English Vocabulary Today : Into the 21st Century book cover
1st Edition

English Vocabulary Today
Into the 21st Century

ISBN 9780367001766
Published February 1, 2019 by Routledge
192 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $49.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

English Vocabulary Today: Into the 21st Century offers an innovative perspective on the ways in which contemporary English language vocabulary continues to adapt and grow in light of emerging technologies and ideas. The book begins with a concise history of the English language, followed by chapters covering key topics including lexical change, semantic change and word-formation. Additional chapters highlight unique topics not often covered in English language studies, including the mental lexicon, inclusive language and the importing and exporting of words between English and other languages. Chapter discussions are enhanced by dynamic examples from a wide range of varieties of English, including American, British, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, South African and South Asian. Taken together, English Vocabulary Today: Into the 21st Century offers students a clear and comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted nature of English vocabulary today as well as new insights into its continued development.

Table of Contents

Table of contents


1 A brief history

2 The dictionary

2.1 About the size of it

2.2 Part-of-speech

2.3 Set phrases

2.4 Spelling and pronunciation

2.5 Etymology

3 The mental lexicon

3.1 An entry in the mental lexicon

3.2 View of the world

4 Extension

4.1 Metaphor and metonymy

4.2 Verbs and prepositions

5 Change of meaning

5.1 New meanings for old words

5.1.1 Updating of the referent

5.1.2 Application to a new domain

5.1.3 Reinterpretation

5.1.4 Frequency considerations

5.1.5 Point of view

5.1.6 Weakening

5.1.7 Phrase abbreviation

5.2 New words for old meanings

5.2.1 Fashion

5.2.2 Euphemism

5.3 Respelling

5.4 Relics

6 Meaningful relations

6.1 Hyponyms and hypernyms

6.2 Synonyms

6.3 Antonyms

6.4 Homonyms (Homophones and homographs)

6.5 Contronyms

6.6 Retronyms

7 Compounds and blends

7.1 Compounds

7.2 Neo-classical compounds

7.3 Blends

8 Affixes

8.1 Prefixes and suffixes

8.2 Back formation

9 Zero derivation

9.1 Noun to verb

9.2 Noun to adjective

9.3 Verb to noun

9.4 Verb to adjective

9.5 Adjective to noun

9.6 Adjective to verb

9.7 Other conversions

9.8 Proper names to common nouns

10 Shortening, alphabetisms and acronyms

10.1 Shortening or clipping

10.2 Alphabetisms

10.3 Textese

10.4 Acronyms

11 Reduplication

11.1 Plain reduplication

11.2 Reduplication with vowel alternation

11.3 Rhyming reduplication

12 Imports

12.1 Loan-words

12.2 Cultural contact in Europe

12.3 Contact with colonised areas

12.4 Immigration into English-speaking areas

13 Inclusive language

13.1 A changed world

13.2 The discourse of inclusion

13.3 Politically correct English

13.4 Talking about women

13.5 Language and race

13.6 Heterosexism

13.7 Disability

14 When sound echoes sense

14.1 Onomatopoeia

14.2 Vowels

14.3 Consonants

14.4 Sound symbolism

14.5 Names

14.6 Overview

15 A form of words

15.1 Resemblances

15.2 Malapropisms

15.3 Words similar in form and meaning

15.4 Folk etymology

15.5 Avoidance

15.6 Interference

15.7 Word play

16 Allusion

17 Slang

17.1 Slang in general

17.2 The inventiveness of slang

17.3 The attitude of slang

17.4 Is slang ephemeral?

17.5 The local nature of slang

17.6 Slang and jargon

17.7 Argots and ‘secret languages’

17.7.1 Back slang

17.7.2 Rhyming slang

17.7.3 Pig Latin

18 English exported

19 English today

Further reading


View More



Barry J. Blake is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at La Trobe University, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is well known for a range of publications on Australian Aboriginal languages and language in general. His books include Case, Playing with Words, All about Language and Secret Language.