The ‘Word Formation Process’ is regarded as the branch of Morphology, and it has a significant role in expanding the vocabulary that helps us communicate very smoothly. The main objectives of the word-formation process are to form new words with the same root by deploying different rules or processes.
In other words, we can say that the word-formation process is a process in which new words are formed by modifying the existing terms or completely changing those words.
9 Essential Word Formation Processes
Let us see the fundamental word-formation processes in linguistics:
‘Derivation’ is a significant word-formation process that attaches derivation affixes to the main form to create a new word. Affixes (prefixes or suffixes) are regarded as bound morphemes.
A morpheme is the smallest meaningful syntactical or grammar unit of a language that cannot be divided without changing its meaning. In contrast to the free morpheme, a bound morpheme doesn’t have any independent meaning, and it needs the help of a free morpheme to form a new word.
Let us see some examples of derivation in the below table:
|Base Forms||New Words|
‘Back-Formation’ is a word-formation process that eliminates the actual derivational affix from the main form to create a new word. However, Back-Formation is contrary to derivation in terms of forming new words. Let us see some examples of Back-Formation in the below table:
|Base Forms||Back Formation|
In conversion, a word of one grammatical form converts into another without changing spelling or pronunciation. For example, the term ‘Google’ originated as a noun before the verb.
A few years ago, we only used the term as a noun (search it on Google), but now we say ‘Google it. Let us see some examples of conversion in the below table:
|Access||– to access|
|– to google|
|– to email|
|Name||– to name|
|Host||– to host|
‘Compounding’ is a word-formation process that allows words to combine to make a new word. Compounding words can be formed as two words joined with a hyphen. Let us see some examples in the below table:
|Brother+in+law||Brother in law|
‘Clipping’ is another essential word-formation process that reduces or shortens a word without changing the exact meaning. In contrast to the back-formation process, it reserves the original meaning.
Clipping is divided into four types. They are:
- Back Clipping
- Fore Clipping
- Middle Clipping
- Complex Clipping
Every Clipping has different roles in words when they are assigned. Back Clipping removes the end part of a word; Fore Clipping removes the beginning part of a word; Middle Clipping reserves the middle position. Finally, Complex Clipping removes multiple pieces from multiple words.
Let us see some examples in the below table:
In the ‘Blending’ word-formation method, the parts of two or more words combine to form a new word. Let us see some examples in the below table:
‘Abbreviation’ is another famous and widely used word-formation method used to shorten a word or phrase. In the modern era, ‘Abbreviation is becoming more popular. Nowadays, people used to use it everywhere. Let us see some examples in the below table:
|Bachelor of Arts||B.A.|
|Master of Arts||M.A.|
|Master of Business Administration||MBA|
An Acronym is a popular word-formation process in which an initialism is pronounced as a word. It forms from the first letter of each word in a phrase, and the newly formed letters create a new word that helps us speedy communication. For example, ‘PIN’ is an initialism for Personal Identification Number used as the word ‘pin.’
However, let us see some other famous examples of acronyms in the below table for a better understanding:
|HIV||Human Immunodeficiency Virus|
|AIDS||Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|ASAP||As Soon As Possible|
|AWOL||Absent Without Leave|
‘Borrowing’ is another word-formation process in which a word from one language is borrowed directly into another language. Let us see some English words which are borrowed from another language:
Now we know that Word-Formation Processes are the methods by which words are formed by deploying different types of rules. We can create new words by following the above word-formation methods.
We need to do one thing: we have to follow the fundamental rules or processes of word formation.
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.