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Gender Peculiarities of English Neologisms Verbalizing the Life of Teenagers and Youth of the XXI Century

 

Автор: Свеженцева Юлия Александровна, Донецкий национальный университет

 

The present article deals with the analysis of gender peculiarities of English neologisms verbalizing the life of teenagers and youth of the XXI century. In view of the development of society and appearance of new realities in the life of man for the last decades there has appeared a growing number of new words for the reflection of the modern life. Here we talk about the so-called “neological boom” (Заботкина В. И., 1989; Булдакова В. П., 2012 and others). The analysis of literature on the theory of neology has allowed to ascertain that the language undergoing constant changes is a dynamic system and its enrichment by neologisms is a striking demonstration of that.

In modern linguistics there exist a lot of definitions of the term “neologism”. According to T. V. Maksimova neologisms are new words, meanings of words and phrases made for naming new realities and notions which appeared at a definite period in the language and characterized by new means of expressiveness [2, 7].

Despite the fact that analysis of word building and functioning of neologisms attracts attention of many linguists (Амосова М. А., 2001; Андрусяк И. В., 2003; Борисова Т. И., 1991; Волошин Ю. К., 1971; Жлуктенко Ю. А., 1983; Заботкина В. И., 1989; Зацный Ю. А., 2008; Колоїз Ж. В., 2002; Максимова Т. В., 2000; Мурадян Ю.А., 1999 and others), there remains a lack of integral systemic view of concrete mechanisms of word building of neologisms verbalizing the life of teenagers and youth of the XXI century and thus it deserves intent research attention.

The topicality of the research is conditioned by the necessity of realization of systemic analysis of gender peculiarities of English neologisms verbalizing the life of teenagers and youth which have not been yet the subject of special analysis.

Here it should be pointed out that tests with native speakers have proved the existence in words of hidden components which point to their use in particular social groups, though in dictionaries the primary use in different social strata is not shown.

The object of the research are English neologisms verbalizing the life of teenagers and youth of the XXI century.

The subject of the research are gender peculiarities of English neologisms reflecting the life of teenagers and youth of the XXI century.

The material of the research are 306 neologisms of the English language of the XXI century which have been selected from the dictionary “Інновації у словниковому складі англійської мови початку ХХІ століття: англо-український словник” [1] and electronic bases of neologisms [3; 4].

The whole corpus of this study has been analyzed from the point of view of gender peculiarities.

From the result of quantitative analysis (Table 1) it is clear that the majority of language units, namely 213 constituting 69,6%, do not carry a definite gender distinction, i.e. they serve to denote realities common to both female and male. For instance, gap yah ‘a gap year as experienced by an upper-class young person’, pop quiz ‘a short test given to students without any prior warning’, abroady ‘student who is studying abroad’.

The most representative among two other groups is the group of neologisms denoting behaviour, activities and appearance characteristic of female (55 units, 18%). For example, chick flick ‘chiefly derogatory a movie that appeals to young women’, grrrl ‘a young woman perceived as independent and strong or aggressive, especially in her attitude to men or in her sexuality’, Barbie flu ‘the trend for young women to dramatically alter their appearance to make themselves look like human Barbie dolls’.

There have been elicited 38 language units, which constitutes 12,4%, referring to pastime, hobbies and behaviour typical of male. For example, gimp squad ‘a group of lads, who for banterous reasons decided to form a team. These people call others gimps in a derogatory fashion, yet believe it is a cool word to call themselves’, guido ‘a young male, typically of Italian descent. Characteristically, he also frequents many clubs, wears gold jewelry and tight jeans, hyper-bowl-e ‘the absurd levels of excitement observed in many young American males before the Superbowl’.

Table 1

Gender Peculiarities of English Neologisms Verbalizing the Life of Teenagers and Youth of the XXI Century

Gender

Number of Units

%

Common

213

69,6

Female

55

18

Male

38

12,4

Total

306

100

The result of the gender classification of English neologisms verbalizing the life of teenagers and youth of the XXI century has shown that there is a tendency for appearance of new words which serve to describe teenagers and youth in general without differentiation of gender.

 

References:

1.Зацний Ю. А. Інновації у словниковому складі англійської мови початку ХХІ століття: англо-український словник. Словник / Ю. А. Зацний, А. В. Янков. – Вінниця: Нова Книга, 2008. – 360 с.

2.Максимова Т. В. Новые слова современного английского языка / Т. В. Максимова // Лингводидактические проблемы межкультурной коммуникации. – Волгоград: Изд-во ВолГУ, 2003. – С. 715.

3.Paul McFedries Word Spy [Электронный ресурс]. Режим доступа: www.wordspy.com.

4.The Rice University Neologisms Database [Электронный ресурс]. Режим доступа: http://neologisms.rice.edu/index.php?a=index&d=1.

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