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Visualizzazione dei post da ottobre, 2012

Language is democratic

Institutionalization of a neologism

How does a new form innovated on the basis of word formation rules come to be conventionalized as part of the accepted vocabulary of a community? This question is usually answered in terms of " Institutionalization ", which is sometimes regarded as a precursor of lexicalization, sometimes identified with it. The institutionalisation of a new term comprises the following stages: Frequency: A neologism can start being used in an increasingly recurring way. We can notice that its use reaches a peak while the previous word form wanes. Abrupt frequency changes can occur. Stability of the extent of occurrence observed or an occurrence drop after a peak may point to the end of the institutionalisation course. Moreover, the relationship between the occurrence frequency of a word in certain texts – termed text frequency – and its full frequency – termed total frequency – should also be observed. The institutionalisation degree of a term can be shown by the ratio of the first fr

Recession makes us richer.. in words

The only one who is gaining benefits from the recession is the English language: as we are growing poorer, the English language is growing richer. The latest trend in the most famous online dictionaries (Collins, Merriam-Webster , Cambridge, etc) is to stay current with language changes, word usage, slangs, jargons, and neologisms. Each year the dictionaries add new words that have been accepted by the common parlance and competitions are being launched each year in order to find the word of the year. The “ word of the year ” competition, abbreviated WOTY, is a competition for voting the most important word o in the public sphere during a specific year. In the last five years, the list of new, officially recognized words by Merriam Webster’s WOTY include a number of terms that are a true product of our times. In 2008 the word was bailout , “a rescue from financial distress.” In 2009, staycation , “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” In 2010, austerity , “enforce

Twitter: a valuable tool for linguists

The world of technology is shaping the English language, with innovative advances reflected in new terms. Of course the explosion of social media has accelerated the creation of new words as different cultures and languages interact. People are writing much more than we used to. The users of online social media produce an extraordinary amount of text each day. This increased use of electronic communication has given us new language forms and expressions largely driven by operational issues and a need to compensate for lack of non-verbal communication.  Twitter and other social media offer records of language mutating in real time and space : an immense resource that can offer linguists the opportunity to explore how  our words and phrases are changing. Twitter claims that around 340 million tweets are sent every day. Following someone on Twitter, it is possible to see a word at the moment of its coinage . Because tweets tend to be rather informal, there are a lo

Il processo di istituzionalizzazione di un neologismo

Il processo di istituzionalizzazione di un nuovo termine avviene secondo le seguenti fasi: Frequenza . Un neologismo può iniziare a essere usato con crescente ricorrenza. Si può osservare un suo picco e un declino della forma preesistente. Possono verificarsi improvvisi cambiamenti nella frequenza. La stabilità nel grado di occorrenza osservato o una recessione della stessa dopo un picco può indicare la fine del processo di istituzionalizzazione. Inoltre, bisogna osservare anche la relazione tra la frequenza con la quale una parola appare in certi testi e la frequenza totale di una parola. La prima viene definita text frequency e la seconda total frequency. Il rapporto tra i due valori può indicare il grado di istituzionalizzazione del termine.  Tipologia di testi e le varietà in generale . La presenza di un termine in differenti tipi di testi suggerisce il grado della sua istituzionalizzazione. Se un termine è usato solo in certi contesti sociali o geografici, è probabile che il su