Lexeme-Based Morphological Analysis of Facebook Neologisms
Mahianyu, Tarcisio Ruoro
MetadataShow full item record
The world has seen an increase in the use of social media in the last five years. This has brought about neologisms that are used to serve the communication needs of the subscribers of social media. The study was prompted by the prevalence of these neologisms. Facebook was the focal point of this research since it was found to exhibit the highest number of active users. Written communication and text in English was focused on with a purpose to do the following: to describe the neologisms found in Facebook; to analyze the morphological processes involved in the formation of these neologisms and to determine the extent to which the Lexeme-based Morphology Theory accounts for Facebook neologisms. Data was subjected to the Lexeme based Morphology Theory (an Item and Process Approach). Nouns, verbs and adjectives (including new phrases and new abbreviations) were the word categories that were targeted. Non-probability sampling and specifically purposive sampling was used. The researcher selected thirty respondents that exhibited usage of neologisms. Using the Text Mining Technique, an analysis of the respondents' posts was done to get neologisms therein. Qualitative Research Methodology was used in this study and specifically the Descriptive Research Design. The data was also analyzed in numbers and percentages. The percentages and numbers of new forms in the selected word categories were also calculated as well as the neologisms whose form could be accounted for by the LBMT. Data was presented using tables and pie charts showing amounts and percentages of new forms per word category as well as other featured analyses. Out of the total number of the collected neologisms, nouns were discovered to form the bulk of words at 45%, followed by verbs at 31% and adjectives at 24%. This study found that coinage was the main morphological process. It appears that the subscribers of Facebook have a need for brevity when writing and hence the justification of clipping as the second main word formation process. These were the two main processes that were found to be at work forming the highest number of neologisms on Facebook It was discovered that out of all the neologisms collected, 96% were supported by LBMT. The study also established that the LBMT has accounted for the modification of a majority of lexemes into neologisms. This study dwelt on three main open classes of neologisms which are verbs, nouns and adjectives. It was noted that there are neologisms in other word classes; some of which are not open classes and that would an interesting area of research. The field of syntax would also be interesting for research since a number of one word sentences were noted. Another area for further research would be code switching as there are many instances of switching of languages. Affixes in the form of inflection and derivation among neologisms would also be interesting to study since it was observed that some neologisms possess orthographic affixes that have a phonological nature.