Word Formation in English and Vietnamese: a Contrastive Analysis

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Running head: Word formation in English and Vietnamese

Word formation in English and Vietnamese: a contrastive analysis
Pham Thi Hong Ly
HCMC University of Pedagogy


Language is a principal mean used by human beings to exchange information and communicate with each other. We use language to discuss a wide range of topics which distinguishes us with animals. In other words, language is a vital tool of communication. In order to share ideas and feelings effectively besides using gestures, intonation in speech…; a large vocabulary is also considered as a useful way. The more vocabularies you have, the clearer and more accurate ideas you express. And one of the most common ways to enrich vocabulary is
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The prefixes can be divided semantically into these following groups: quantity prefixes, locative prefixes, temporal prefixes, negation prefixes (see Appendix). However, in one such study (Ingo Plag 134), it is found that numerous prefixes do not belong to any of the four groups above. For example, prefixes express diverse notions, such as “wrong, evil” (mal-, malfunction, malnutrition), “badly, wrongly” (mis-, misinterpret, mistrial), “false, deceptive” (pseudo-), “together, jointly” (co), “in place of” (vice-)… One more type of affix is suffixes. Unlike prefixes, suffix is an affix which is attached after the root. There are four types of suffixes: nominal suffixes, verbal, adjectival and adverbial suffixes. (see Appendix) Compounding Compounding is the most productive type of word formation process in English. A compound is a word that consists of two elements, the first of which is either a root, a word or a phrase, e.g. biochemistry, systems analysis, over- the- fence gossip…; the second of which is either a root or a word (Ingo Plag 183). Most of compounds are interpreted in such way that one element, head, is modified by others. And the compounds inherits most of it semantic and syntactic information from its head (Ingo Plag 183). There are three types of compounds: open compound, hyphenated compound and solid compound. An open compound consists of two or more words written separately, such as salad dressing, Boston terrier, or

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