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Inflection and Derivation

Inflection is a general grammatical process which combines words

and affixes (always suffixes in English) to produce alternative
grammatical forms of words.
Ex. The plural morpheme is an inflectional morpheme. This implies
that the plura form flowers, doesnt represent a lexical item
fundamentallly, different from the singular form, flower, it is
simply an inflectional variant of the same word.
Inflectional affixes: plural -s/ -er/ -est/ irregular and plural ia-im
On the other hand, derivation is a lexical process which actually
forms a new word out of an existing one by the additionof a
derivantional affix to a stem.
Ex. the stem ACTIV + ate = activite
+ ation = activation
+ ely = actively
+ eness = activeness
+ ity = activity
+ ist = activist
Derivation Affixes
Derivational affixes enflish has over 60 common derivational
affixes and there is no theoretical limit to their number. They are
usually divided into class-changing abd class-maintaining.
Class-changing derivational affixes change the word class of the
word to which they are added.
Usually suffixes:
resing (v) + ation = resignation
active (adj) + ist = activist

Class-changing Derivational Affixes

Nominalizers (Noun der. af.)
-age: leak + age = leakage
-ee: refer + ee = referee
-ment:argue + ment = arguement
-ure: depart + ure = departure
-ation: resign + ation = resignation
-ance: disturb + once = disturbance
-dom: free + dom = freedom
Verbalizers ( Verb der. af.)
-en: fright + en = frighten
-fy: glory + fy = glorify
-ize: pressure + ize = pressurize
-ify: pure + ify = pureify
- en: soft + en = soften
-ize: legal + ize = legalize
-en: en + able = enable
-en: en + title = entitle
Adjectivizers: (Adj. Der. Af)
-al: season + al = seasonal
-en: gold + en = golden
-less: care + less = careless
-ish: child + ish = childish
-ent: indepent + ent = indepentent
-ive: creat + ive = creative
Adverbalizers: ( Adv. Der. Af)
-ly: slow + ly = slowly
obvious + ly = obviously

Class-maintaining Der. Af.

Class-maintining der. af. dont change the words class of the word
to which they are added. They are mainly prefixes.
Anti + malaria = antimalaria
green + ish = greenish
scholar + ship = scholarship
re + open = reopen
un + tie = untie
ex + wife = exwife
dis + agree = disagree
Compounding is the largest and therefore the most important
source of new words.
Compound is a lexical unit which which consists of more than one
lexical stem. On the surface, there appear to be two or more
lexemes present but in fact the parts are functioning as a single
item. Which has its own meaning and grammar.
Ex. We have compounds such as bedside, block market, car wash,
flower pot and so on.
Compounds are usually distunguished as syntactic and lexical
Syntactic compounds are formed by regular rules of grammar and
arent listened in a dictionary. Their meaning is easily understood.
Ex. Shoemaker, bookkeeper, washing machine, candlelight.
Lexical compounds usually have a maning which cannot be
understood just from the rules of grammar and they are usually
listened in a dictionary.
Ex. Girlfriend, sweetheart, highlight, ice-cream, crybaby.
Classification of Compounds

Compounds consist of more than one root but different roots need
not belong to the same word class.
Noun Compounds ( any root + noun )
N + N = ash-tray, arm-chair, text-book
V + N = dare-devil, pick-pocket
Adj + N = black-bird, blue-collor
Adv + N = after + thought, black-talk
Verb Compounds
N + V = baby-sit, brain-wash, house-keep
V + V = drive-bomb, drop-kick
Adj + V = dry-clean, sweet-talk
Adv + V = down-grade, over-do
Adjective Compounds
N + Adj = eart-bound, ox-eyed
Adj + Adj = blue-green, south-west
Adv + Adj = near-sighted, off-white
Adverb Compounds
Adv + Adv = in-to, through-out
In addition to inflection, derivation and compounding there are
other word formation process in English.
Converison is a process by which a word belonging to one word
class is transfered to another word class without any change of
form, either in pronounciaton or spelling.
Conversion most often involves a change from one woed class to

another. The major kinds of conversion are:

Ex. A bottle to bottle
to doubt a doubt
wallpaper to wallpaper
Noun to Verb Conversion
The most productive form at conversion in English is noun to verb
conversion. The following list provides examples of verbs
converted from nouns.
Access to access
can to can
e-mail to e-mail
eye to eye
google to google
host to host
Verb to Noun Conversion
Another productive form of conversion in English is verb to noun
To alert alert
to attack attack
to call call
to close close
to cover cover
Other Conversion

to cry cry
to experience - experience
to commmand - command

Converion also occurs akthough less frequently to and from other

grammatical forms.
Adj to verb: green to green (to make enviranmentally friendly)
Preposition to noun: up, down = the ups and downs of life
Conjuction to noun: ho,ho,ho! I love the ho ho ho of christmastime.
Blends / Blending
Blending is the word formation process in which parts of two or

more words combine to create a new word whose meaning is often

a combination of the original words.
Breakfast + lunch = Brunch
Channel + Tunnel = Chunnel
Motor + Hotel = Motel
Helicopter + Airport = Heliport
Slang + language = Slanguage
Clipping involves the type of word information device in which
only part of the stem is retained. The beginning may be retained
as in lab the and as in plane or phone (from aeroplane and
tlephone) the middle part as in "flu" (from fluenza) Very often, the
clipped form completely supplants the original full from.
Ex. zoo from zoological gardens
ad from advertisement
Eponyms are a word from by the word formation process in which
a new word is formed from the name of a real of fictitious person.
Atlas Atlas
boycott Charles Boycott
cardigan /
cereal /
Jacuzzi /
nicotine /
sandwich /
Acronym are a special type of blend or shortening. A typical
acronym takes the first sound from each of several words and
makes a new word from those initial sounds. If the resulting word
is pronounced like any other word it is a true acronyms.

NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration9

NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization )
Alphabetisim / Abrevations
When intialisms are pronounced with the names of the letters of
the alphabet, they may be called alphabetism or abbreviations.
Aphabetic forma are a special kind of shortening characterised by
the omission of the initial syllable as in "scuse me and cause for
excuse me and because." This phenomenon has often resulted in
the introduction of 2 different words in the language as in the
following example.
Fender defander
fence defence
cute accute
Backformation is a process in which shorter word is derived from a
longer one by deleting on imagined affixe.
Editors to edit
accresitation accreditate
television televise
baby sittier babysit
An invention of new terms trade name sof product.
Kleenex aspirin selpak
Sound Imitation
Words or lexemes created through the imitation of sounds certain
items produce.
Cockoo, ping pong, to crack.

Calauing is the word formation process in which a borrow ed word
or phrase is translated from one language to another.
The following common English words are calqued from foreign
Beer Garden Garden
Flea market French