Blending as a Word-Formation Process

A Comparative Analysis of Blends in English and French


  • Tina Grlj



blends, blend words, portmanteau words, blending, amalgamation, word-formation processes, splinter


Although there are several ways of creating new words, the article investigates the morphological process that is referred to as lexical blending. Even if this minor word-formation process is increasingly popular, it is still not clearly defined and limited. This process is present in many languages, and is clear proof of how inventive a language can be.

The first part of the article presents an examination of defining characteristics of blending and blend words according to different authors. The second part of the article is of a practical nature. Some of the key characteristics of blends discussed in the first part are tested on the basis of a corpus, which was compiled specifically for this purpose and contains 458 English and 396 French blends. Blends from each language are analysed separately in order to reveal any major discrepancies between English and French. The focal points of the analysis are the lexical categories of blends and of the source words entering each blend, the presence or absence of shortening of source words, the type of shortening of source words, the structural patterns of blends, the presence or absence of overlap between the source words, the type of overlap and the frequency of infixation. These parameters are corroborated by the statistical analysis of the corpus in order to reveal any prominent structural patterns in both languages. Additionally, some of these points of analysis are compared to the findings presented by Vincent Renner in “French and English lexical blends in contrast” (2018). His study includes 97 French and 374 English blends from two corresponding dictionaries in both languages, namely the Grand Robert de la langue française and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.


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How to Cite

Grlj, T. (2022). Blending as a Word-Formation Process: A Comparative Analysis of Blends in English and French. Journal for Foreign Languages, 14(1), 85–106.