Catalan Review

BREAKING THE RULES: PRAGMATIC CONNOTATIONS OF (UN)MARKED USES OF FINAL NEOCLASSICAL COMBINING FORMS

Catalan Review (2021), 35, (1), 89–109.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the way speakers perceive the transgression of the rules of word formation, particularly regarding neoclassical final combining forms, which are elements with a marked use and whose morphological combining standards are quite restrictive. This transgression consists in combining a native Catalan word and a final combining form, the result of which has been assigned an expressive value. In order to test these perceptions, we developed a questionnaire and administered it to 152 speakers of Catalan from different backgrounds. These speakers were asked to evaluate 20 neologisms documented in the Catalan press regarding their context of use and their connotations. The results show that speakers perceive that those forms that “break” the expected rules are more likely to appear in an informal or colloquial context, and they generally assign them an ironic or pejorative value. Finally, this study aims to present compounds as a promising topic of interest within morphopragmatics.

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Author details

BERNAL, ELISENDA

MILÀ-GARCIA, ALBA