The place of Word Formation in Georgian and German Linguistics based on the linguistic literature analyses

In modern linguistic the concept “for formation” is used by two meanings. There exists a narrow understanding of this notion: “Word Formation is a formation of word on the basis of linguistic material and its help” [Fleischer ... 1995:5]. In this case it is understood, as a part of a scientific discipline – lexicology or grammar (morphology, syntax), which “studies the technique of word formation” [Tuskia, 2004:3]. Georgian Linguists, for example, A. Shanidze, L. Kvachadze unite word formation with general morphology, but the other ones, for example, Arn. Chikobava, V. Topuria, T. Zurabishvili, R. Gabechava and other perceive it as a part of Lexicology. The supporters of these views can be found among the foreign linguists as well, the ones who see word formation as a part of grammar are H. Pauli, B. Baumann, O. Behagel, I. Erben, K. Brickman and the ones who see word formation as a part of Lexicology are V. Schmidt, V. Moch, and other lexicologists. There exists, so to say, a transitional view, according to which word formation explores “Formation of new words, the rules by which they are being produced, and describes certain designs and models according to which they are being formed. Thus, this area stands between other disciplines, on the one hand, between syntax and, on the other hand, morphology and because word formation processes affect on the meaning of the word, it is also related to lexicology" [Kühn, 1994:2].

The different status of word formation can be explained by the fact that although its research objectives are closely related, but there are still very different aspects in it. Word formation “describes the regularities of new word’s formation and new production units, as a relatively small element binding together resulting in the final product, in other words, it sees its research object from the point of syntax" [Schippan, 2002:45].  If we look from this side, word formation has to do a great deal with syntax, but on the other hand, the words that are the result of word formation process is a part of this or that part of speech and to which particular is defined by the full content of the formed word. Therefore, word formation can be regarded as a part of morphology. But if we also take into account that the product of word formation through the lexical process obtains its place in the lexis of the language, the formed new words can be regarded as the research object of lexicology.

Rather important is one environment: Among foreign linguists arise the supporters of the approach, according to which word formation should be regarded as an independent scientific discipline, which has its own sphere and object of research. This view conditions the understanding of word formation as a broad notion, according to which it is not include in the sphere of syntax and lexicology, but is “an independent, comparatively autonomous language level” [Dokulil, 1968:14]. Despite the systematic nature of word formation, because of which it is seen as a research objective of syntax it is notable that “word formation has such constructions, which cannot be explained through syntax. This is historic, idiomatic and lexical character” [Schippan, 2002:108]. Apart from this, it should be noted that “word formation is based on morphological, syntax and semantic rules and the result of word formation needs specific methods of research’’ [Schippan, 2002:108]. 

V. Fleischer and I. Batrz also discuss about the important place of word formation in language system and believe, that it should a boundary be dropped between it and syntax. Although, between word formation and syntax certain similarities can be seem, which is expressed, “the combination of symbols production in word structure is made possible through word formation” [Flesicher..., 1995:1] as it happens in the case of syntax, when the combination of words makes sentences, but between them is one main difference: the great portion of the formed words establish as lexical units and becomes the belonging of lexis, that cannot be said on the sentence. Noteworthy is the environment, that word formation is separated from syntax by the Georgian Linguist B. Pochkua: “Both Inflexion and Word Formation means the changeability of construction…. Difference is that in the first case in a kind of relation are the world constructions and the role of the word in equivalence; in the second case - the change of word construction causes the change of word meaning. In the first (Inflexion) case we have to deal with the different forms of one and the same word, and in the other case (derivation) – with another word. In the first case the paradigmatic characters of the affixes are taken into account, in the second – Syntagmatic [Pokhkua, 1974:14].

It is also interesting that B. Pokhkua does not see word formation in the borers of lexicology. He considers several arguments, which mainly are brought to support the view that word formation is a part of lexicology and as a conclusion gives his own opinion on the issue: “On the one hand, the circumstances, that the semantic groups of words and structural (word formation) groups do not coincide, and on the other hand, the fact that the possibilities of word formation and the formatted words do not come in agreement, - makes us think that word formation cannot be regarded as a part of lexicology” [Pochkhua, 1974:14].

Word Formation, as known, is a possibility and means of creating new nominative units, which is “carried out on the bases of language nominative potential, i.e. using visual naming united in accordance with determined rules [Flesicher…, 1995:2]. But we should not confuse word formation with word creation, “word creation means that words are created through the combination of vowels, which do not yet exist in the language, as carriers of meaning elements. I.e. new root is created” [Fleischer…, 1995:5]. And Word Formation is “Formation of Words is based and is achieved by the help of the existing linguistic material [Fleischer…1995:5].  On the individual character of word formation is seen in the works of S. Kanngießer, differing “grammar creativity” from “grammatical creativity of the word” in the sentence [Kanngießer, 1985:145].

V. Fleischer and I. Barz define word formation from morphology. It means, on the one hand, root of the word and inflected affix and on the other hand, the word the complex components with different degree of stability that are being use during word formation process. Complex structure of Word Formation is characterized by "a kind of Elasticity" [Fleischer...1995:3], for inflexion forms – no. Inflection creates firm, stable system, which has a stable and systematic nature, and which cannot be said about word formation. For example in the case of de-composition (de-composition is the opposite phenomena of composition), which has an occasional nature and is often tied to the text, the compositional structure may diminish. These composites are an example of this: Bring and Take (Hol- und Bringedienste), Anthology (Anto-Logie).

The potential of word formation as an independent linguistic discipline is the case for discussion for L. M. Eichinger, who shows the connections of word formation with morphology, syntax and text linguistics. But he also underlines the equalization of word formation with other language levels: “Word Formation uses morphology inventory for the creation of such units, who have the opportunity to obtain their place in language as perfect elements in the environment of given set of words. Words in this spatial structural point of view are governed by syntax, which, in turn, covers (opinion) expression intentions of the basic structures, such as the theme-rhema structure. In these Syntactic structures of the textual sources the word formation should be involved in such a way not to lose their specific character. This explains the fact how encoding of strategies and the choices are made, which is not much different from that how they are represented on other linguistic levels, but show us the opportunities these sphere (word formation) has" [Eichinger, 2000:56].

While discussing word formation as an independent linguistic discipline it is important to list the issues, which are included in the objectives of word formation:

  1. “Describes the inventory of word formation, makes it classification, and arranges them by their ranks (significance) and productivity;
  2. Describes the rules and models, which may result in the formation of new word formation and fixes the conditions under which they are being either formed or not;
  3. Gives us semantic models for the interpretation of word formation constructions;
  4. Describes the inventory of methods that could be used for the interpretation of word formation constructions;
  5. For the explanation of idiomization, demotivation, and lexicalisation processes uses the method of language history. In addition, to the word formation research sphere belongs the determination of the role of word formation construction in communication and its place of lexical-semantic system” [Schippan, 2002: 110].

As we see, the sphere of research of word formation is quite broad and the issues whose research it is occupied, goes beyond the borders of both lexicology and grammar. This is why we believe it necessary to discuss it as a separate linguistic discipline.

During the discussion of word formation issues it is important to touch the terminological differences, which are detected in Georgian and German linguistic literature. First of all, this concerns the notion itself “word formation”, which differently from German linguists, Georgian linguists use this concept with two meanings: On the one hand, as mentioned above, a part of scientific discipline (lexicology or grammar), but at the same time is discussed as a synonym of one type of word formation- namely derivation. These ideas are being expressed in the works of B. Pochkua and A.Shanidze. B. Pochkua, just like A. Shanidze, uses the concepts “word formation” “creation” and “derivation” with one and the same meaning: “Creation (derivation), as a means of creating words are being opposed by invention (composition)… [A. Shanidze, 1973:147]. We think that is rather important to differentiate these notions on a terminological level.  In such case, on the one hand we will get rid of incomprehensibility in Georgian linguistic and on the other make it easy for the foreigners to deal with Georgian linguistic scientific literature. 

It should be noted that, in the case of derivation a second difference can be detected. In German word formation two kinds of derivation are present: Explicit and Implicit Derivation. Explicit derivation means the creation of the word on the basis of derivation by adding prefix, suffix or their combination (prefix-suffix) [Fleischer...1995:46]. For example Order (Ordn-ung), Unluck (Un-glück), Singing (Ge-sing-e). Implicit derivation means for example, the creation of nouns and verbs from verbs, which is done without affixation by the alliteration of the base [Erben, 1983:27]. The example of implicit derivation is the creation of a noun “Throw” (Wurf) from the verb “to throw” (werfen). Georgian Linguists discuss explicit derivation and implicit derivation as two types of word formation, when German Linguists unite it under the notion of Derivation, because to their mind “Both types are similar, because they both intervene in the morphological structure of basic formation, by which they can be distinguished from conversion” [Fleischer...1995:51]. This can be perfectly seen in the following examples: explicit deviation – “Live” and “Lodge” (wohnen     Wohnung), implicit derivation is - “Go” (gehen   Gang), conversion is – “Run” (laufen      Lauf).  Apart from this German linguists believe that prefix-adding is not a part of derivation and should be considered as a separate type of word formation.  This idea is shared by I. Kühn, who outlines four typos of word formation: composition, derivation, prefix-adding and shortening [Kühn, 1994:24]. The followers of this belief argue that, prefix adding like composition is a type of expansion, because in this case the created word does not change morphological class. For example, after adding the „un” prefix, the adjective “unhealthy” (ungesund) remains an adjective. During suffix-adding, which is a type of transposition, the word may become a belonging of another part of speech or semantic group.    Such an example is Illness (Krankheit), which is created by ill (krank), which is an adjective and is created by adding the suffix „-heit“. But we should bear in mind that in German we have such derivations which changed their morphological class due to prefix-adding. For example we can bring the noun “Pastry” (“Ge-bäck“), which is created by adding “ge-” prefix to the verb “bake” (“backen”). Also if we take into consideration, that in both the case of prefix- and suffix-adding the core part is still the morpheme and infection, and if we also consider Georgian language specifics and the circumstances that in Georgian Language both prefix- and suffix-adding can change the morphological class of the word, it becomes clear, why do most linguists conceive suffix-adding as a part of derivation.

The differences in opinions can be seen in the discussion of one main type of word formation – composition. Composition by Georgian and German linguists is seen as “collection of words with one two or more roots or declensional words” [Topuria, 1979:103]. For example “Rainbow” „Regenbogen”, etc. But differently from German linguistics Georgian Linguistics under the term composition consider re-duplication: Today two types of composites are established: double-rooted (root-repetition, reduplicated) and root-differentiated (various rooted) [Aronia, 2010:8]. Reduplication is regarded as a separate type in German word formation is “words in the morphological-structural component for the production of elemental species by the immediate doubling of the root" [Fleischer…1995:48].  The example of reduplication is “Magpie” (“Kachkachi”), “Disturbances” (Wirrwarr).

Interesting are the differences that are observed in the distribution of word formation of Georgian and German languages.

In contemporary word formation, word formation products of binary and non-binary characteristics are being differentiated. “The variety of binary structured word formation is composition, derivation…. In this case word formation products are being reduced to compiling structures. The variety of non-binary word formation is conversion and shortening. The construction of word formation through regression, confluence and reduplication subordinates to analysis of the component parts” [Flesicher…2012:83]. Our aim is to define the most important and effective type of word formation in Georgian and German languages.

“In German Composition… is the most important type of word formation” [Elsen, 2004:23]. “Derivation is a second important type of word formation in German” [Elsen, 2004:29]. Conversion and shortening lag behind these two types [Naumann, 2000: 42].

Composition is mainly permitted in nouns. Derivation is equally characteristic for nouns and adjectives, although for “Modern German Language by means of “suffix-adding” many occasional adjectives are being produced. As it is seen, derivation is characteristic for adjectives” [Naumann, 2000: 42]. As examples of Suffix-adding we can consider “learning able” (lern-fähig) and “important” (bedeutungs-voll), etc.  As with verbs, their formation is mainly done by the help of prefixes. Here the lack of suffixes the use of prefix-adding and conversion intensity is compensated [Fleischer… 2012:86].

The different condition is in Georgian language. Here on the first place of productivity is inflection, which is being followed by composition: Different types of creation are known: inflection, composition, reduplication, inner flexion, etc. Out of these inflection and composition are the most important [Topuria, 1979:103]. Noteworthy is the condition that in Georgian language along with prefix- and suffix-adding, we have the cases of both prefix-suffix adding resulting in the combinative derivation. “By this Georgian language differentiates from other language systems, where word formation is done mainly by suffixes [Topuria, 1979:103]. German is also a part of such languages. This combinative derivation “Three parts of speech (meaning noun, adjectives and verbs) are rarely used together.   [Fleischer…2012:86]. It is mainly represented through nouns: circular fixes are only used during noun formation” [Naumann, 2000:52].

About Implicit Derivation, or inner inflection, can be said that German language historically is connected with ablaut and umlaut, which was actively used for word formation, although nowadays it is rather unproductive [Flesicher…1995:51. The same condition is in the Georgian language, as research shows, ablaut in Georgian language “is a much broad event – alrenation – variety“ [Arabuli, 2001:102] and alternation is used by the function of word formation: “The interrelation of oldest lexeme clearly shows the alternative mechanism of roots, which means the semantic differentiation process of common genesis roots [Arabuli, 2001:98].

As for the other varieties of word formation – conversion, shortening, creation, regression, contamination, they are less active in German as well as Georgian language.

The spread of different types of word formation in German and Georgian languages ​​are due to the fact, in our opinion, the grammatical differences between these languages, which is caused by their connection with a variety of morphological types. Georgian language, as it is known, is the language of mixed type. It has signs of agglutinative as well as inflection language. German Language is in the group of inflection languages. Agglutinative languages have a multiplicity of affixes, when inflection languages by the potential of word formation.

As a conclusion it could be said that, word formation should be regarded as a separate scientific discipline, which according to its research sphere and objective is connected with other linguistic disciplines (lexicology, grammar, text linguistic, etc.),  but at the same time, shows the potential of broadening and becoming an independent discipline. 


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