On the Latest Development of Modern English Vocabulary

4256 Words Nov 5th, 2008 18 Pages
On the Latest Development of Modern English Vocabulary
As one of the three elements of language, vocabulary is sensitive to the fastest change. Modern English vocabulary distributed in many areas always keeps developing. Though scholars at home and abroad make great progress on English new words, it is far from satisfaction. This paper, which is based on the previous findings, begins with the definition of English new words and its study actuality. As new vocabulary is a mirror of social development, the source of its improvement distributes in more than ten semantic fields reflecting the ever-changing contemporary world in an all-round way. Besides, the paper investigates the formation of English new words which is on the
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“Henry James is afraid he is wholly unable to aid me in collecting words either of his own invention or of anyone else’s.” (Gao, 1998, p.11). The existing lexicology thinks little of modern English new vocabulary. The reasons are just like follows: firstly, uncertainty on the definition and scale of new words; Secondly, incompleteness on the collecting of new words; lastly, without authority standard and few is edited into dictionaries and books (Deng, 2005, p.49). However, as professor Wang Rongpei said, “As for new words, we cannot ignore them just because they haven’t been edited into dictionaries or accepted by the Standard English” (2006). We should attach importance to its development, formation and trend.

3. The Sources of English New Words

New words are being invented or introduced all the time. Sometimes a new word is produced by a single person only, in some special situations. These words are called nonce words used only once or coined for one particular occasion, and never occur again. Sometimes a new word coined by a single speaker is used by a small group, such as the staff of the institution, and exists for a time without gaining any wider circulation. Sometimes a new word is coined by a number of people; such a word becomes an accepted part of language, and is fixed in a dictionary. When a new product is made, a new conception comes in man’s thought, and a new name must be found, that is, a new
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