Truncació / Truncation

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The present chapter is dedicated to the study of neologisms obtained through a truncation process, particularly through abbreviation, blending and initialisation. Although traditional grammars do not deal with such processes and they represent only 2% of the data collected by the NEOXOC network, it can be observed that truncation is a rather common phenomenon in Catalan which affects the whole Catalan-speaking area. The chapter has been divided into three sections, each of them corresponding to one of the truncation types: abbreviation, defined as the shortening of a word (profe < professor) or a syntagma (motora < llanxa motora); blending, defined as a combination of word segments coming to form a syntagmatic structure (catanyol < català + espanyol); and initialization, defined as the lexicalization of an initialism that begins to function as a new word in the language (“un api”, “les pimes”, “els pecés”). Each section contains a quantitative and qualitative analysis, since the objective here is to compare the attitudes towards truncation in the distinct nodes of the NEOXOC area. The data evidence that, during the studied period, the most productive truncation process was abbreviation, followed by blending and then initialization. They also show that the proportion of neologisms created through truncation is very similar from one node to another, at the quantitative level as well as at the qualitative one. The markedly spontaneous and often short-lived nature of this kind of neologisms explains why most words occur only once. Similarly, the attitudes in the distinct nodes are quite homogeneous as far as spelling and morphological variation is concerned. Nor do they present significant differences when the variety of semantic fields or the influence of other languages are investigated.


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