Types of Neoclassical Word Formation: The Case of Lithuanian Neologisms

  • Agnė Aleksaitė
Keywords: neoclassical word formation, neologisms, suffixation, prefixation, compounding


New Lithuanian lexis can be accessed in the Database of Lithuanian Neologisms (DN), containing about 5674 lexicographic units (as of 6 April 2020). The current article examines 197 nouns representing neoclassical word formation. Borrowings, including nouns, formed from foreign elements were excluded from the analysis. The aim of the study was to identify the most common types of neoclassical word formation attested in the DN and to explore their role in creating stylistically connoted nouns. The analysis of the nouns under study provided the following results: 1. Neoclassical word formation is not a common strategy in the DN (197 nouns have been found). However, translations make up a substantial part (46). 2. The most productive type of neoclassical word formation in the DN is compounding (90), followed by suffixation (88). Neoclassical prefixes (19) are less common. 3. As the data of the DN show, neoclassical word formation is not a common means of wordplay. Neoclassical suffixes (30), such as -izmas, -(i)acija ir -oidas, are more common in building nouns that display emotive-expressive functions. Sixteen stylistically connoted nouns exemplify neoclassical compounding and four nouns are built by prefixation. 4. Wider implications about neoclassical word formation and its most productive types could be drawn by extending the current research based on the data from the DN.