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Classification of Affixes

Classification of Affixes

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CLASSIFICATION OF AFFIXES
Depending on the purpose of research, various classifications of suffixes have been used andsuggested. Suffixes have been classified according to their origin, parts of speech they served to form,their frequency, productivity and other characteristics.Within the parts of speech suffixes have been classified semantically according to lexico-grammaticalgroups and semantic fields, and last but not least, according to the types of stems they are added to.In conformity with our primarily synchronic approach it seems convenient to begin with theclassification according to the part of speech in which the most frequent suffixes of present-day Englishoccur. They will be listed together with words illustrating their possible semantic force.
1
 Noun-forming suffixes:-age
(bondage, breakage, mileage, vicarage);
-ance/-ence
2
 
(assistance, reference);
-ant/-ent
(disinfectant, student);
-dom
(kingdom, freedom, officialdom);
-ее
 
(employee);
-eer
(profiteer);
-er
(writer, type-writer);
-ess
(actress, lioness);
-hood
(manhood);
-ing
(building, meaning, washing);
-ion/-sion/-tion/-ation
(rebellion, tension, creation, explanation);
-ism/-icism
(heroism, criticism);
-ist
(novelist, communist);
-ment
(government, nourishment);
-ness
(tenderness);
-ship
(friendship);
-(i)ty
(sonority).
Adjective-forming suffixes:
-able/-ible/-uble
(unbearable, audible, soluble);
-al
(formal);
-ic
(poetic);
-ical
(ethical);
-ant/-ent
(repentant, dependent);
-ary
 
(revolutionary);
-ate/-ete
(accurate, complete);
-ed/-d
(wooded);
-ful
(delightful);
-an/-ian
(African, Australian);
-ish
(Irish, reddish, childish);
 
-ive
 
(active);
-less
(useless);
-like
 
(lifelike);
-ly
 
(manly);
-ous/-ious
(tremendous, curious);
-some
(tiresome);
-y
 
(cloudy, dressy).
 Numeral-forming suffixes:
-fold
(twofold);
-teen
(fourteen);
-th
(seventh);
-ty
 
(sixty).
Verb-forming suffixes:
-ate
(facilitate);
-er
(glimmer);
-en
(shorten);
-fy/-ify
(terrify, speechify, solidify);
-ise/-ize
 
(equalise);
-ish
(establish).
Adverb-forming suffixes: -
ly
(coldly);
-ward/-wards
(upward,northwards);
-wise
(likewise).
If we change our approach and become interested in the lexico-grammatical meaning the suffixesserve to signalise, we obtain within each part of speech more detailed lexico-grammatical classes or subclasses.
1
It should be noted that diachronic approach would view the problem of morphological analysis differently, for example,in the word
complete
they would look for the traces of the Latin
complet-us.
2
 
Between forms the sign / denotes allomorphs. See § 5.7.
Taking up nouns we can subdivide them into proper and common nouns. Among common nouns weshall distinguish personal names, names of other animate beings, collective nouns, falling into severalminor groups, material nouns, abstract nouns and names of things.Abstract nouns are signalled by the following suffixes:
-age, -ance/ -ence, -ancy/-ency, -dom, -hood,-ing, -ion/-tion/-ation, -ism, -ment, -ness, -ship, -th, -ty.
1
Personal nouns that are emotionally neutral occur with the following suffixes:
-an
{grammarian),
-ant/-ent
(servant, student),
-arian
(vegetarian),
-ее
(examinee),
-er
(porter),
-ician
(musician),
-ist
(linguist),
-ite
(sybarite),
-or
(inspector),
and a few others.Feminine suffixes may be classed as a subgroup of personal noun suffixes. These are few and notfrequent:
-ess
(actress),
-ine
(heroine),
-rix
(testatrix),
-ette
(cosmonette).
The above classification should be accepted with caution. It is true that in a polysemantic word at leastone of the variants will show the class meaning signalled by the affix. There may be other variants,however, whose different meaning will be signalled by a difference in distribution, and these will belongto some other lexico-grammatical class. Cf.
 settlement, translation
denoting a process and its result, or 
beauty
which, when denoting qualities that give pleasure to the eye or to the mind, is an abstract noun, but occurs also as a personal noun denoting a beautiful woman. The word
witness
is more often used inits several personal meanings than (in accordance with its suffix) as an abstract noun meaning ‘evidence’
 
or ‘testimony’. The coincidence of two classes in the semantic structure of some words may be almostregular. Collectivity, for instance, may be signalled by such suffixes as
-dom, -ery-, -hood, -ship. It
must be borne in mind, however, that words with these suffixes are polysemantic and show a regulacorrelation of the abstract noun denoting state and a collective noun denoting a group of persons of whomthis state is characteristic, сf.
knighthood.
Alongside with adding some lexico-grammatical meaning to the stem, certain suffixes charge it withemotional force. They may be derogatory:
-ard
(drunkard),
-ling
(underling);
-ster
(gangster),
-ton
(simpleton),
These seem to be more numerous in English than the suffixes of endearment.Emotionally coloured diminutive suffixes rendering also endearment differ from thederogatory suffixes in that they are used to name not only persons but things as well. This point may beillustrated by the suffix
-y/-ie/-ey
(auntie, cabbie (cabman), daddy),
 but also:
hanky (handkerchief),nightie (night-gown).
Other suffixes that express smallness are
-kin/-kins
(mannikin);
-let
(booklet);
-ock 
(hillock);
-ette
(kitchenette).
The connotation (see p. 47ff) of some diminutive suffixes is not one of endearment but osome outlandish elegance and novelty, particularly in the case of the borrowed suffix
-ette
(kitchenette,launderette, lecturette, maisonette,
etc.).
1
See examples on p. 96. 7
Derivational morphemes affixed before the stem are called prefixes. Prefixes modify the lexicalmeaning of the stem, but in so doing they seldom affect its basic lexico-grammatical component.Therefore both the simple word and its prefixed derivative mostly belong to the same part of speech. The prefix
mis-,
for instance, when added to verbs, conveys the meaning ‘wrongly’, ‘badly’, ‘unfavourably’;it does not suggest any other part of speech but the verb. Compare the following oppositions:
behave
: :
misbehave, calculate
: :
miscalculate, inform : : misinform, lea
: :
mislead, pronounce
: :
mispronounce.
The above oppositions are strictly proportional semantically, i.e. the same relationship betweenelements holds throughout the series. There may be other cases where the semantic relationship isslightly different but the general lexico-grammatical meaning remains, cf.
 giving 
: :
misgiving 
‘foreboding’ or ‘suspicion’;
take
: :
mistake
and
trust 
: :
mistrust.
The semantic effect of a prefix may be termed adverbial because it modifies the idea suggested by thestem for manner, time, place, degree and so on. A few examples will prove the point. It has been alreadyshown that the prefix
mis-
is equivalent to the adverbs
wrongly
and
badly,
therefore by expressingevaluation it modifies the corresponding verbs for manner.
1
The prefixes
 pre-
and
 post-
refer to time andorder, e. g.
historic
::
 pre-historic, pay
::
 prepay, view
::
 preview.
The last word means ‘to view a film or a play before it is submitted to the general public’. Compare also:
 graduate
::
 postgraduate
(about thecourse of study carried on after graduation),
 Impressionism
::
 Post-impressionism.
The latter is so called because it came after Impressionism as a reaction against it. The prefixes
in-, a-, ab-, super-, sub-, trans-
modify the stem for place, e. g.
income, abduct 
‘to carry away’,
 subway, transatlantic.
Several prefixesserve to modify the meaning of the stem for degree and size. The examples are
out-, over- and under-.
The prefix
out-
has already been described (see p. 95). Compare also the modification for degree in suchverbs as
overfeed 
and
undernourish, subordinate.
The group of negative prefixes is so numerous that some scholars even find it convenient to classify prefixes into negative and non-negative ones. The negative ones are:
de-, dis-, in-/im-/il-/ir-, поп-, ип-.
Part of this group has been also more accurately classified as prefixes giving negative, reverse or opposite meaning.
2
The prefix
de-
occurs in many neologisms, such as
decentralise, decontaminate
‘removecontamination from the area or the clothes’,
denazify,
etc.The general idea of negation is expressed by
dis-;
it may mean ‘not’, and be simply negative or ‘thereverse of, ‘asunder’, ‘away’, ‘apart’ and then it is called reversative. Cf.
agree
: :
disagree
‘not to agree’
appear : : disappea
(disappear is the reverse of appear),
appoint 
: :
dis-. appoin
‘to undo theappointment and thus frustrate the expectation’,
disgorge
‘eject as from the throat’,
dishouse
‘throw out,evict’. /
n-
/
1
R. Quirk rails it a pejorative prefix. (See:
Quirk R. et al.
A Grammar of Contemporary English. P. 384.)
2
See:
Vesnik D. and Khidekel S.
Exercises in Modern English Word-building. M., 1964
im-/ir-/il 
have already been discussed, so there is no necessity to dwell upon them.
 Non-
is often used inabstract verbal nouns such as
noninterference, nonsense
or 
non-resistance,
and participles or former  participles like
non-commissioned 
(about an officer in the army below the rank of a commissioned
 
officer),
non-combatant 
(about any one who is connected with the army but is there for some purposeother than fighting, as, for instance, an army surgeon.)
 Non-
used to be restricted to simple unemphatic negation. Beginning with the sixties
non-
indicatesnot so much the opposite of something but rather that something is not real or worthy of the name. E. g.
non-book 
 — is a book published to be purchased rather than to be read,
non-thing 
 — somethinginsignificant and meaningless.The most frequent by far is the prefix
un-;
it should be noted that it may convey two differentmeanings, namely:
1)
Simple negation, when attached to adjective stems or to participles:
happy
: :
unhappy, kind 
: :
unkind, even
: :
uneven.
It is immaterial whether the stem is native or borrowed, as the suffix
un-
readilycombines with both groups. For instance,
uncommon, unimportant,
etc. are hybrids.
2)
The meaning is reversative when
un-
is used with verbal stems. In that case it shows actioncontrary to that of the simple word:
bind :
:
unbind, do
: :
undo, mask 
: :
unmask, pack 
: :
unpack.
A very frequent prefix with a great combining power is
re-
denoting repetition of the action expressed by the stem. It may be prefixed to almost any verb or verbal noun:
rearrange
v,
recast 
v ‘put into newshape’,
reinstate
v ‘to place again in a former position’,
refitment 
n ‘repairs and renewal’,
remarriage
n,etc. There are, it must be remembered, some constraints. Thus, while
reassembled 
or 
revisited 
are usual,
rereceived 
or 
reseen
do not occur at all.The meaning of a prefix is not so completely fused with the meaning of the primary stem as is thecase with suffixes, but retains a certain degree of semantic independence.It will be noted that among the above examples verbs predominate. This is accounted for by the factthat prefixation in English is chiefly characteristic of verbs and words with deverbal stems.The majority of prefixes affect only the lexical meaning of words but there are three important caseswhere prefixes serve to form words belonging to different parts of speech as compared with the originalword.These are in the first place the verb-forming prefixes
be-
and
en-,
which combine functional meaningwith a certain variety of lexical meanings.
1
 
 Be-
forms transitive verbs with adjective, verb and noun stemsand changes intransitive verbs into transitive ones. Examples are:
belittle
v ‘to make little’,
benumb
v ‘tomake numb’,
befriend 
v ‘to treat
1
Historically
be-
is a weakened form of the preposition and adverb
by,
the original meaning was ‘about’. The prefix
en-/em-,
originally Latin, is the doublet of the prefix
in-/im-;
it penetrated into English through French. Many Englishwords in which this prefix is quite readily distinguished were formed not on English soil but borrowed as derivatives, as wasthe case with the verb
enlarge<OFr enlargier.
like a friend’,
becloud 
v
(bedew
v,
befoam
v) ‘to cover with clouds (with dew or with foam)’,
bemadam
v ‘to call madam’,
besiege
v ‘to lay siege on’. Sometimes the lexical meanings are verydifferent; compare, for instance,
bejewel 
v ‘to deck with jewels’ and
behead 
v which has the meaning of ‘to cut the head from’. There are on the whole about six semantic verb-forming varieties and one thatmakes adjectives from noun stems following the pattern
be-
+
noun stem
+
-ed,
as in
benighted,bespectacled,
etc. The pattern is often connected with a contemptuous emotional colouring.The prefix
en-/em-
is now used to form verbs from noun stems with the meaning ‘put (the object)into, or on, something’, as in
embed, engulf, encamp,
and also to form verbs with adjective and nounstems with the meaning ‘to bring into such condition or state’, as in
enable
v,
enslave
v,
encash
v.Sometimes the prefix
en-/em
- has an intensifying function, cf.
enclasp.
The prefix
a-
is the characteristic feature of the words belonging to statives:
aboard, afraid, asleep,awake,
etc.
1
As a prefix forming the words of the category of state a- represents: (1) OE preposition
on,
as
abed,aboard, afoot;
(2) OE preposition
of, from,
as in
anew,
(3) OE prefixes
 ge-
and
 y-
as in
aware.
This prefix has several homonymous morphemes which modify only the lexical meaning of the stem,cf.
arise
v,
amoral 
a.The prefixes
 pre-, post-, non-, anti-,
and some other Romanic and Greek prefixes very productive in present-day English serve to form adjectives retaining at the same time a very clear-cut lexical meaning,e. g.
anti-war, pre-war, post-war, non-party,
etc.From the point of view of etymology affixes are subdivided into two main classes: the native affixesand the borrowed affixes. By native affixes we shall mean those that existed in English in theOld English period or were formed from Old English words. The latter category needs some explanation.The changes a morpheme undergoes in the course of language history may be of very different kinds. A bound form, for instance, may be developed from a free one. This is precisely the case with such English

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