COMBINATORIAL POSSIBILITIES AND MEANINGS OF THE SPLINTER -stagram (← Instagram) IN NEW ENGLISH LEXICAL BLENDS
The paper aims at investigating the combinatorial possibilities (and preferences, if any) of the final splinter -stagram (extracted from Instagram) as well as its meanings in new English lexical blends, as it is not unusual for this type of formative to develop new senses due to repeated blending with various other (parts of) words. To achieve these aims, a collection of 194 two-member blends whose right-hand element is the splinter -stagram was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. The formal analysis has shown that -stagram can be added both to full words and other splinters, with the former being strongly preferred to the latter. It has also been shown that -stagram has a strong preference for being blended with simplex instead of complex words, which mostly belong to the morphosyntactic class of nouns. The semantic analysis of the collected blends, most of which denote the names of (popular) Instagram hashtags or accounts, has indicated that -stagram retains the meaning of its etymon in the vast majority of the blends, though there is some residue of blends in which it shows a slight semantic variation from the original word.