Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 March 2021
This chapter gives an introductory overview of the strategies for forming words in the languages of mainland Southeast Asia. The chapter begins with a discussion of the form class distinctions that are found, including the categories of noun, verb, adjective, adposition, and adverb. Of the various processes for forming words, the chapter focuses on compounding and reduplication, which are relied upon widely in languages of the area, and affixation, which is a speciality of Austroasiatic languages in particular. The chapter features a section on the uses of tone in word formation, a feature of Hmong-Mien languages. Psycho-collocations are discussed: an area-wide form of compounding involving the mention of body parts to denote emotional and psychological states.