What is a neologism?
Neologism is the term used to describe new words, new words or new meaning. Neologisms are part of every living language. At the same time, neologism is one of the basic stylistic devices in literature: in particular, it can underline the originality of a text. The advertising also uses new words to address the consumer in a targeted and unmistakable manner.
- Ostalgia = yearning for life in the GDR, formed from East (Germany) and nostalgia
- Newspeak = the language adapted for political purposes in George Orwell’s dystopian novel »1984«
- April Fresische = loud self-promotion since the 1960s, the smell of the fabric softener »Lenor«
The term neologism can be derived from the Greek néos = new and lógos = word. The definition is so neologism or a new word.
Where do neologisms come from?
In general, neologisms fill in linguistic gaps: they arise in a language community wherever a thing, a circumstance, a feeling, or something like that. can not or insufficiently named using known terms. Neologisms can also express things in a simplified way, or transfer words that already exist to new situations (a well-known example of a linguistic reprinting is »surfing«).
1. Youth language
The youth language is one of the most important sources of new words or reinterpretations. Since 2008, Langenscheidt-Verlag uses a (controversial) survey to determine the youth word of the year.
- Hartzen = actually: live by Hartz IV; Meanwhile, the verb is also used as a synonym for idle or laze; Youth Word of the Year 2009
- chill = relax, relax
- Smombie = someone who focuses all his attention on his smartphone and, like a zombie, does not notice anything of his surroundings; Youth Word of the Year 2015
2. Foreign languages
The German language contains numerous words that have their origin in English. Camping is such a word – it was in 1941 for the first time in Duden. 50 years later, in 1991, the laptop was included in the German dictionaries. In some recent new words the (Germanized) Anglicism is even more noticeable.
- trade = trade; trading on the stock exchange (with securities)
- Insider trading = trades where investors use information that is not publicly available for economic gain
- flashing = inspiring; the word originally comes from the musical jargon; You can also be “flashed” by an unusual encounter or a great present
- fluffy = light, airy, fluffy; can refer to a cake as well as a hairstyle, for example
From the so-called Kiezdeutsch of young people with a migrant background, Arabisms also find their way into the German language.
- yalla = fast
- Cho = brother
Digitalisation brought its own terms – mostly from English: words such as »download«, »swiping« or »liken« are firmly rooted in everyday life today. Particularly interesting is the emergence of independent verbs in the wake of Internet services.
- Googling = researching on the Internet with a search engine, mostly Google®, founded in 1998
- tweeting = publishing Twitter messages (tweets) via the Twitter® platform, founded in 2006
- Tindern = get to know people by using the dating app for the smartphone Tinder®, founded in 2012
4. Society, politics and science
The ever-changing world needs and invents new words in all areas. Developments in technology, in medicine and psychology or in economics and politics are accompanied by a change of language.
- Deceleration or decelerate = an ever faster development, activity o. Ä. deliberately slow down (his everyday life, family life, the financial markets)
- Event gastronomy = a restaurant or other gastronomic business offering artistic performances in addition to the actual food
- Loyalty card = a card valid for a long period of time, which the company issues to a customer, and which grants it different purchasing benefits
- Grexit , Brexit = Case words from the first letters of an EU country, in the example Greece (Greece) or Great Britain (Britain) and the English word for exit exit, which mean leaving the EU
Occasionally, terms that have been invented by creative copywriters to focus attention on a particular product are coming out of their tight context. They are then also used as neologism in “normal life”.
from the advertisement of “Clearasil” (especially thorough)
- april fresh
from the advertisement of »Lenor« (springlike lightness and freshness)
from advertising (for packaging that is indestructible)
- have the tiger in the tank
from the Esso advertisement (means a car or a person that is particularly strong, fast or powerful)
In the year 2004 volume 11 of the writings of the institute for German language appeared. It is a big dictionary with neologisms. The authors have collected about 700 new wordings that found their way into the German general language in the 1990s.
A small volume from Duden-Verlag introduces (original) neologisms under the title: »Our Words of the Decade«, which were added to the Duden vocabulary between 2000 and 2010. These included, for example, “Chai Latte”, “Alcopop”, “E-learning” or “talent-free”.
How are neologisms formed?
Neologisms come about in different ways. The theory of language, an area of literary science, has investigated this. Usually neologisms arise
- by composition (= composition) of independent words, for example »Dosenpfand« or »Genmais«;
- by derivation of new words from an original word using an affix, for example “cybercrime” or “cybersex”;
- by abbreviation , for example »SMS«, »Zivi« or »FAQs«;
- by contraction of existing known elements, for example »teleworkplace«;
- through the Germanization of foreign words, for example »escapism« (escapism), »download«, »update« or »liken«;
- By shifting the meaning of meaning : A “purpose” was originally a nail; today, according to Duden, it denotes “the motive and goal of an action.”
Criticizing the language change in everyday life
The language change is critically accompanied by several institutions. The Society for German Language (GfdS) is an association funded by the Conference of Ministers of Education. He is committed to the care of the German language. In addition, he explores the changing language and makes recommendations for language use. Since 1971, the GfdS has chosen a “word of the year”. In 2016, neologism was “post-fatal” (= according to the facts, the term describes a time in which feelings or “perceived truths” become more important than facts or the truth itself).
The association “German Language” is much more vociferously lamenting the decline of the German language and, for example, vehemently defending itself against the entry of anglicisms. But since language is a reflection of social change, a change of language can not be stopped by anything.
Neologism in literature
Neologism is one of the basic stylistic-rhetorical devices in literature. Writers use him to
- to differentiate the literary language from everyday language;
- to emphasize the own and unmistakable style;
- to nuance the meaning of a statement or text;
- to have a fantastic language content in science fiction or fantasy literature.
Examples from the poetry:
“O taumelbunte Welt”
from Hermann Hesse’s poem “Transience” (1919)
“If […] you appear to us on the earth’s sky ,
Our beautiful future Morning red! «
from Hermann Hesse’s poem “Peace” (1914)
»I woke up so happy «
from the poem “Morgenwonne” by Joachim Ringelnatz
“The corridor is pollinated with ash seed .”
from Gottfried Keller’s poem “Land in the autumn” (1879)
Examples from the prose:
” Half and half god ”
from Hermann Hesse’s novel »Steppenwolf« (1927)
“I play ‘chess in the truest sense of the word, while the others, the real chess players, chess’ earnestly ‘ to introduce a daring new word into the German language.”
from Stefan Zweig’s “Schachnovelle” (1942)
The unusual thing about this example is that Stefan Zweig refers the reader to neologism extra.
Examples from science fiction and fantasy:
” Newspeak ”
from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 (1948)
“Newspeak” is the official language of the fictitious state of Oceania and the generic term under which Orwell introduces other neologisms such as Engsoz, Gedankendelikt, or Doppeldenk.
» Zamonia «
from Walter Moers’ novel »The Thirteen and a Half Years of Captain Bluebear«
In his novel series from the fictional Zamonien, Walter Moers describes a whole universe with the help of neologisms. As an example, the “booklings” (a form of existence that reveres books), the “terrors” (terrible creatures that have alleged properties of witches) or the “ormen” (a guessing game).
The neologism in advertising
Advertising is designed to draw the attention of potential customers to a particular product. In doing so, creativity in dealing with language is required. Advertising is therefore a rich source of language creation .
- Discover the new plant life (Rama margarine)
- NOVOTEL is an artificial word from Novus (Latin: new) and hotel
- Best Ager = Target group that is considered particularly demanding and consumer friendly
The advertising industry is not just constantly inventing new terms to influence people and markets. Also found frequently are new words . In doing so, familiar words are reassembled to create positive associations in the consumer.
- Cuddle wool (detergent Perwoll)
- crispy (Duplo chocolate bar)
- The Media Markt markets invite you for early shopping (just a bargain for breakfast)
Differentiation from other stylistic devices
Archaism as the opposite of neologism
Every living language is subject to natural change: new concepts emerge while others disappear from the language. Language changes not only by neologisms, but also by their opposite, the archaisms. An archaism refers to a linguistic expression that has become unfashionable . He comes from another time and is uncommon nowadays. The Duden characterizes such concepts as linguistically obsolete or obsolete .
Examples of archaisms:
- Fried fish:
(obsolete) for teenage girls
(obsolete) for child
(obsolete) for uncle
(obsolete) for child, pupil
Occasionalism as possible precursor of a neologism
Occasionalism is a concept of opportunity that is formed, so to speak, out of state and in relation to the situation . For example, an infant who always drinks too hastily and spits out some of the milk is affectionately called a “small spit” by his parents.
If the term were to spread to other parents and later to society, “occultism” could turn “spitting” into a neologism. This could then even pass into the general usage.
However, once established in the language, strictly speaking, it should no longer be called neologism. New word formation can thus usually be viewed only in a fixed temporal context.