Linguistic processes

Random Language or definition Quiz

Can you name the linguistic processes involved in the formation and history of these words?

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DefinitionProcessExample
Interpolation of one or more words between the components of a compound wordabsolutely + bloomin' → abso-bloomin'-lutely
Loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a wordacute → cute
Transposition of letters or syllables within a wordMiddle English 'drit' (same meaning) → modern 'dirt'
Development of a less favourable meaning or more negative meaning and connotations in a word, etc.silly ('happy') → silly ('foolish')
Reinterpretation of the form of a word, especially the alteration of word boundariesa napron → an apron
Change in form of a word influenced by popular associations and assumptions about its originshamefast ('restrained by shame') → shamefaced
Development of a more favourable meaning or more positive connotations in a word, etc.nice ('foolish') → nice ('pleasant, agreeable')
Combination of parts of other wordsbreakfast + lunch → brunch
DefinitionProcessExample
Derivation of a word from one which appears to be (but is not) a derivative of the one being derivedtelevision (noun) → televise (verb)
Use of a part for the whole, or vice versaplastic ('synthetic material') → plastic ('credit cards, etc.')
Coinage of a word to differentiate the original form of somethingguitar → acoustic guitar (when electric guitars were invented)
Coinage of a word from the first letters, etc., of a phraseSelf-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus → scuba
Repetition of a word or part of a word, often with a corresponding change in soundchat → chit-chat
Reversal of the spelling and pronunciation of a wordboy → yob (same meaning)
Omission of one instance of a letter, syllable, etc. which occurs twice in sequenceOld English 'Englaland' → modern 'England'

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