Chapter ? (Page 19---31)
1. Three major processes of word-formation ；Compounding or composition
；Derivation or affixation
2. Eight minor processes of word-formation
? Acronymy (Initialisms / acronyms)
? Clipping (back clippings, front clippings, front & back clippings, phrase
? Blending (head+tail, head+head, whole + tail, head+whole) ? Back-formation (created by analogy)
? Words from Proper Nouns (names from scientist, politician, statesmen,
palces; words from trademarks, literature) ? Reduplcation (compounding by repeating one word) ? Newclassical formation
? Coinage, Analogy, Backronym (Miscellaneous)
3. Some basic concepts of word-formation Root : not further analysable, the basic part, the part remained when all the
affixes are removed.
Stem : concern only with inflectional affixes, the (词干?part remains when all the inflectional affixes are removed.
e.g. greenhouses, readers,
Base : any kind of affixes can be added, a ，词基? derivationally analysable form to which derivational affixes are added.
see figures on P34
Ex. on P66-1(2)
Stem or base inflectional suffix
derivational prefix analysable base
1. Compounding 复合构词法
A word-formation process combining two or more words which functions as a single word.
----Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied linguistics
The relative criteria of a compound word suggested by linguists: ；Orthographic criterion 书写标准
；Phonological criterion 语音标准
；Semantic criterion 语义标准
1. Orthographic criterion 书写标准
； Solid: airtight (密封的), blackboard
； Hyphenated: air-conditioning, self-made
； Open: air force, flower shop, police station
Compound words bocome solid when they have gained permanent status;
otherwise they are written open.
Some compositions can be written in all the 3 forms (but with the same meaning)
Solid Hyphenated Separate
flowerpot, flower-pot, flower pot
airline air-line air line
acidhead acid-head acid head
Some compositions can be written in two forms with different meanings: blue fish ，海豚? blue-fish (鲑鱼)
sundown (日落时分) sun-down (扩边女帽)
Principles for writing compound words: 1) Personal preference
2) British ？ hyphenated compounds
American ？ open compounds
3) solid ? open ? hyphenated
2. Phonological criterion (stress) 语音标准
stCompounds (Mostly the stress or the primary stress is on the 1 syllable) ；′ bluebird ，鸫鸟? ′ blackboard ，教学黑板?
；′ blue?bottle (蓝丽蝇) ′ blue?fish ，鲑鱼、海豚?
ndFree Phrases (Usually the stress or the primary stress in on the 2 syllable) ； a ?blue ′ bird
a ?black ′ board
a ?blue ′ bottle
?blue ′ fish
3. Semantic criterion 语义标准
workday backdoor sunset ；The meaning of the compound is derived from the combined meanings of its
dog days ，三伏天? flatfooted ，扁平足的? blue blood ，贵族血统?
；Semantically, compounds can be said to have a meaning which may be
related to but cannot always be inferred from the meaning of its component
4. Grammatical Criterion 语法标准
Compounds can add inflectional affixes ? -ed e.g. He bad-mouthed me. ，past-tense marker?
? -s e.g. new-borns, three-year-olds (plural form of nouns) Exception: brothers-in-law, lookers-on
But ? in adjective-plus-noun compounds, the adjective element cannot take
Compound Free phrase
fine arts(雕刻、绘画艺术) finer art，更精细的工艺?
red tape(官僚作风, 繁文缛节 ) reddest tape
hot line () hotter line 两国首脑热线：电台咨询热线
To sum up,
None of these markers can be used as strict criteria of compounds.
；Orthographic criterion ；Phonological criterion ；Semantic criterion ；Grammatical criterion
We may say that a compound conveys a single idea, and functions as a
separate lexical unit.
5. Classification of compounds
Let‟s first look at some compounds.
raindrop, crybaby (n.) ？Noun compounds 复合名词
fire-proof, hardworking (adj.) ？Adjective compounds 复合形容词
housekeep, mass-produce (v.) ？Verb compounds 复合动词
darkroom Noun compounds
? Subclassification of N compounds housekeeping, pickpocket, birthcontrol ，Verb and object动宾关系?
steamboat, honeybee ，Subject and object主宾关系?
moonwalk, tablecloth evening school ，Restrictive relation偏正修饰关系?
peasant girl, pine tree ，Appositive relation同位说明关系?
toothache, revolving door ，Subject and verb主谓关系?
comeback, showoff, setup ，Verb and adverbial 偏正动补/ 状关系?
dead-letter office, testtube baby ------> String (linear) compound
sit-in, breakdown, setback ------> Be formed by phrasal verbs
? Subclassification of A compounds
;Subject and verb (past participle)
;Verb and object (present participle)
;Verb and adverbial (present or past participle)
hard-working, everlasting, well-behaved, new-laid ;Noun and adj.
taxfree; ocean green; Anglo-French relation [see P40]
? Subclassification of V compounds
Formed by back-formation
e.g. house-keep; tape-record; babysit; mass produce Formed by conversion
e.g. to honeymoon, to outline, to nickname
Today the largest number of new words are formed by compounding. The characteristics of compounds are as follows:
2. Derivation 派生法
Derivation or affixation may be defined as a process of forming new words by
the addition of a word element, such as a prefix, suffix or combining form, to an
already existing word.
It is subdivided into prefixation & suffixation [See P-43] 1) Prefixation 加前缀 ； It is the formation of new words by adding a prefix or combining form to the
； Prefixes modify the lexical meaning of the base.
They do not generally alter the word-class of the base. e.g. Pre-, sub-,
； It is the formation of a new word by adding a suffix or a combining form to
； They usually change the word-class of the base. e.g. -tion, -er, -ly
be- adj. ? v. becalm, belittle;
de- n. ? v. deform, debug;
en- n. ? v. enslave, endanger
un- n. ? v. unleash, unearth
anti- n. ? adj. anti-war,
inter- n. ? adj. inter-state,
post- n. ? adj. postwar,
pre- n. ? adj. preplant;
Classification of prefixes
Eight categories classified according to the meaning:
；“Negative” prefixes， un-, in-, an- (否定 unfinished, incomplete, anarchy) ；“Reversative or privative” prefixes ，dis- , un-, anti-, de- (相反动作/ 缺乏,
unroll, disagree, disable, antiwar, antibiotic, decode, defrost, detach ??
；“Pejorative” prefixes，mis-, mal-, (贬义 misdeed, mistrust, malicious, maltreat)
；Prefixes of “degree or size”，macro-,micro-,super-, mini-(尺寸、程度
macro-economics, supermarket, miniskirt, maxiskirt) ；Prefixes of “attitude”，anti-, pro-, (态度 anti-Japanese war, pro-American) ；“Locative” prefixes，pre-, post-, out-, over-, under-, intra/o-, inter-, circum-,
sub-, (位置 preface, post-war, outdoor, outside, overbridge?overpass,
underage, underground, intra-school?intramural, intraparty, introvert , internet, ,
intermediate, circumstance, circulate, submarine, subconscious, subway.)
；Prefixes of “time and order”，pre-, post, sub-(时间顺序preexist, prejudice,
pre-school, post-graduate, postnatal (出生后的), posthumously (死后的) .
；“Number”prefixes，mono-,uni-,bi-,di-,tri-,pent-, semi-, hemi-, milli-, kilo-,
(数量 monogamy, unique, unicorn, bi-monthly, bipartisan, dilemma, diphthong,
trilingual, pentagon, hemisphere, semifinal, millimeter, kilogram, megaton 百
万吨) [ see P44]
Classification of suffixes
；Noun(-forming) suffixes (-ship, -ment, -age, -ance, -ry, -ory, -ure, -ist,-ation,
；Verb (-forming) suffixes (-en, -ify, -ize, -ate)
；Adjective(-forming) suffixes (-ish, -y, -al, -ent, -ate, -ly, -able, -ful, -ic, -ive,
；Adverb(-forming) suffixes (-ly, -ward, -wise)
Study the examples of prefixes and suffixes on the textbook.
3. Conversion 词类转换法 / 转换构词法
verb deverbal noun
invade invasion ?suffixation
attack attack ?conversion
Conversion is a word-formation process whereby a word of a certain word-class is shifted into a word of another word-class without the addition of an affix.
After the conversion
1) Semantic change in conversion:
mushroom n. The fast growing fungus that can be eaten
v. to gather mushroom ; to spread or grow rapidly
e.g. New housing estates have mushroomed on the edge of the town.
2) Phonological change in conversion:
Different stress ，重音不同?
„compound (n.) ? com „pound (v.)
„contract (n.) ? con „tract (v.)
„ produce (n.) ? pro „ duce (v.)
„ permit (n.) ? per „ mit (v.)
Different pronunciation ，发音不同?
house / haus/ (n.) ? /hauz/ (v.)
close /klƏuz/ (v.) ? /klƏus/ (n.)
Other terms for conversion
Conversion 转换构词法 = Functional shift功能转移
= Derivation by zero suffix 零位后缀派生法
Why are there so many words converted from one word class to another ?
This is so mainly because English had lost most of its inflectional endings by the end of Middle English period, which facilitated the use of words interchangeably as verbs or nouns, verbs or adjectives, and vice versa. For example
The second round was exciting. ( n .)
Any round plate will do. ( adj. )
Some drivers round corners too rapidly. ( v.)
The sound goes round and round. ( adv.)
He lives round the corner. ( prep.)
3) Types of conversion
Noun ?verb conversion 名词转换成动词
Verb ?noun conversion 动词转换成名词
Adj ?verb conversion 形容词转换成动词
Adj ?noun conversion 形容词转换成名词
? Noun verb conversion 名词转换成动词
Today the largest number of words formed by conversion is constituted by verbs from nouns.
There is a tendency of “a preponderance of nouns over verbs.”
[see the table on P-58 and the conclusion] Reason 2
There are only few verb-forming affixes in English.
They are be-, en-, -ify, -ize, and -en.
•N-verb conversion may be subdivided into the following groups ? “to put in/on N.”:
The nouns are usually locative nouns denoting a place, a container or a special location.
e.g. The workers canned apples.
This is where they bottled the milk.
The rooms in the hotel are all floored with the boards.
? “To give N, to provide N”
e.g. They sheltered the orphans.
Did you sugar my tea?
? “To deprive of N; or to remove the object denoted by the noun from sth.”
e.g. Bill weeded the garden.
Don‟t forget to dust the shelves.
“I‟ll skin you alive,” the terrorist threatened the boy.
? “To…with N”:
The meaning of the verb is “to use the referent of the noun as an instrument for whatever activity particularly associated with it”.
e.g. John braked the car.
I glued the broken pieces together.
We nailed up the windows of the old house. (v. 用钉子封死：钉住) ? “To be / to act as N with respect to …” ;
Verbs from human nouns:
She mothered the orphan.
She spends her time nursing her old father. Verbs from animal nouns
e.g. Tom parroted what the boss had said.
He wolfed his meal down.
Verbs from inanimate nouns
e.g. The police shadowed the suspected spy. ，v. 跟踪：盯梢?
Every spring the river floods the valley. ? “to make / to change… into N” ;
e.g. Please cash this cheque for me.
The accident crippled him for life. ? “ to send / to go by N” ;
e.g. Will you mail the parcel?
The news was telegraphed across the Atlantic.
We bicycled to the Summer Palace? ? “To spend the period of time denoted by N”
e.g. We summered in Qingdao.
Our family wintered in Hawaii.
? Verb- noun conversion 动词转换成名词
A/ Conversion from V to N is not as numerous as from N to V, because
people are more inclined to employ derivation by means of deverbal suffixes
e.g. (arrangement, ratification, disparity, fishing, hunting)
Subdivision of v --n. conversion
? State (generally “state of mind or state of sensation”)
e.g. He had a desire to be a scientist.
I have grave doubts about his competence. (grave doubts深切的担心)
? Event / activity( from dynamic verbs), Sometimes the converted noun indicates a single instance or occasion, usually
occur following such verbs as give, have, make or take, and are preceded by the indefinite article.
e.g. give a cry, have a look, make an attempt, take a turn
He took a close look at the machine.
She had a delightful bathe in the river.
? Object or result of V
e.g. This little restaurant is quite a find.
The doctor came at once in answer to our telephone call. ? Agent of V
e.g. He is a great bore. ，令人讨厌的人，领导、主考、编辑?
She is a cheat.
? Instrument of V
e.g. The cloth is a good cover for the table.
Music is a good cure for those who failed in love. ? Place of V
e.g. This is the divide between the two rivers.
You should make a turn at the corner.
B/ Among the commonest of recent conversions are those of phrasal verbs
e.g. Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.
Bill Gates was a dropout in college.
His behavior is a sellout of the nation‟s interest.
[Exercise on P 70-7]
? Adj --verb conversion形容词转换成动词
To be, become;
To cause sb. or sth. to be, become the quality denoted by the adj.