Morphology


Word-Formation: Spork


As you can see on the picture on the left hand side, the spork is a hybrid form of cutlery, that is, a spork is either a spoon-like fork or fork-like spoon depending on your perspective or appetite.

Although hybrid cultural forms are virulent in our times, the first patent of the creative cutlery dates back to the late 19th century.

After the term spork was officially registered as a trademark both in the U.S. and the U.K., linguists became aware of the new word-formation. In the supplement of the 1909 Century Dictionary, spork was applied to:

“a long, slender spoon having
at the end of the bowl projections
resembling the tines of a fork."

1. Name the underlying kind of word-formation central in the context of the noun spork. Choose from the following:

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2. Describe the two individual constitutents that – taken together – form the word spork.

3. Analyze the noun morphologically. "You say spork, I say foon": Why do you think did the word spork finally made it into our language system and not foon? While working on this question, try to argue linguistically.

4. “Well ‘slithy’ means ‘lithe and slimy’ […] you see it’s like a portmanteau – there are two meanings packed up into one word.” ( cf. Caroll, Lewis (1872): Alice Through the Looking Glass. Macmillan: London) Not only within creative advertising and technology but also within the vast field of literature, the phenomenon of blending is ubiquitous: In Redburn H. Melville writes:

"And what's the use of bein' snivelized!" said he to me one night duringour watch on deck; "snivelized chaps only learns the way to take on'bout life, and snivel. You don't see any Methodist chaps feelin'dreadful about their souls; you don't see any darned beggars and peskyconstables in Madagasky, I tell ye; and none o' them kings there getstheir big toes pinched by the gout. Blast Ameriky, I say."[...] "Are you now, Buttons, any better off for bein' snivelized?" comingclose up to me and eying the wreck of my gaff-topsail-boots verysteadfastly. "No; you ar'n't a bit--but you're a good deal worse for it, Buttons. I tell ye, ye wouldn't have been to sea here, leadin' thisdog's life, if you hadn't been snivelized--that's the cause why, now.Snivelization has been the ruin on ye; and it's spiled me complete [...]."

Identify all blendings in the text by Melville and analyze them morphologically.