Neology: From word to register

Renouf, A. (2014) Neology: From word to register. Editions Rodopi B.V..

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In this paper, we investigate the context within which a neologism occurs. A pilot study of a diachronic journalistic corpus confirms that a coinage or new word formation which names or is associated with a major topical event will often not occur in isolation, but become part of a communal and cumulative activity. Further novel language use will emerge and 'converge' at around the same time, as will lexical, semantic and grammatical variants of existing words. If the new real-world area of concern is sustained in the media, these words and phrases begin to co-occur, forming a loose inter-collocational network which we deem to be an incipient 'register'. The paper will provide data centred on neologistic activity in UK journalism in mid-late 2011, reflecting the response of the UK leadership to the national economic crisis, and its ripple effect through social institutions and the media. The findings may serve to alert English language practitioners to the merits of examining the larger context of a neologism to discover further interrelated new words, and novel ways of representing lexical information.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-01 - English studies > CAH19-01-01 - English studies (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > School of English
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 14:52
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:26

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