Publication details [#6804]

Konieczna, Ewa and Grzegorz A. Kleparski. 2006. Motivation in language: The case of metonymically motivated innovative nouns in children's speech. Jounal of Foreign Languages 7 : 103–117. 15 pp.


The authors make use of an extensive corpus (gathered between 2000 and 2002) of innovative nouns formed by English and Polish-speaking children. Konieczna and Kleparski show that a large amount of neologisms in children's speech are metonymically motivated, both from a synchronic and a diachronic perspective. Metonymy is considered to be a crucial factor in encoding and decoding meanings expressed by lexical innovations. When an empty slot in the linguistic system needs to be filled, the associated complex ICM will constitute the basis for naming the item. The process will be guided by language-dependent factors, such as salience, economy and metonymy. The latter will be responsible for the choice of certain components of the complex ICM in order to form a new word. Conversely, a PART-WHOLE metonymy also enables the language user to evoke the whole ICM from one single item which belongs to it. (Begoña Casasnovas Gil, Ruiz de Mendoza Group)