Word-formation in New Englishes

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This article reports on a corpus-based study (of the International Corpus of English ICE) comparing seven new varieties of English as to their word-formation properties and trends. First, the article outlines different methods of determining the extent of use and productivity rate of any given word-formation category. To point out systematic differences between the new varieties, I then analyze categories such as compounding, conversion and affixation by comparing frequencies obtained by specifically devised tests. On a qualitative level, the numerous new coinages found in ICE are evidence of the varieties’ productive potential. Furthermore, the paper contains a wide range of variants to express gender. Finally, I demonstrate that the current lexical trends and systematic differences indicate independent developments in New Englishes.


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