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Eesti keele sõnavara täiendamise eripära – sõnavõistlused.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages.
2015 (Estonian)In: Eesti Teadusliku Seltsi Rootsis aastaraamat. Annales societatis litterarum Estonicae in Svecia, ISSN 0424-6519, Vol. 15, 163-184 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Specific Means of Vocabulary Enrichment in Estonian: Word-Making Competitions

In the early 1960s the general public in Estonia started participating in the modernisation of the general lexicon of the standard variety of Estonian by sending proposals for neologisms to the printed press and commenting on proposals presented by others. The main forum for this was the cultural weekly Sirp ja Vasar (‘The Hammer and the Sickle’, now renamed Sirp ‘The Sickle’). These activities resulted in almost a thousand neologisms being introduced within the first fifteen years, several of which did develop a life in the general lexicon. In 1972 the neologising movement found a new manifestation in a word-making competion arranged in order to find Estonian equivalents of periphrastic modes of expression, compound words, and recent loanwords, often highly conspicuous. Up to September 2014, nine such competions have been organised. The mode of procedure of the word-making competitions in Estonia is straightforward: the organisers publish a list of words and expression for which they invite the general public to create fitting Estonian equivalents, and a jury consisting of linguists and other professionals judges the proposals received and introduces the prize-winning words in the press. If the jury considers several proposals for the same concept fitting, all such proposals are published. This is done in the convciction that time and “natural selection” will decide the matter by sifting out unfit synonyms. Several dozens of words gained by word-making competitioins are current in contemporary standard Estonian, e.g. kohuke ‘bar of sweetened quark glazed in chocolate’, pardel ‘electric razor’, püksikud ‘briefs’, taidlus ‘amateur performances’, lõimimine ‘integration’, rakkerühm ‘task force’, taristu ‘infrastructure’, kestlik ‘sustainable’, linnakujundus ‘town planning, urban development’, and kohalikud valimised ‘local government (or municipal) elections’. Similar undertakings have been arranged also in Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, from which the Estonian ones differ in being carried out invariably as word-making competitions, and not as public voting between several candidates for new words coined by some language-planning authority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Estniska lärdomssällskapet i Sverige , 2015. Vol. 15, 163-184 p.
Keyword [en]
Estonian, vocabulary enrichment, neologisms, word-making competitions
Keyword [et]
Eesti keel, sõnavara rikastamine, uudissõnad, sõnavõistlused
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Finno-Ugric Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295077OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295077DiVA: diva2:932832
Available from: 2016-06-02 Created: 2016-06-02 Last updated: 2016-06-02

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Raag, Raimo
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