[Ads-l] query on -s truncation

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 28 21:25:14 UTC 2015

One more reference I forgot to mention (the earliest scholarly
discussion I've seen, from 2010):

Vanessa McCumber, "-s: The latest slang suffix, for reals"
Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle, University of Victoria, Vol
20, No 1 (2010)

The paper covers past uses of the "-s" suffix, including as a clipped
form of the "-sy" hypocoristic. Under "-s suffix 2," OED2 gives the
examples "Babs," "Toots," "ducks," and "moms." (That's relevant to the
discussion of "Babs" for "Barbara" elsethread.)

On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 3:03 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>> On May 27, 2015, at 9:14 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>>> A colleague off-list wonders if anything has been published on the
>>> truncation process described by one of her students, who is working on
>>> them, as
>>> "-s truncation of adjectives and adverbs by younger speakers, yielding
>>> for example 'totes', 'awks', 'adorbs', from 'totally', 'awkward',
>>> 'adorable', etc."
>>> Seems like I vaguely recall something on this but I can't remember
>> what. Anyone?
>> a little bit on on my blog, with references to ADS-L:
>> http://arnoldzwicky.org/2013/12/31/amaze/
> At the 2014 ADS conference in Minneapolis, there was a relevant paper
> by Sravana Reddy, Joy Zhong, and James Stanford, "A Twitter-Based
> Study of Newly Formed Clippings in American English." The paper is
> discussed here:
> http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263096375/researchers-are-totes-studying-how-ppl-shorten-words-on-twitter
> That paper followed up on Kenny Baclawski's 2012 LSA poster
> presentation, "A Frequency-Based Analysis of the Modern -s Register-
> Marking Suffix," summarized here:
> http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/01/24/abbevs-the-like-how-web-words-are-crossing-over
> See also Mark Liberman's Language Log post on a recent paper by Lauren
> Spradlin, "_OMG the Word-Final Alveopalatals are Cray-Cray Prev_: A
> Morphophonological Account of _Totes_ Constructions in English":
> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?cat=24
> A few other items of interest:
> http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2011/10/15/totes-presh/s63iarzfURe4xU1gCzBQjI/story.html
> "Totes presh," Erin McKean, Boston Globe, Oct. 15, 2011
> http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2012/01/20/totes-cray-cray-abbrevs/
> "Totes Cray-Cray Abbrevs," Ben Yagoda, Lingua Franca (Chronicle blog),
> Jan. 20, 2012
> http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=cb579da7-5a9f-43c9-8ae3-df783b7ee47e
> "Why all the cray-cray words?" Elizabeth "Libsies" Withey, Edmonton
> Journal, Dec. 18, 2013

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