Morphophonological salience through constructional schemas : an analysis of two case studies of English Slang Words Ending in {o}

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2021, vol. 47, iss. 1, pp. 47-71
Extent
47-71
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
Abstract(s)
This paper is aimed at examining salient morphophonological traits of English slang words ending in {o} and conveying the meanings 'foolish person' and 'mad person', e.g. dozo, crazo. The study is based on the corollary that schematic generalizations reflect the principles of salience and embedded productivity. Data was taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, Green's Dictionary of Slang, and the Oxford Dictionary of Slang. The schemas are elaborated upon the aspects of phonological content (PHON), morphosyntactic properties (SYN) and semantic value (SEM). Findings suggest that constructions, being overtly disyllabic and trochaic, show a standard phonetic template (Cl1 VCl2 o), 'Cl' and 'V' standing for consonant cluster and vowel, respectively. Besides instantiating the bases with the value of 'PERSON perceived as possessing negative qualities', the suffix -o, which is generally attached to a nominal or an adjectival base, might lead to variation of grammatical category and the expression of pejorative/ marginal traits.
Document
References:
[1] Audring, Jenny and Francesca Masini (2013) Construction morphology: A welcome. Bologna Seminar on Construction Morphology. Available at http://www.lilec.it/cxm/?page_id=10

[2] Bauer, Laurie (2001) Morphological Productivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3] Bauer, Laurie, Rochelle Lieber and Ingo Plag (2015) The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[4] Barδdal, Jóhanna (2008) Productivity. Evidence from Case and Argument Structure in Icelandic. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[5] Besedina, Natalia A. (2012) Evaluation through morphology: a cognitive perspective. Proceedings of CLA Meeting 1, 177–192.

[6] Blevins, James P. (2006) Word-based morphology. Journal of Linguistics 42, 531–573. | DOI 10.1017/S0022226706004191

[7] Booij, Geert (2007 [2005]) The Grammar of Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[8] Booij, Geert (2010) Construction Morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[9] Booij, Geert (2015) Construction Morphology. In: Hippisley, Andrew and Gregory T. Stump (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 424–448.

[10] Booij, Geert (2019) The role of schemas in Construction Morphology. Word Structure 12(3), 385–395. | DOI 10.3366/word.2019.0154

[11] Booij, Geert and Jenny Audring (2018) Partial motivation, multiple motivation: The role of output schemas in morphology. In: Booij, Geert (ed.) The Construction of Words: Advances in Construction Morphology. Cham: Springer, 59–80.

[12] Breidenbach, C. M. (2006) Deconstructing Mock Spanish: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Mock Spanish as Racism, Humor, and Insult. Columbia: University of South Carolina dissertation.

[13] Dressler, Wolfgang U., Oswald Panagl, Willi Mayerthaler and Wolfgang U. Wurzel (1987) Leitmotifs in Natural Morphology. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

[14] Fried, Mirjam and Jan-Ola Östman (2004) Construction grammar: A thumbnail sketch. In: Fried, Mirjam and Jan-Ola Östman (eds.) Construction Grammar in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins Publishing, 11–86.

[15] Giraudo, Hélène and Serena Dal Maso (2016) The salience of the complex words and their parts: Which comes first? Frontiers in Psychology, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01778 | DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01778

[16] GDS: Green, Jonathon (n.d.) Green's Dictionary of Slang. https://greensdictofslang.com/

[17] Gorman, Kyle and Laurel MacKenzie (2009) A Po-Mo Boho in SoHo: Emerging specificity in English templatic hypocoristics. LSA Annual Meeting. http://laurelmackenzie.com/presentations/Gorman_MacKenzie_LSA2009_slides.pdf

[18] Hamans, Camiel (2020) How an 'Italian' suffix became productive in Germanic languages. In: ten Hacken, Pius and Renáta Panocová (eds.) The Interaction of Borrowing and Word Formation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

[19] Hill, Jane H. (2008) The Everyday Language of White Racism. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

[20] Hoffmann, Thomas (2017) Construction grammars. In Dancygier, Barbara (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[21] Jackendoff, Ray (2002) Foundations of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[22] Jamet, Denis (2009) A morphophonological approach to clipping in English. Lexis: Journal in English Lexicology 1, 15–31.

[23] Mattiello, Elisa (2005) The Pervasiveness of slang in standard and non-standard English. Mots Palabras Words 6, 7–41.

[24] ODS: Ayto, John (1998) Oxford Dictionary of Slang. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[25] OED3: Oxford English Dictionary online, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com [accessed 14 December 2019].

[26] Rumelhart, David E. (1980) Schemata: the building of blocks of cognition. In Spiro, Rand J., Bertram C. Bruce and William F. Brewer (eds.) Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension: Perspectives from Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Education. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 33–58.

[27] Schneider, Klaus P. (2003) Diminutives in English. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.

[28] Schultz, Julia (2017) The Influence of Spanish on the English Language since 1801: A Lexical Investigation. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

[29] Tarasova, Elizaveta and José A. Sánchez Fajardo (2019) Exploring the evaluative nature of Adj+ie/y nominalisations in contemporary English. Paper presented at International Conference On Cognitive Linguistics, Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan), 6-11 August 2019.

[30] Taylor, John R. (2003) Linguistic Categorization: Prototypes in Linguistic Theory, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.