Article published in:Mots nous en català / New words in Catalan: Una panoràmica geolectal / A diatopic view
Edited by M. Teresa Cabré Castellví, Ona Domènech Bagaria and Rosa Estopà
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 7] 2014
► pp. 85–114
Composició patrimonial i sintagmació / Vernacular Compounding and Syntagmatic Compounding
This chapter focuses on both syntagmatic (i.e. a neologism made by following syntactic rules) and vernacular compounding (i.e. a neologism made by following lexical rules). We have studied both kinds of neologisms collected in all Catalan nodes. Vernacular compounding is the fifth most frequent kind of neologism formation source, and syntagmatic compounding occupies the eighth position. In general terms, no significant differences are found among the different regions. Regarding vernacular compounding, we show that the genuine word-formation pattern NN, in which there is a dependence relation (as in filferro), is no longer used to create new words in Catalan. Additionally, the genuine word-formation pattern VN still produces new words, but it only represents 11.5% of all vernacular compound neologisms. We have found VN neologisms related to agentive nouns (aparcacotxes, cerca-talents), tools (parafocs, marcapàgines), spatial areas (passaplats), and also neologisms with a metaphorical meaning (escanya-pobres, buscavides). According to data collected by the NEOXOC network, the majority of neologisms correspond to the pattern NN with no dependence relation (as in actriu cantant), which is made up of two Ns with no obvious nucleus. This kind of neologism is not as genuine as filferro, but they are very frequent. Evidently, two classes can be distinguished. On the one hand, a coordinated NN compound, which creates a neologism that gets its meaning from the two nouns (as in acte-homenatge, actor-cantant, aler-pivot). This class represents the majority of neologisms in all Catalan zones. On the other hand, an attributive NN compound whose first N is the nucleus and the second one is a specifier (like an adjective). In some cases, it is difficult to establish how a neologism gets its meaning from the first and second nouns. That is why our approach from cognitive linguistics and blending (Fauconnier & Turner 2002) allows for a new account to these phenomena (Schmid 2011): the new word compresses the meanings from two inputs (the first and the second nouns) into a new meaning. Similarly, the adjectival vernacular compounding AA has been studied following this approach. Concerning syntagmatic compounding, it gives rise to a neologism when there is fixation and, sometimes, idiomaticity. NA units are the most frequent in all zones: balança fiscal, banda ambla, bombolla immobiliària. There are neologisms with a compounded meaning: federalism fiscal, país emergent, and there are neologisms with a metaphorical meaning (idioms): caixa tonta, llengua blava, ovella negra. Other kinds of syntagmatic compounding include the following: N SP (cançó d’autor), V N (carregar piles), V SP (pujar al carro). To sum up, we find a similar evolution of these kinds of compounds in all Catalan zones. The most genuine patterns are decreasing, and the NN compounds – the closest to syntagmatic compounds – are increasing.
Keywords: blending, Catalan, cognitive semantics, compounding, diatopic variation, language variation, neology, syntagmatic compounding
Published online: 24 October 2014
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