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A Comparative Analysis of Hyper- vs. Super-
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The purpose of this study was to investigate the productivity and to discuss the differences of domain and formality between the prefixes hyper- and super-Hyper- and super- were used because they appear to be synonymous in terms of meaning and definition.

Prior to the specific research work it was expected that super- would mostly occur with informal/everyday words whereas hyper- would be used more within medical and scientific terminology and be more formal.  It was expected that super- would combine more freely with the different word classes whereas hyper- would be formal and limited to selective word classes.

The BNC (British National Corpus) was used to provide quantitative data for each prefix. The method of random sampling was applied to classify domains and word classes.

Three research questions were addressed:

1.  How productive are the prefixes relative to each other?

2. Which word classes do these prefixes combine with?

3.  Are there differences in domain and formality between these two prefixes?

In general terms the findings and results of the study are that super- is more productive in terms of both types and tokens and this is not surprising since the super- terms are used more in non-technical contexts and the significance of it is that this study contributes to our understanding of word formation and productivity and that seemingly synonymous prefixes differ in terms of type and token frequency as well as domain and formality.


Keywords: Prefixes, corpus, word formation, productivity

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Prefixes, corpus, word formation, productivity
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54436OAI: diva2:394113
2011-01-12, 10:25 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-08-18 Created: 2011-02-01 Last updated: 2011-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Thaulow, Louise
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