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DescriptionEdit

Back-formation is when a new word is formed by removing the morpheme of an older word to give the new word a new meaning[1]. The term "back-formation" was coined by James Murray in 1889 (OED online first definition of 'back formation' is from the definition of to burgle which was first published in 1889). [2]

ExamplesEdit

Old Word Removed Morpheme New Word
burglar ar burgle
pease se pea
editor or edit
statistics s statistic
disgruntled dis gruntled
uncouth un

couth

[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://grammar.about.com/od/ab/g/backformterm.htm
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-formation
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-formation


Etymology

Etymological processes

        Word creation

                Eponyms · Toponyms · Onomatopoeia · Reduplication · Blend · Back-formation

        Word evolution

                Phonological: Assimilation · Dissimilation · Metathesis

                Morphological: Folk etymology

                Semantic: Semantic widening · Semantic narrowing · Elevation · Degeneration · Metaphorical extension

Languages which have influenced English

        Latin · Greek · French · German · Spanish · Arabic · Old Norse · Proto-Indo-European

Special topics

        Shakespeare's impact on English · Origin and evolution of the alphabet

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