Psycholinguistic aspects of neologization

УДК 81’23

Olena GAPCHENKO, PhD, Associate Prof., Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6458-6248

Psycholinguistic aspects of neologization (pdf)

The article is dedicated to the experimental investigation of the neologisms’ status in the mental lexicon of the person. The main object of the analysis was the associative reactions of the individuals to the new
loanwords, which are often used in mass media speech, gathered during the conduction of the free association experiment. The focus is on the investigation of the neologisms’ semantics, types of associative connections, and features of the functioning of these units from the aspect of psycholinguistics and linguistic and cultural studies. Psycholinguistic aspects of the process of neologizing and strategies to identify the new word’s meaning are observed. An experimental study proves that the
perception of neologisms occurs with the use of universal identification strategies. A new word as a unit of a person’s internal lexicon wants to comprehend new realities that are in constant dynamics, which are a means of access to the individual’s information base and requires comprehensive research. Learning a new word plays an important role in restructuring the connections between the units of the speaker’s lexicon. Its renewal takes place to develop the knowledge of new associative connections, to restructure, to occur the new individual contents, and to fill a single vocabulary with new perceptual-affective contents. Neologisms that are in the final stages of assimilation by the recipient language have more varieties of associative reactions than little-used neologisms stimulus. When analyzing the results of the experiment, a distinction should be made between a neologism of its own and a word that is simply new to the speaker and that has not occurred before in individual speech experience. The analysis of the results of the experiment shows that the objective novelty of neologisms does not always coincide with the subjective novelty of stimuli perceived by informants. The internal form plays a significant role in the perception and understanding of neologisms. All the diverse information carried by a new language unit interacts with a complex system of individual and collective norms and assessments, their frequency and scope of use, and the age of acquisition and is stored with a certain set of strategies.

Keywords: neologism, neology, psycholinguistics, associative experiment, verbal associations, lexicon.