ТОП 10:

Foregrounding of Word Building


New words are coined by affixation, word-compounding and conversion. All these means of word-building are frequently foregrounded. Their expressiveness is due to their individual character and is often a feature of the writer’s style.

As word-building possesses a national character the rendering of such coinages constitutes a complicated problem of translation.


Foregrounding of Suffixes. Suffixes present great variety and have different productivity in the S and T languages. The English language is particularly rich in suffixes and their productivity is prodigious. The case with which new words are formed is amazing. Individual coinages speedily become neologisms and enter the vocabulary. Some suffixes are exceptionally productive and offer great possibilities for foregrounding. Such coinages often baffle the translator and their rendering requires considerable ingenuity on his part, usually at the cost of compactness.

This is well illustrated by the word “hackdom” in the following example:

… no one who knows his long, dreary record in the House, 25 years of plodding through hackdom would ever accuse him of being a leader.

...жодному з тих, хто знайомий з тривалим і понурим перебуванням цієї людини в Конгресі, не спало б на думку назвати лідером цього посереднього конгресмена, який 25 років скнів над найповсякденнішою роботою.

The suffix –ful is also foregrounded.

After the pattern of “handful” and “mouthful” the adjective “faceful” is formed for vividness of expression.

A new ward sister, fat and forceful with a huge untroubled faceful of flesh and brisk legs, was installed. (M.Spark).

У палаті оселилася нова сестра, енергійна товстуха з величезною незворушною м’ясистою фізіономією і швидкою ходою.

The stylistic effect is lost because a very usual attribute “мясистый” does not stylistically correspond to the correlated nonce-word “faceful”.

Perhaps the most productive of all suffixes is the suffix –er used both for nominalization and for stylistic purposes. The frequency of its partial grammaticalization, in other words, this suffix often functions as a noun indicator. Despite its universal character this suffix is easily foregrounded. It is used by writers for forming nonce-words sometimes parallel with existing ones built from the verb but having a different meaning, e.g. “a waiter”: 1. a man who takes and executes orders (The Concise Oxford Dictionary); 2. a man who can wait. (John Stainbeck).

She is a waiter – I can see that now and I guess she had at lengthy last grown weary of waiting.

Вона звикла чекати, тепер я це розумію. Але мені здається, що їй нарешті набридло чекати.

The suffix –able, another most productive suffix, is also frequently foregrounded. It is often used in advertising as its lexical meaning has not disappeared, e.g. a hummable record – a record that can be hummed; a filmable novel – a novel that can be filmed.

The lanes were not passable, complained a villager, not even jackassable.

Стіжки ще непролазні, скаржився один селюк, по них не тільки людина, навіть віслюк не пройде.

These coinages are also translated by extension and are equivalent only semantically, not stylistically.


Foregrounding of Compounds. Nonce-words formed by compounding are naturally conspicuous.

He was a born parent-pleaser. (I.Shaw).

У нього був талант подобатися батькам.

Conversion and Foregrounding. Conversion – this typical means of word building in English is often foregrounded.

This mode of word-building is a typical example of compression and at the same time it is a means of achieving expressiveness.

We therefore decided that we would sleep out on fine nights; and hotel it, and inn it and pub it, like respectable folks, when it was wet, or when we felt inclined for a change. (Jerome K. Jerome).

Итак, мы решили, что будем спать по открытым небом только в хорошую погоду, а в дождливые дни или просто для разнообразия станем ночевать в гостиницах, трактирах и постоялых дворах, как порядочные люди.

Conversion is sometimes based on a free combination of words resulting in a compound.

The cat high-tailed away and scrambled over the board fence. (J.Stainbeck).

Кіт відійшов, підняв хвіст угору і стрибнув через паркан.


Again a case of semantic but not of stylistic equivalence.


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