Does -io such words like 'scenario', 'oratorio' is considered to be a suffix or a part of a root?

  • 2
    These words are borrowed from Italian, where it's a normal noun ending. I wouldn't call it a "suffix" without knowing more about Italian morphology; it might well be several suffixes, or a back-formation from another stem.
    – jlawler
    Sep 21, 2022 at 17:36
  • 1
    In what language?
    – Alex B.
    Sep 21, 2022 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


By certain standards, it can be considered to be a suffix (in English). It shows up in a number of words, at greater than chance frequency. If it is a suffix, you expect to be able to find the putative root in other words that don't have that suffix: radio ~ radiation ~ radar; audio ~ auditory; scene ~ scenario; physio ~ physical; mustache ~ mustachio. It has no identifiable semantic contribution, but a lot of (supposed) morphemes of English don't actually have identifiable meaning ("cran-", "per-"), it is not productive (but neither are -ren or -th). The answer to the question whether it can be so considered is "you definitely can". There is not a consensus on a theory that tells us whether we should consider it to be so.

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