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N°14 – Blending

Deadline for sending in final versions of papers: October 31st 2019

The e-journal Lexis is planning to publish its 14th issue devoted to “Blending in English” in 2019.

Co-editors: Isabel Balteiro (University of Alicante, Spain) & Laurie Bauer (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand).

Blending in English

The 14th issue of Lexis will be devoted and deal with the mechanism of blending in English, mainly from a synchronic approach, although a diachronic one may also be of interest. A lexical blend is generally defined as a word which cannot be analysed into morphemes (Bauer [1983: 234]; Cannon [1987: 144]), intentionally formed by merging together elements or splinters usually from two source lexical units (sometimes more, e.g. afflufemza < affluence + influenza + feminism (example from Bassac [2012: 169]), or the more recent scinfotainment, < science + information + entertainment). However, despite the recent interest in blending, it is still a somehow poorly understood and underresearched mechanism, often regarded as “irregular” (Connolly [2013: 3]) and/or “marginal”. For these and other reasons, Lexis 14 will aim at exploring the linguistic and even extralinguistic contexts which affect and motivate the creation and success of blends in English.

The 14th issue of Lexis will focus on the following three main areas of research (though scholars with other interests should feel free to enquire about other areas):

The first area of research will focus on what constitutes a blend and the difficulties in distinguishing blends from other mechanisms, including problems posed by fuzzy boundaries. Authors may deal with issues such as:

  • the identification of blending as either word creativity or word-formation. Can the limits of blending be established?

  • the identification of blending as a lexical or a semantic phenomenon or mechanism;

  • whether the differences between blending and clipped compounding (complex clipping), for example, are always clear. What is the most prominent identifying feature, if any, of blends?

The second area of research will basically concentrate on the different types of blends:

  • coordinate blends;

  • headed blends;

  • blends with truncation at the inner edge of the constituent words;

  • blends which do not contain any input word in its entirety.

The third area of research will tackle the purposes and motivations for blending in English. By adopting a corpus-based approach, authors may:

  • address the question of whether blends are created with the aim of designating a new referent or a new concept or to give a new name to an existing referent or concept;

  • explain the different motivations in different contexts and registers for the creation of blends;

  • measure the weight of the semantic, phonological, graphemic and/or formal motivation of blending in English and compare and contrast the importance of meaning versus shape at the time of creating a blend.

The articles are expected to deal with these issues from an applied perspective, mainly via corpora or representative samples of data.

Researchers and scholars are invited to submit papers from the field of lexicology, but also in the fields of sociolinguistics, lexicography, comparative and contrastive linguistics, translation studies, cross-cultural linguistics and corpus linguistics.


Algeo John, 1977, “Blends, a structural and systematic view”, American Speech 52, 47-64.

Arndt-Lappe Sabine & Plag Ingo, 2012, “The role of prosodic structure in the formation of English blends”, English Language and Linguistics 17, 537-563.

Bassac Christian, 2012, “A Combinatory Logic and formal-semantic account of lexical blanding”, in Renner Vincent, Maniez François & Arnaud Pierre J.L., 2012, Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Lexical Blending, Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter, 169-192.

Bat-El Outi, 1996, “Selecting the Best of the Worst: the Grammar of Hebrew Blends”, Phonology 13, 283-328.

Bat-El Outi, 2000, “The grammaticality of ‘extragrammatical’ morphology”, in Doleschal Ursula & Thornton Anna M. (eds.), Extragrammatical and marginal morphology, Munich: LINCOM, 61-81.

Bauer Laurie, 1983, English Word-Formation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Bauer Laurie, Lieber Rochelle & Plag Ingo, 2013, The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Beliaeva Natalia, 2014, “A study of English blends: From structure to meaning and back again”, Word Structure 7, 29-54.

Bertinetto Pier M., 2001, “Blends and syllable structure: A four-fold comparison”, in Lorente Mercè, Alturo Núria, Boix Emili, Lloret Rosa M. & Payrató Lluís (eds.), La gramática i la semántica en l’estudi de la variació, Barcelona: PPU – Universitat de Barcelona, 59-112.

Bryant Margaret M., 1974, “Blends are increasing”, American Speech 49.3/4, 163-184.

Cannon Garland, 1986, “Blends in English word formation”, Linguistics 24.4, 725-753.

Cannon Garland, 2000, “Blending”, in Booij Geert, Lehmann Christian, Mugdan Joachim, in collaboration with Kesselheim W. and Skopeteas S. (eds.),

Morphology. An International Handbook on Inflection and Word-Formation, Volume 1, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 952-956.

Connolly Patrick, 2013, “The innovation and adoption of English lexical blends”, JournaLIPP 2, 1-14.

Devereux Robert, 1984, “Shortenings, blends and acronyms”, Word Ways 17, 210-215.

Gries Stefan Th., 2004, “Isn’t that Fantabulous? How Similarity Motivates Intentional Morphological Blends in English”, in Achard Michel & Kemmer Suzanne (eds.), Language, culture, and mind, Stanford, CA: CSLI, 415-428.

Plag Ingo, 2003, Word-Formation in English, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Renner Vincent, Maniez François & Arnaud Pierre J.L., 2012, Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Lexical Blending, Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter.

How to submit

Please clearly indicate the title of the paper and include an abstract of no more than 5,000 characters as well as a list of relevant key-words and references. All abstract and paper submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed (double-blind peer reviewing) by an international scientific committee composed of specialists in their fields. Papers will be written preferably in English or occasionally in French.

Manuscripts may be rejected, accepted subject to revision, or accepted as such. There is no limit to the number of pages.

Abstracts and articles will be sent via email to


July 20th 2018: call for papers

January 31st 2019: deadline for sending in abstracts to Lexis

March 2019: Evaluation Committee’s decisions notified to authors

June 30th 2019: deadline for sending in papers (Guidelines for submitting articles:

July and August 2019: proofreading of papers by the Evaluation committee

September 1st to October 31st 2019: authors’ corrections

October 31st 2019: deadline for sending in final versions of papers

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