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English Suffixes

English Suffixes

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Published by alecsandra88
my final paper work in collage about English suffixes.
Hope it will be usefull
my final paper work in collage about English suffixes.
Hope it will be usefull

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Published by: alecsandra88 on Feb 08, 2010
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1. Suffixation in English1.1 Concepts
The linguistic branch called morphology is the study of the internal structure of words. Its twomajor branches are word-formation and inflection. The process of word-formation represents creatingnew lexemes and falls into two broad categories: derivation and compounding. Derivational morphologyis realized through affixation, which is of two types: prefixation and suffixation. Prefixation is defined asthe process of adding an affix in front of a word base and suffixation, as adding an affix at the end of aword base.The study of word-formation can be defined as the study of the ways in which new complexwords are built on the basis of other words or morphemes (Plag:2002:27). Thus, a derivational word ismade of several morphological units, called morphemes. Morphemes are of two types: bound morphemesand free morphemes. Bound morphemes occur only if attached to some other morphemes, while freemorphemes occur on their own. Suffixes are considered to be always bound morphemes because they cannot occur on their own and are attached to a part of a word called base. A morpheme that realizes the coreof a word and carries the basic meaning from which the rest of the sense of the word can be derived iscalled a root. Also there are units that have already an affix attached and are involved in the formation of new words. Such units are called stems. Therefore, the stem is a root or a root plus an affix to which moreaffixes can be attached. (Stockwell and Minkova: 2001:61, 62)
Suffixation vs. Inflection
Derivation can be sometimes classified as class-maintaining and class-changing. Prefixes aremore independent semantically than suffixes, thus they do not change the morpho-syntactical status of theword they precede. Generally suffixes determine the morpho-syntactic class to which a word belongs, butthere are also a number of suffixes which added to the stem only change the word base in order to respectgrammatical rules. This are called inflectional affixes.
200 : 51)Inflections express paradigmatic relations and they show syntactic relations. Thus, they areconsidered relational markers, showing tense, case, number and person. Usually, they are inserted after the stem and suffix and when a word is analysed inflectional affixes are removed first. Therefore, they areconsidered outer formatives. (Hulban: 2001: 65). So, we have the following pattern and according to it thenext example:1)
 - 2 -
‟s :
 In example 1) the word
is derived from the adjective stem
 plus thederivational suffix
which has changed the morphological class, thus becoming a noun, and theinflectional suffix
” ’s”
which only shows the relation of possession in Genitive case, as in: NelsonMandela fought for the
welfare.Derivational affixes are added to the root or stem to build new words. They are always nearer to
the stem, that‟s way they are considered inner formatives.
And the pattern is:2)
STEM+SUFFIXa. employer>employ+er  b. employee> employ+eeIn example 2) a. and b.
the derivative words “employer” and “employee” came from the addition
of the derivational suffixes
to the word base
. They are class-changing because
they derive nouns from the verb “to employ”. From a semantic point of view,
the first suffix indicates a person who does whatever the verb means:
and, in 2) b. the suffix
indicates a person whoundergoes action indicated by the verb:
.Katamba (1994:47) shows that the main distinction between the two types of suffixes is thatinflectional affixes are used only to create new word forms, i.e. grammatical words, while derivationalaffixes are used to create new lexemes. He concludes that English has not got much inflection, beingessentially an insolating language, as shown in the table 1.Table 1Type Function ExampleVerbal suffixes-s-ing-ed-3
person, singular, present-progressive aspect-past tenseHe studie
 He is study
 He studi
  Nominal suffixes-s -noun plural marker Book 
 Adjectival suffixes-er -est-comparative adjective/adverb-superlative adjective/adverbRich
, lat
, lat
 - 3 -
1.1.3 Word-formation rule
Plag (Plag: 2002:47, 48) states that there is not a strictly word formation rule that can be used toform new words, but with a rule that simply generalizes over the structure of a set of existing complexwords. Such rules are sometimes referred to as redundancy rules or word-structure rules. And hesuggested the next example:example 1) broad+th>bredth ; deep+th>depth; long+th>length; strong+th>strengthThis is a collection of nouns featuring the suffix
, which derives from and adjectival base onabstract noun denoting a state. And Plag (2001: 48) proposes the following word-formation rule: base: [
broad, deep, long, strong]
emantics:”state or property of being X”
 While this pattern is rather clear, the number of forms derived by the rule is very limited. Thus,the attachment of nominal
can be said to be lexically governed.Sometimes
new complex words are derived without an existing word-formation rule, but formedon the basis of a single (or vey few) model words. This process by which these words came into being iscalled analogy which can be defined as proportional relation between words.example 2) thankful> grateful; reading> writing
In example 2) the
complex words “grateful” and “reading” weren‟t formed according to a specific
 word-formation rule by adding a specific suffix to the base, but
coined on the basis of the model words”thankful” and “writing”.
 Quite often, words are analogically derived by deleting a suffix (or supposed suffix), a processcalled back-formation. Example: noun
By deleting the suffix
from the noun
we have obtained the verb
” to edit”
1.1.4 Productivity
Productivity is given by frequency with which an affix is used in a language, and with whichspeakers who try to create new words use it (Hulban: 2001:75). Plag (2002:55) also argues that productivity refers to the property of an affix to be used to coin new complex words. But not all the

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