Theory of Lexical Gaps

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Lexical Gaps

  • The theory of lexical gaps provides a way of seeing likely paths that language change may take in the future
  • The gaps are words and usages that are not currently used in English but that fit the existing linguistic patterns well
  • In the early 20th century the words pap, pip, pop and pup all existed in English in some way or another
  • Pep did not, though it would be logical for it to, since it followed the existing patterns
  • Eventually it did come into existence, as an abbreviation of pepper to describe having a lot…

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