metanalysis
Definition - A language-change process caused by the reinterpreting of word boundaries.

Example -
The Middle English a naddre evolved into the Modern English an adder.

Etymology -
The word was coined by the linguist Otto Jespersen who combined the Greek meta, across, with analusis, loosening up.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1914:
"I have ventured to coin the word ‘metanalysis’ for the phenomenon frequent in all languages that words or word-groups are by a new generation analyzed differently from the analysis of a former age."
(O. Jespersen, Modern English Grammar, II. v. 141,)



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