Formation of the word “antidisestablishmentarianism”

Volume 3, Number 2, 2018, P. 14–18


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The article presents the results of the etymological and morphological study of the noun of the modern English language antidisestablishmentarianism. Diachronic analysis made it possible to discover the original internal form of the noun, to identify its initial meaning, and to trace the process of semantic evolution. The modern dictionaries define antidisestablishmentarianism as follows: the movement for the preservation of the Anglican Church, a church of England official status in the UK in the nineteenth century; recognition as useless (for example, negative attitude to education, various public institutions and so on). The mechanism of the formation of this word is analyzed in the chronological order; it has the following structure: establish > disestablish > disestablishment > antidisestablishment > antidisestablishmentarians > antidisestablishmentarianism. The analysis of the factual material makes it possible to conclude that the noun antidisestablishmentarianism is a compound word formed in the English language by adding variable morphemes: antidisestablishmentarianism < anti- + dis- + establish + -ment + -arian + -ism. It is established that the formation of the substance antidisestablishmentarianism was influenced by different kinds of historical and political events that took place in the UK over different periods of time. The study states that the nominative antidisestablishmentarianism is the longest word in the English language found in the major English language dictionaries. Currently, this word is uncommon in its meaning.


morphology, morpheme, word formation, etymology, etymological dictionary, suffix, prefix, definition


Pauline V. Gutorova, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages Department No 1 for Engineering Fields of Study, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia

For citation:

Gutorova P.V. Formation of the word “antidisestablishmentarianism” in English. Social Competence. 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 14–18. (In Russian).


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