Lexical innovation: cromulently embiggening a language

Ian MacKenzie


In this article I look at the main ways of making new English words, and at the different types of neologisms this produces; consider various categories of people who coin them, including famous authors and television scriptwriters as well as anonymous nonnative speakers of English as a lingua franca, and highlight the similarities and differences in the ways they tend to coin words; consider to what extent the formation of new words by way of established processes or rules or schemas should be thought of as morphological productivity rather than individual creativity; and finally look at the processes by which neologisms can, potentially, be diffused.


Lexical innovation; Neologisms; Morphological productivity; Lexical creativity; Lexical diffusion

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2014.27.06