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Dynamic word-formation. Lexical morphological categories and translation of derivative words.

The dynamic aspect of derivation is called item and process. It’s opposed to the item and arrangement, which relates to the analysis of already existing words. Item and process deals with making of new words, with the productivity of word-building patterns.

A word-building pattern is said to be productive if it can be freely used to form words easily understood by most speakers of the language, or, at any rate, are recognized by them as 'acceptable'.

These new words are always formed to serve the needs of a given speech community. There are two different spheres of application of derivative words:

productive word-formation patterns are naturally used to form neologisms responding to the most vital changes in social, cultural, or political life as well as in science and technology they coin words 'for the nonce'. Writers of fiction may opt for such 'occasional' formations and start using them to produce a desired stylistic effect.

English has a large number of commonly used prefixes and suffixes, so we often can easily form and re-form words (like-dislike, happy-unhappy). But there are many gaps: we can say inept (неумелый), but never – *ept, unkempt (растрёпанный), but not *kempt.

(It’s also illogical that sometimes negative affixes don’t make the meaning of the word negative: flammable-inflammable, valuable-invaluable.
English is so flexible in forming derivative words as to make items reversible in compounding: casebook-bookcase, table water and water table.)

Productive word-formation is a historical category, and words that had been 'new' at certain stages in language development may cease to be ones. For ex., -ness, -en, -ish, -y, -er, -ise/-ize etc. continue to be used in forming new words while others (-dom in boredom, officialdom; -lock in warlock, wedlock) mostly remain in established ones.

Knowing the word-building patterns makes your speech not just plain usage of words, but an act of creation. But we should be careful and check whether a certain pattern is productive or not.

Leech distinguishes the following three stages: 1. the actual acceptability o f derived items which make dictionary entries because they "have attained institutional acceptance"; 2.the potential acceptability o f words which in principle can be generated on the basis o f a given lexical rule; 3.the unacceptability o f the form as not being allowed for by the lexical rule ("for example, *sheepable - where the deverbal suffix -able is added to onto the noun stem sheep - is not a possible English word at all – unless

Affixes deal with the lexical morphological categories. LMC is a general feature of language which becomes apparent in semantic contrasting with other word/words and has a systemic expression. In English this notion is usually called ‘the word-formation rule’.

In a certain language each oа LMC serves one or a several affixes. The LMC of quality in English has at least two of them: -ity and –ness, but they slightly differ in meaning (words with –ness are more abstract) and the latter is much more productive. In Russian we have different affixes of the LMC of quality, but –(н)ость seems to be most close to –ness.

In translation we observe a tendency to render English potential or occasional formations either by means of words already established in the Russian lexicon or in a descriptive way. It is not always possible to form a structurally similar equivalent due to the discrepancy in the morphological type between the two languages. The synthetic Russian structure with regular alternations of inflections within longish segments and fusion at morpheme boundaries often impairs derivational processes by making the elements within the word difficult to separate or combine with other word-formation devices. In English, conversely, productive derivational patterns have an enormous potential to be used in 'constructing' words which can be more or less 'assimilated' in the language, e.g.:

distanceless беспредельной

horizonless бесконечным

At the same time occasional items are also created in Russian to match English original formations in meaning, imagery, and expressiveness, for example:

примеры !!!

The category of likeness (категория уподобления) is represented by


the LMC of the ‘doer’ (категория делателя).
‘-er’        with almost an unlimited productivity.
a number of formants: ‘-ер’ (borrowed), -тель, -ец…


LMC of caritiveness (каритивности). If related to smth unexpected or extraordinary -

Kuang twisted and banked above the horizonless fields of the Tessier-Ashpool cores

"Куань" развернулся  и  пустился в горизонтальный полет над  бескрайней равниной инфопространственных недр "Тесье-Ашпул"


без двери

the riderless

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05.03.2016; 18:00
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