Neologisms


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Neologisms

 

new words or expressions, the newness and unfamiliarity of which are clearly felt by speakers of a given language.

Neologisms are divided into two categories: (1) those that gain wide acceptance in a language, including words that have been recently created from the word-stock of a given language and words that have been recently borrowed from other languages, and (2) those individual-stylistic neologisms coined by a given author.

Neologisms of the first category arise from the need to find new words for new phenomena, for example, lavsan (the Soviet equivalent of Dacron); programmirovanie, “programming”; and NEP, “new economic policy.” Once these words are completely assimilated by the language, they cease to be neologisms, for example, utopia (Sir Thomas More, 16th century) and robot (K. Capek, 20th century).

Neologisms of the second category—individual-stylistic, occasional neologisms—are created by writers in order to achieve certain artistic effects. They are rarely used out of context and do not gain wide currency.

Neologisms are created in a language according to the productive morphological means of the language. In their form, neologisms are similar to words already existing in a language, for example, the Russian zelenokudryi (N. V. Gogol) and gromad’e, molotkastyi (V. V. Mayakovsky).

REFERENCE

Reformatskii, A. A. Vvedenie v iazykovedenie, 4th ed. Moscow, 1967. Pages 481–82.

L. M. BASH

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