I understand the meaning of "suf-" in "suffix","pre-" in "prefix" but what actually means "kon-" in "konfix"?

Edit: I was studying german linguistic,so I mean "confix" with "Konfix"


As usual with terminology, what the term confix means depends on your theory of morphology. Some linguists used it in the sense of what we now call "circumfix." However, Igor Mel'cuk uses it in the sense of "an affix which neither divides the root not it is divided." In his theory of morphology, there are four types: confix, circumfix, infix, and transfix, see the screenshot below from Mugdan 1990:

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It seems that the term itself was coined by a soviet Arabist N.V. Yushmanov in his 1928 grammar of Arabic. He used it the sense of a circumfix, from Latin confixum "fastened together."

I︠U︡shmanov, N. V. 1928. Grammatika literaturnogo arabskogo iazyka. Pod red. i s predisl. I.Iu. Krachkovskogo. Leningrad.

Eins 2015 writes that in French linguistics confixe means a bound root (referring to Martinet) and then it was introduced to German linguistics (Konfix) in the same sense. This article in Glottopedia confirms this,

cf. "Konfixe sind gebundene lexikalische Morpheme, die also nie als freie Morpheme vorkommen."


The word (which I have never heard before, and appears to be used only by German linguists, not in English), is said in Wiktionary to be derived from Latin 'confingere' " zusammenfügen, zugrunde".

  • you are right it is called in english confix, I'll edit my post immediately – Dragut Jan 1 '16 at 21:06
  • It seems to be pretty rare in English. Apart from Wiktionary, I haven't found the noun "confix" in a dictionary. – Colin Fine Jan 1 '16 at 22:32
  • 2
    'confix' is a normal English linguistics term, tho somewhat rare these days. In my experience the term circumfix is more common for this type of affixation. However, I think that the German linguistics term 'konfix' does not have the same meaning as English 'confix'. – Gaston Ümlaut Jan 1 '16 at 22:55

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