Neology in Children’s Contemporary British Literature

Authors: Khlebopasheva Irina (Russian)
Speaker: Khlebopasheva Irina
Topic: Language Socialization
The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2023 Colloquium


In literature, writers have the liberty to deviate from linguistic norms under a principle known as poetic license. Deviation from linguistic norms often implies that writers can take liberties with word formation, thus neology in literary contexts should be addressed specifically. The overwhelming presence of coinages in English modern literature for children implies that lexical innovation is essential to the fantasy-driven world of children’s books. This article analyses the status of literary coinages in the scope of neology and describes the specific context of children’s modern British literature. The terminology of nonce formation is described in this article, as well as two main functions of occasionalisms in the context of children’s literature.The article also offers a typology of nonce formation processes for occasionalisms, with textual analysis, from children’s books written by Matt Haig.

Keywords: Occasionalism, Word formation, Word creation, Literary coinages, Attention-seeking device, Children’s literature.