A neologism is a word, meaning or novel twist, which has been introduced into a language for specific reasons.

It is, therefore, the constitution of a new word or a new meaning derived from an already established one. It is very common in all languages, due to the need to adapt the language to the dynamics of the world itself.

The planet is shown in constant motion. All disciplines and areas of knowledge advance over time, and language, as other disciplines do, does too. And all this, due to new inventions, concepts or ways of referring to the concepts.

Types of neologisms

At the beginning of her research on Spanish and Catalan neologisms, María Teresa Cabré welcomes a certain typology. This is quite classic and complete:

  • Neologisms of form: They are those formed by changes made in or with existing words within the same language. Some of them are:
    • Composition: This neologism consists of two complete words. For example, Spanish speaker, would be that person who speaks who speaks Spanish.
    • Prefixation: They are those neologisms that have been formed by putting a prefix to a word. For example, bulletproof, material or fabric that protects from bullets.
    • Suffixation: It happens the same as in the previous case, but a suffix has been added to this neologism. For example, surfer, the –ista denotes a profession, therefore it is someone who is dedicated to surfing.
    • Achronymy: They are neologisms formed by parts of other words. For example, office automation, made up of office and computing, is the set of computer programs applied to office work.
    • Abbreviation: In this case, the new word has been formed by the abbreviation of another. For example, weekend, referring to the weekend.Express the same but in a shorter way.
  • Syntactic neologisms: They are those that modify the grammar of the word, changing, for example, the gender. As with the medical word, traditionally the masculine served as a neutral denomination, but the ending in -a has been introduced to refer to the feminine.
  • Semantic neologisms: They are those to which a new meaning has been added to an existing word. For example, desktop or computer virus. They are also those words that are registered trademarks but apply to the product in general, such as danone to refer to a yogurt.
  • Loans: They are neologisms formed from words imported from another language. For example, the word bunker, sandwich or smartphone. These are words that, due to their daily use, have ended up being imposed on other similar ones in the language itself.
  • Barbarisms: This classification does not include it, but it is also relevant to mention them. They are those neologisms that have originated from the error of the original word. Like, for example, smash, roll up the sleeves, or cuddle. With the passage of time, the RAE has ended up accepting these words as valid.

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