language), and the meaning it adds to the word.
2. Analysis on three levels: a) Morphemic level: This involves analyzing the individual morphemes (the smallest unit of meaning in a language) that make up a word. One would identify the number of morphemes in the word, their types (e.g. prefixes, suffixes, roots), whether they are free (can stand alone as a word) or bound (must be attached to another morpheme), and whether the word is a root word, derived word (formed through affixation), or compound word (formed through combining two or more words).
b) Derivational level: This involves analyzing the stems (the core meaning-bearing unit of a word) that make up a word. One would identify the types of stems (e.g. root, stem with affixes), simplified stems (e.g. removing prefixes or suffixes to reveal the core meaning), and whether the root is equal to the stem (i.e. no affixes are added or removed).
c) Immediate Constituents level: This involves analyzing the immediate constituents (the morphemes that immediately precede or follow each other in a word) to reveal the morphological motivation of words. One would identify the relationships between the morphemes (e.g. prefix + root, root + suffix) and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the word.
Overall, applying these criteria to a text can provide insight into the morphology of the language used and how words are formed and structured.
1. Compound words: Compound words are formed by combining two or more words to create a new word with a different meaning. They can be characterized according to their structure (e.g. open compound, closed compound, hyphenated compound), idiomaticity (e.g. whether the meaning of the compound is predictable from the meanings of the individual words), and if they are nouns, according to their determinant and determinatum (i.e. the part of the compound that modifies or is modified by the other part).
For example, the compound word "beach house" is a closed compound made up of the words "beach" and "house." The meaning of the compound is idiomatic, as it refers specifically to a house located on or near a beach. In this compound, "beach" is the determinant and "house" is the determinatum, as "beach" modifies the type of house being described.
2. Semi-affixes: Semi-affixes are elements that can function like prefixes or suffixes but are not fully productive in the language. They may have originated as affixes but have become detached from their original meanings over time. Examples of semi-affixes include "re-" (as in "re-do"), "out-" (as in "outdo"), and "be-" (as in "befriend").
Identifying words with semi-affixes in a text can provide insight into the historical development of the language and how words have evolved over time.
1. Conversion: Conversion is a type of word formation in which a word changes its grammatical category without the addition or removal of any affixes. For example, the noun "email" can be converted into a verb, as in "I will email you later." In this case, the noun has been converted into a verb.
Pairs of words that are related by conversion can differ in their meaning, usage, and sometimes pronunciation. For example, the conversion pair "drink" (noun) and "drink" (verb) have related meanings, but the noun refers to a substance while the verb refers to an action. Similarly, the conversion pair "wind" (noun) and "wind" (verb) have related meanings, but the noun refers to a natural phenomenon while the verb refers to the action of twisting or turning something.
2. Other word-building methods: Shortening is a process of creating a new word by shortening an existing word, such as "doc" for "doctor" or "gym" for "gymnasium." Blending involves combining two words to create a new word, such as "brunch" for "breakfast" and "lunch." Back-formation involves creating a new word by removing an apparent affix from an existing word, such as "editor" from "editorial." Onomatopoeia involves creating a word that imitates the sound associated with the object or action being named, such as "buzz" or "hiss." Distinctive stress involves creating a new word by placing stress on a different syllable of an existing word, such as "con-TRO-versy" instead of "CON-tro-versy." Sound interchange involves creating a new word by substituting one sound for another, such as "wimpy" for "weak" or "hunky" for "handsome."
Identifying words that have been coined by these methods in a text can provide insight into the creative and dynamic nature of language, as well as the historical and cultural context in which the text was written.
"The shock had lasted less than a minute and when he regained consciousness he found himself unhurt, lying in a pile of splintered glass from the shattered headlights. The other car had turned completely over and on to its side and when he climbed up on it he could see the two people still inside, the man quite still, but the girl stirring feebly and with her eyes half shut."
"pile" - can refer to a stack of objects or a large quantity of something, or it can be a verb meaning to arrange something in a pile.
"lie" - can mean to recline or be in a horizontal position, or it can mean to deliberately make a false statement.
The homonyms in this excerpt are both homophones, meaning they are pronounced the same way but have different meanings and spellings.
Synonyms and euphemisms:
"unhurt" - synonym: unharmed. Source: Both words come from the prefix "un-" meaning "not" and "hurt" or "harmed" meaning "injured".
"feebly" - synonym: weakly. Source: Both words come from the root "feeble" meaning lacking strength.
"passed away" - euphemism for "died". Source: This is a common euphemism used to avoid using the word "died" which can be considered too direct or harsh in some contexts.
"quite still" - antonym: restless. Characterization: "Quite still" means completely motionless, while "restless" means unable to remain still or calm.
"half shut" - antonym: wide open. Characterization: "Half shut" means partially closed, while "wide open" means fully open.