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Title: New words : a study of applied linguistic relativity and the types and historical development of word formation in literature
Author: Birth, Ann-Inga
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 4965
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is a literary linguistic study of lexical innovation in fiction. It uses corpus linguistic methods and concepts of morphological theory to develop a new word typology and to examine new words as to their role in directing a reader's imagination and with regard to their frequency and distribution in classic English literature between 1750 and 1923. A 56 million word corpus consisting of a homogenous variety of texts converted from online literature databases serves as the basis for a chronologically structured new word extraction. This is carried out aided by the concordancer programme AntConc. The following three aspects are addressed in this research. The first attempts to explain why certain new words appear newer than other equally novel forms. It demonstrates that the factors influencing a word's novelty effect are wordlike-ness, morpheme content, and formal and semantic analogy. A new word typology is derived from these. A second main section focuses on stylistic aspects. If the words we use influence the way we think, as theorised in the principle of linguistic relativity, then forming new words and reading these should influence the way we think about what they describe. The second element identifies the strategies authors may use to affect their readers' associations through word formation. A third section is a frequency and distribution analysis of the new words extracted, taking historical developments, text mode and form, genre, and new word types into account. It adds quantitative data to the qualitative investigation preceding it, showing that verse and prose, text forms, and genres as well as time periods differ in the new words they produce and providing evidence for the characteristics of each.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Words ; New ; Grammar ; comparative and general ; Applied linguistics