The coining of novel lexical items and the creative manipulation of existing words and expressions is heavily dependent on contextual factors, including the semantic, stylistic, textual and social environments in which they occur. The twelve specialists contributing to this collection aim to illuminate creativity in word formation with respect to functional discourse roles, but also examine ‘critical creativity’ determined by language policy, as well as diachronic phonetic variation in creatively-coined words. The data, based either on large corpora or smaller hand-collected samples, is drawn from advertising, the daily press, electronic communication, literature, spoken interaction, cartoons, lexical ontologies and style guides. Each study analyses novel formations in relation to their contexts of use and inevitably leads to the crucial question of creativity vs. productivity. By focussing on creative lexical formations at the level of parole, these studies provide insights into morphological theory at the level of langue, and ultimately seek to explain lexical creativity as a function of language use.