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I like suffixes and prefixes. I am wondering if I can use new nonlexical words such as:

  • Javasmith (-smith)
  • Javamaniac (-maniac) (just like shoemania!!)
  • Javaster (-ster)

The main word is "Java" : a programming language. What would you call these kinds of words?

By nonlexical, I mean a word or term that you cannot find in the lexicon, for example, SOHO, NOHO (neighborhoods in Manhattan, NY).

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You can, but you have to pay the mint a fee to coin each one. :-) –  John Lawler Sep 10 '12 at 23:44
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Of course you can - I 'understand' them all. Perhaps you could call them "neologisms" (though that might be granting them a little more of a status than they have). –  Billy Sep 11 '12 at 0:44
    
neologisms, as @Billy says, or coinages, for less dignity, or just new words. Or you could make up your own. According to Google, grindleflack hasn't been used yet. –  StoneyB Sep 11 '12 at 2:42
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2 Answers

Yes, of course, in principle people coin new words all the time.

(The word "nonlexical" isn't usually used to describe these: a "non-lexical" feature/category etc is usually one that, depending on your exact analysis, is in some way "functional" or "encoded in structure" or "not encoded in the lexicon".)

However, new coinages are usually created on analogy with existing words. So, for example, you might find that many native speakers think "Javaholic" sounds better than "Javamaniac", because there are various words ending in -aholic. Or they might find that "Javaster" sounds weird because the "-ster" suffix tends to be added to words ending in a consonant.

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New and experimental terms mostly originate within their context and if they catch on, maybe, get picked up for wider general use, eventually making way into dictionaries with a little luck.

It's an evolutionary process.

Language is a living creature -- growth and morphology being but natural to it.

Just make sure the terms follow the general rules and conventions and have a nice ring to them so they get picked up.

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