LINGUIST List 6.1146

Tue Aug 22 1995

Qs: Norwegian, List of common words, French/English neologisms

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. "* Deumert, A, Ana, Ms", question: Norwegian
  2. Joyce McDonough, info request
  3. Sylvie Berard, French/English neologisms

Message 1: question: Norwegian

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 15:42:54 question: Norwegian
From: "* Deumert, A, Ana, Ms" <>
Subject: question: Norwegian

Date sent: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 15:38:50

Dear linguists,
could someone help me to find examples representing the difference
between the two official standard languages in Norway (nynorsk and
All the textbooks at our library are for bokmal only and I would like
to understand the differences and similarities between the two
languages. Maybe someone could just translate the following sentences
into nynorsk:

Jeg trodde han spilte fiolin.
Jeg sa en som hang pa veggen.

Thank you very much for your help

Ana Deumert
Department of Linguistics
University of Cape Town
South Africa
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Message 2: info request

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 09:30:12 info request
From: Joyce McDonough <>
Subject: info request

 I have been requested my neighbor to see if you can help out on this problem.
 Her father is in the late stages of Parkinson's and is unable to speak.
 He has been using a spelling board but it has gotten incredibly difficult
 to work with him because he cannot use shorthand and he cannot recognize
 when you guess a word that he has been spelling or even when someone
 tries to complete his sentence. The end result is that
 he has to spell out every single word of a sentence. She wants to put a
 list of commonly used words together on his spell board. Is there a way
 to get a list of the most commonly used words? Is there another solution?

 Jody McDonough Ovation Software Testing, Inc. P.O. Box 272
 (508) 481-9930 FAX: (508) 481-9891 Southborough, MA 01772
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Message 3: French/English neologisms

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 19:53:54 French/English neologisms
From: Sylvie Berard <>
Subject: French/English neologisms


I am new to the list. And since English is not my first language, I
apologize for the mistakes you might find below :-). I hope that you
won't mind if some of my explanations are in French.

For my Ph.D. Semiotics, I am writing a dissertation on discourse and
science-fiction and I need some information about the construction of
neologisms in French and in English. (Neologisms are useful in SF,
specially in the scientific field!)

In French, neologisms are made in 5 different ways (I hope these are the
right English words): derivation; composition; imitation; pure invention;
amalgam. One might also add borrowings from other languages.

Here are some examples (sorry, the explanations are in French):

- DERIVATION: Mot derive: "position" peut produire le verbe "positionner";
- COMPOSITION: Mot compose: si "monotone" est decompose ("mono"/"tone"), on
 peut recomposer "polytone"; a partir de "telephone" on peut
 produire en science-fiction "videophone".
- IMITATION: Souvent a partir d'une onomatopee: a partir de l'onomatopee
 "couac" on peut parler d'UN "couac" (= un nom);
- INVENTION: Mot forge: se distingue des autres categories car on ne
 reconnait dans la morphologie du mot aucun terme existant
 (ex.: "emparouille", "endosque", "pratele", "libucque",
 "ecorbalise" - extraits d'Henri Michaux). Cette categorie
 est contestee car certains pretendent qu'il est toujours
 possible de retrouver la racine.
- AMALGAM: Mot-valise: reunion de deux mots sur la base d'une
 homonymie partielle; ainsi "famille" et "millionnaire"
 peuvent donner "famillionnaire".

In the every day French language, the 3 first (mostly the 2 first)
processes are more frequent and the 2 others are used in the literary (and
humoristic) discourse.

My question(s) is (are) about the construction of neologisms in English.
1) Does English use the same processes?
2) Even if it does, are the processes of the same importance in
 both languages?
3) What would be the most frequent ones?
4) What are the major differences?
5) Etc.

Thank you in advance,
Sylvie Berard

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sylvie Berard "But the fact is, I really, really hate housework, even when
Universite du Quebec a Montreal someone else is doing it."
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