Irregular Word Formation of Lexical Innovations in James Dashner’s The Maze Runner

Dhyani Natasha Kartikasari(1*), Ni Gusti Ayu Roselani(2)

(1) English Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(2) English Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


This study investigates lexical innovations in The maze runner by James Dashner (2010), especially in terms of irregular word-formation techniques. 34 units of lexical innovations were found and classified according to their word classes: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and exclamations. The analysis focuses mainly on the examination of the word-formation processes undergone by the lexical units. The results reveal that four irregular word-formation techniques were used in the coinage of the new lexicon: compounding with left-headedness, compounding with unrecognizable constituent, compounding with irregular combination, and rhyming.


irregular word-formation technique; lexeme; lexical innovation; word-formation

Full Text:

180-193 PDF


Alonso, R. T. (2011). The morphological structure of Old English complex nouns. Atlantis 33(1), 127-146.

Bauer, L. (2008). Les Composés Exocentriques de L’Anglais" [English Exocentric Compound]. In D. Amiot (ed.), La Composition Dans Une Perspective Typologique. Arras: Artois Presses Université.

Bitrus, M. P. (2015). A study of the morphological process in Berom language. Education and Linguistics Research 1(1), 54-66.

Bodle, A. (2016). How new words are born. In The Guardian. Retrieved September 5, 2016, from

Booij, G. E. (2007).The grammar of words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carstairs-McCarthy, A. (2002). An introduction to English morphology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Dashner, J. (2010).The maze runner. New York: Delacorte Press.

Hornby, A.S. (2013). Oxford advanced learners dictionary (8th Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Katamba, F. (2005).English words. London: Routledge.

Levison, M. & Lessard, G. (1995). New words from old: A formalism for word-formation. Computers and the Humanities 29(6), 463-479.

Lieber, R. (2010). Introducing morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ljung, Magnus. (2011). Swearing. 1st ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Long, D. (1996). Formation processes of some Japanese gay argot terms. American Speech 71(2), 215-224.

MacKenzie, I. (2014). Lexical innovation: Cromulently embiggening a language". Alicante Journal of English Studies 27, 91-105.

Mattiello, E. (2008). An introduction to English slang. Milano: Polimetrica.

Owoeye, T. S. (2013). A comparative study of morphologically constructed agent nouns in French and Yoruba. Acta Linguistica: Journal for Theoretical Linguistics 7(2), 15-27.

Partridge, E., Dalzell, T. & Victor, T. (2008). The concise new Partridge dictionary of slang and unconventional English. London: Routledge.

Plag, I. (2003).Word-formation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rus, M. (n.d.). Lexical innovations. Turgu Mures, Romania: Petru Maior University. Retrieved from

Sharifi, L. (2014). A modern word formation process in Middle Persian: Abbreviated forms. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 136, 308-312.

Simonini, Jr., R. C. (1966). Word-making in Present-Day English. English Journal 55(6), 752-757.

Tearle, O. (2013). 20 essential words we got from literature. In The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 5, 2016, from


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 803 | views : 2649


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Dhyani Natasha Kartikasari, Ni Gusti Ayu Roselani

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lexicon Office

English Department
Faculty of Cultural Sciences,
Universitas Gadjah Mada
Soegondo Building, 3rd Floor, Room 306
Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55281
Telephone: +62 274 513096

ISSN: 2746-2668 (Online)

Web Analytics View Stats

Creative Commons License
LEXICON is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lexicon is indexed in


About UsSubmissionIssuePoliciesReview