This paper analyses blending and compounding from the viewpoint of their regularity, predictability, and grammaticalness. Like mixtures and compounds in chemistry, these two word-formation processes are dissimilar in terms of morphotactic mechanisms employed and morphosemantic patterns involved. While novel compounds are created according to productive word-formation rules, new blends only exhibit regularities and (mutually exclusive) constraints. Yet, unlike other extra-grammatical abbreviatory mechanisms, such as acronyms or clippings (including clipped compounds), blending creates new words for novel objects or concepts. Hence, it deserves attention and needs to be included in a morphological description of the English language. The aims of this study are: (1) to distinguish blends from compounds in formal and semantic terms and (2) to identify degrees of predictability and grammaticalness for blend formation. Results show that the AD (i.e. initial part of Source Word1 + final part of Source Word2) overlapping type of blends is preferred over the AC (i.e. initial part of both Source Word1 and Source Word2) type: in AD-forms, D can also become a frequent splinter and form productive series. This is a further confirmation of the differentiation between blends and clipped compounds, which, in spite of their AC form, are not productive. By contrast, semantically, blends are as compositional as coordinate or attributive compounds, but often display a lower degree of opacity. Finally, blend names are commonly used to designate hybrid mixtures, whereas compound names are given to chemical compounds according to the chemical nomenclature set of rules developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). This suggests that names are often purposefully chosen to reflect – iconically – the structure or chemistry of the mixture or compound they refer to.

Blends vis-à-vis Compounds in English

MATTIELLO, ELISA
2021-01-01

Abstract

This paper analyses blending and compounding from the viewpoint of their regularity, predictability, and grammaticalness. Like mixtures and compounds in chemistry, these two word-formation processes are dissimilar in terms of morphotactic mechanisms employed and morphosemantic patterns involved. While novel compounds are created according to productive word-formation rules, new blends only exhibit regularities and (mutually exclusive) constraints. Yet, unlike other extra-grammatical abbreviatory mechanisms, such as acronyms or clippings (including clipped compounds), blending creates new words for novel objects or concepts. Hence, it deserves attention and needs to be included in a morphological description of the English language. The aims of this study are: (1) to distinguish blends from compounds in formal and semantic terms and (2) to identify degrees of predictability and grammaticalness for blend formation. Results show that the AD (i.e. initial part of Source Word1 + final part of Source Word2) overlapping type of blends is preferred over the AC (i.e. initial part of both Source Word1 and Source Word2) type: in AD-forms, D can also become a frequent splinter and form productive series. This is a further confirmation of the differentiation between blends and clipped compounds, which, in spite of their AC form, are not productive. By contrast, semantically, blends are as compositional as coordinate or attributive compounds, but often display a lower degree of opacity. Finally, blend names are commonly used to designate hybrid mixtures, whereas compound names are given to chemical compounds according to the chemical nomenclature set of rules developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). This suggests that names are often purposefully chosen to reflect – iconically – the structure or chemistry of the mixture or compound they refer to.
2021
Mattiello, Elisa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1042075
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