Functional and classification peculiarities of nonce-words used in headlines and titles | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Рубрика: Филология, лингвистика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №24 (128) ноябрь 2016 г.

Дата публикации: 22.11.2016

Статья просмотрена: 998 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Хромых, А. А. Functional and classification peculiarities of nonce-words used in headlines and titles / А. А. Хромых. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — № 24 (128). — С. 589-591. — URL: (дата обращения: 20.04.2021).

In today’s world the language is changing every day and every minute, so the problem of nonce-word is one of the most significant linguistic problems. Appearance of nonce-words is an ongoing process. Nonce-words are difficult to translate, because the author creates it and puts some implicit information and stylistic charge in it. Nonce-words enable us to show emotions, feelings, attitudes to different events. That is one of the main reasons why linguists, writers, journalists, students pay their attention to them in increasing frequency.

Nonce-words have already been an object of scientific research. Many foreign and Russian researchers have their own view on this issue. They have not got an agreement about how to classify them, what kinds of words should be called nonce-words and whether any of them will become neologisms or disappear, how the usage of nonce-words has changed according to different periods of time in our history, when the peak of using this kind of words has started and why.

Such scientists as Babenko N.G., Lopatin V.V., Shanskiy N.M., Feldman N.I. considered the basic problems of nonce-words. Nonce-words as a kind of the language game became the object of research of Aksenova O.L., Gridina T.A., Kosrukova V.M. The elements of individual styles of artists were examined by Vinokurov G.O. (Mayakovsky’s works), Zubova L.V. (Cvetaeva’s works), Rakhimkulova G.R. (Nabokov’s works). Gagloeva E.Kh., Zhogina K.B., Krasnikova I.R. took interest in nonce-words’ formations in mass media concerning social and political issues.

Lexicon of any language may be divided into 2 groups: widely used vocabulary and limited one. Last one consists of archaisms and neologisms. There exist 3 types of neologisms: lexical, semantic and nonce-words.

A nonce-word is author’s individual neologism, created according to the existing nonproductive word-formative model and used only in the case of context, as a lexical means of artistic express and lingual game. Nonce-words usually do not get wide spreading and enter vocabulary [6].

The term «nonce-word» was for the first time mentioned in the N.I. Feldman’s article «Nonce-words and lexicography».

«Homemade words», «meteor words», «poet’s neologisms», «individual words», «impromptu words», «short-lived words», «creative neologisms», «stylistic neologisms» and many other names of «nonce-words» are used for such words in linguistic literature.

In the «Linguistics’ terminology dictionary» D.E. Rozental and M.A. Telenkova give us the following definition: «Neologism is a word, formed with the help of nonproductive model and used only in terms of given context» [5, с. 359]. We will use this definition as a working one.

There can exist many reasons for creating new words. N.G. Babenko gives the following: necessity of expression of our thoughts, desire of the author for expressing his thought briefly, demand for putting emphasis on the object of speech, giving one’s assessment and characteristic to it, drive for deauotomation of perception, requirement of avoiding the tautology, necessity of saving verse’s rhythm and providing rhyme [2, с. 15].

A.G. Lykov in his work [4, с. 152] considers the main criteria of nonce-words: belonging to the speech, the ability to be created, word-formative derivation, nonstandard, functional singleness, expressiveness, optionality, synchronously — diachronic diffusivity, individual belonging.

The classification of nonce-words

Firstly, N.Babenko classifies nonce-words according to the degree of occasionality:

– Nonce-words of the first degree. Words of standard, potential formation, which are created in line with norms of language.

– Nonce-words of the second degree. It is partly non-standard formation, which does not make any difficulties in semantic interpretation.

– Nonce-words of the third degree. It is fully non-standard formation, which make difficulties in semantic interpretation [2, с. 16].

Secondly, E.A. Zemskaya distinguishes 3 types of nonce-words according to the aspect of breaching the law of word-formation:

  1. Nonce-words made with breaching laws of system productiveness of word-formative types.
  2. Nonce-words modelled after non-productive and underproductive types, with the breaching of laws of empiric productiveness.
  3. Nonce-words, created by occasional method or modeled by a not divided into parts word [2, с. 300].

Thirdly, there exist nonce–words which are made according to the language the work is written in, with the creating words reflecting the influence of borrowings from other language.

Fourthly, there exists systemized classification of nonce-words according to their structure:

– Phonetic nonce-words.

These words are unrecorded ones. The author creates them only in the sound form, which enables him to show the semantics of words with the help of sounds.

– Lexical nonce-words.

These ones are created by the combinations of affixes and stems in compliance with word-formative norm or in some contradictions.

– Grammatical nonce-words

The words show us forms in which lexico-semantic and grammatical form are in conflict. With the help of the author impossible one becomes possible.

– Semantic nonce-words.

Semantic nonce-words are the result of appearing semantic augments.

– Specific word combination.

The words present the confluence of lexemes, compatibility of which is not possible.

– Graphic nonce-words.

Different parts of words are printed in different sizes. Those ones on which the emphasis is put are written in bigger letters than those which are less important. This kind of words is widely used in headlines.

The types of creation of new words: affixation, composition, conversion, clipping, blending, initial abbreviation, sound interchange, sound imitation .

We’ve tried to analyze nonce-words taken from the books, headlines of newspapers and advertisement, titles of films and books according to the theory in order to classify them according to the systems mentioned in the theoretical part, to systemize them according to the ways of word formation, to determine the functions performed by these nonce-words

Firstly, we’ve classified nonce-words according to the degree of occasionality, introduced by N. Babenko:

Nonce-words of the first degree: “Obamaworld”, “Hilaryland”.

Nonce-words of the second degree: “degnome”, “catnapper”, “cheeisiest”.

Nonce-words of the third degree: “Levicorpus”, “Amortentia”, “Horcrux”.

Secondly, we’ve classify them according to their structure:

Phonetic nonce-words: oohed and aahed, mwahahaha.

Grammatical nonce-words: “smole” (instead of smiled (past form of the verb smile), “wunk” (instead of winked (past form of the verb wink), “beeth” (instead of booths — plural form of booth).

Lexical nonce-words: “smellovision”, “cinerama”, “ipaders”.

The ways of making nonce-words:

  1. Composition: “warbreaker”, “toughnecks”, “mangoblin”.
  2. Affixation:“Gerardlike”, “pincerlike”,“petuniaish”, “toryism” “googlers”.
  3. Conversion: “It’s a difficult”, “Don’t you “What” me” , “to be uncled”, “It’s not a who, it is a what” — questioned words “who” and “what” became nouns.
  4. Blending: “Burgenomics” (“burger” + “economics”), “educrats” — (“education” + “bureaucrats”), “cointreauversal”, (“Cointreau” and “universal”), “gnomeo” (“Romeo” + “gnome”), “jubilympics” (jubilee + Olympics).
  5. Sound interchange: “wunk”, “smole” — (past forms of wink and smile).

The functions of nonce-words

By analyzing nonce-words used in books about Harry Potter we can conclude that J. K. Rowling created a great amount of nonce-words connected with magic.

“It's Amortentia! It's the most powerful love potion in the world!”

“It's Veritaserum, a colorless, odorless potion that forces the drinker to tell the truth”, said Hermione”.

“A Horcrux is the word used for an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul”. — “I don't quite understand how that works, though, sir,” said Riddle. His voice was carefully controlled, but Harry could sense his excitement. — “Well, you split your soul, you see”, said Slughorn, “and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one's body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged”.

The nonce-words used by J. K. Rowling bring a nominative and expressive function, what make these books unique.

Also, widely-known “Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious” used byDick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson in “Mary Poppins” in 1964 has a comic expressive charge.

“Mr. Dawes: Well, do you have anything to say, Banks?

George Banks: Well, sir, they do say that when there's nothing to say, all you can say . . .

Mr. Dawes: Confound it, Banks! I said, do you have anything to say?

George Banks: Just one word, sir . . .

Mr. Dawes: Yes?

George Banks:Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious!

Mr. Dawes Sr.: What?

George Banks:Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins was right, it's extraordinary!”

So, the main functions of nonce-words are:

– Expressive.

– Nominative.

– Comic.

To sum up, the most widely-spread type of nonce-words according to the N. Babenko classification is the type of the second degree — partly non-standard formations that cause no difficulties in interpretation. The lexical nonce-words are the most frequently met type in the headlines of newspapers and advertisement and titles of books and films.The most productive type of creating nonce-words is blending.


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