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Colloquial coinages (nonce words)

As well as literary stylistic coinages, they are created to make the utterance more expressive. Generally they are new names to old concepts. They are coined according to the same word-building pattern.

The fate of these coinages is also different. Some live for a very short time, others live longer. Very few of them become generally accepted words. The majority is used only once. Those are nonce words.Nonce words used in oral colloquial speech are different from those used in written literary speech. Literary nonce-words remain in the text for which they were created. Colloquial nonce-words leave no trace at all. They are non registered anywhere.

Consider your answers to the following questions:

1. What are the three main layers of the vocabulary? What are there peculiarities?

2. What are the peculiarities of common literary and common colloquial vocabulary?

3. Where are formal words used? Are learned words used only in books? Which type of learned words, do you think, is especially suitable for verbal communication? Which is least suitable and even undesirable?

4. How can you account for the fact that English vocabulary contains such an immense number of words of foreign origin?

5. How are the etymological and stylistic characteristics of a word interrelated?

6. What is the difference between professionalisms and jargonisms?

7. What are the controversial problems connected with professional terminology?

8. What is the main stylistic function of terms?

9. What is the stylistic function of dialectal words?

10.What is the stylistic function of vulgar words?


Do the test to check your knowledge:

1. Archaisms may be used in a literary text

a) to show that the speaker is attached to usage of unusual words;

b) to create the historic atmosphere;

c) to produce humorous effect.

2. Terms belong to

a) special literary vocabulary; b) neutral words;

c) colloquial vocabulary; d) non-standard vocabulary

3. If bookish words are used in the colloquial context

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a) they elevate the speech;

b) they produce humorous effect;

c) they characterize the speaker as a well-educated person.

4. Poetic words are used in poetic diction

a) due to the poetic tradition only;

b) to create the romantic atmosphere;

c) to produce the effect of elevation;

d) to comply with the poetic tradition and create romantic atmosphere.

5. The common literary, neutral and common colloquial words are grouped under the term

a) non standard English vocabulary;

b) standard English vocabulary;

c) core vocabulary.

6. Jargon words are used within a certain professional group

a) to facilitate the communication;

b) to show that the speaker also belongs to this group;

c) to stress the informal character of communication.

7. Jargon words and slang words

a) characterized by the same degree of degradation;

b) differ in their degree of degradation.

8. Slang is used

a) to show that the speaker shares the same ideas as are possessed by his communicants;

b) to make speech more expressive;

c) to produce humorous effect.

9. Vulgar words are subdivided into

a) lexical vulgarisms and semantic vulgarisms;

b) lexical vulgarisms and stylistic vulgarisms;

c) semantic vulgarisms and stylistic vulgarisms.

10.In the sentence "Aren't it awful, Sam?" the underlined word is used

a) for the sake of characterization;

b) to produce humorous effect;

c) to make speech expressive.


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