Historical Change and English Word-Formation (American University Studies)

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9780820404035: Historical Change and English Word-Formation (American University Studies)

Based on extensive new-word dictionaries, this book innovationally categorizes, describes, and etymologizes 13,683 different English words derived from written sources. In a historical context that shows the major processes of English word-formation in past centuries, the book shows the state of modern formation. It reveals hitherto unknown patterns and proportions, in a twenty-one category taxonomy developed from the corpus. It shows that English vocabulary is changing in ways and at speeds perhaps paralleled only in Chaucer's day, but less radically. It is the culmination of Cannon's articles and reviews of the past eight years concerned with new words and meanings in English. It includes information on regional and stylistic labels, grammatical changes and structures, semantic changes, and phonological matter. Overall it is simultaneously a data-based reference book and an application of many data to lexical theory, analysis and word formation.

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«This book should not be overlooked by any linguist dealing with English, or general, syntax. It sets forth new standards of explicitness.» (Tadeusz Piotrowski)
«Its merit is that it brings to mind the fact that there are many new patterns in word formation ... which have not been incorporated into current models, and which might necessitate some radical changes in the overall structure of grammar.» (Renate Raffelsiefen, Language)
«(M)y impression of this book is extremely positive. Cannon has provided us here with a detailed analysis of a large corpus of new words, the like which we have not seen before. He also provides an analysis of the ways in which the vocabulary of current English is expanding, and this fills another descriptive gap.» (Laurie Bauer, American Speech)
«Cannon's book ... marks a major turning point in taking the measure of the English language. ...anyone interested in the 'drift of language' will want to read this book.» (David K. Barnhart, Word)

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