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20 votes
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Why are some Old English suffixes marked with a preceding asterisk?

The first thing to realise here is that that is not Old English. Read the quote carefully: an *-ian verb-forming suffix in Germanic That means the form is Proto-Germanic, rather than Old English. It’...
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10 votes
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What are some of the most prefixing languages?

Athabaskan languages would be the "most prefixing", in (a) being almost or in fact exclusively prefixing and (b) allowing many prefixes (11 positions). Papers on Navaho include this, as well as J. ...
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9 votes
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Are the inflectional endings in English known to have evolved from separate words or do they go too far back into PIE to know?

English is generally regarded as having the following 7 inflectional suffixes. All of them have been suffixes since Proto-Indoeuropean, but most have followed a rather circuitous path along the way. ...
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6 votes
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Deceptive affix changes?

This isn't an example of antonymy, but of accidental similarity. The Latin prefix sub- could be assimilated into sur- before an r. This is not the same as French sur 'over', which is from Latin super.
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5 votes

What is an affix called that is interlocked?

Semitic root-and-pattern morphology can be called transfixation or templatic morphology, but in the morphological literature you're perhaps more likely to find the terms non-concatenative morphology ...
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5 votes

What explains the differences between doublet verbs that differ by a prefix?

These words are called doublets: In etymology, two or more words in the same language are called doublets or etymological twins (or possibly triplets, etc.) when they have different phonological ...
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4 votes
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Where did Irish "-acht" come from?

A quick look at Stair na Gaeilge yields this (in Kim McCone’s chapter An tSean-Gaeilge agus a réamhstair — “Old Irish and its prehistory”)… 21.2 … It can be seen that use is made of the suffix *-(i)...
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4 votes

Is the {-ing} of the gerund a verbal inflectional suffix?

As usual in linguistics, a lot depends on your theory of language. Not everyone has gerunds in their theory (actually most modern syntacticians don't). There are some researchers who understand ...
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4 votes
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Does '-ous' imply no interruption, and '-al' the possibility of interruption?

The substantial discussion on ELU seems to address this: ‘continual’ came first ("without cessation"), then ‘continuous’ arose (“without gaps”), then the latter took over the meaning of the former (...
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4 votes

How did the prefix 'be-' function in 'behind'?

This "be-" prefix (originally bi-) was originally used to create prepositions—compare fore against before, hind against behind, twain against between, low against below, and so on. In essence, the ...
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  • 52k
4 votes

How to learn more about contradictory or superfluous affixes efficiently?

Most users of a language will neither know nor care about an individual word's etymology. The odds that an individual native speaker of French knows that accabler comes from ad- + cata- + ball- + -āre ...
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4 votes

Can words be formed by deriving from just prefix(es) and suffix(es) with no actual root morpheme between?

In Esperanto there are some words of this kind, e.g., malina "male" composed of mal- "negation, opposite of" and -ina "feminine" More examples can be found in this answer: https://esperanto....
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4 votes

In case of Derivational nouns, what is the difference between affix polysemy and affix homonymy?

The difference between polysemy and homonymy is often one of degree or the direction you approach them. They are difficult semantic relationships to fix with certainty even when it comes to lexical ...
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4 votes

What part of speech is a phoneme?

"Part of speech" is usually interpreted as a technical term, referring to a classification of words, based on similarities in syntax, for example "cat, house, bear, truth" are ...
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3 votes

Do affixes and clitics belong to an own part of speech, part of sentence or another category ?

There is no necessary correlation between clitics or affixes and parts of speech. In English 'll is a verb (contraction of will); n't is a negator (contraction of not, traditionally treated in the ...
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3 votes

-anus vs. -inus in (Classical) Latin

I don't have a source for this at hand, but I would assume that the -anus suffix originated in a-stems: that is, the original suffix was -nus, but added to an a-stem it was -a-nus. This -anus would ...
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  • 10.5k
3 votes

What explains the differences between doublet verbs that differ by a prefix?

The prefix often tends to transitivize the verb: while the verb without the prefix can be used intransitively on its own (eg: le renard approche), the prefixed verb cannot by itself (eg: The ...
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3 votes

Do "shew" and "eschew" come from the same root?

No, the two words are not related. There is neither a direct relation nor a negation. "Shew" is an old version of "show" which comes from proto-Germanic "skauwojan", i.e. choose, look at, and other ...
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3 votes

The affixation differentiating between nominal arithmetic and adjectival arithmetic

I've never seen this kind of vowel alternation analyzed as a "simulfix" like that. I would say that it would be preferable to use either of the following analyses: the different ...
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  • 16.6k
2 votes

What are some of the most prefixing languages?

I would vote for Swahili (the fact that it's the only language there that I am intimately familiar with notwithstanding), I can confidently say that almost every word can be conjugated by adding as ...
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  • 51
2 votes

Is the {-ing} of the gerund a verbal inflectional suffix?

The -ing ending of the English gerund is inflectional, since suffixing it does not change the part of speech, and this is generally taken as distinguishing English inflection from derivation. Adding ...
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  • 12.3k
2 votes

verbal or adjectival suffix -ed in the word "excited"

I think "excited" is definitely an adjective in the first sentence, and most likely an adjective in both sentences. It looks like some people have argued that it must be a verb in the second because ...
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  • 16.6k
2 votes

Roots categorization

Your hypothesis is true, partially. Tamil employs agglutinative grammar. Suffixes may be used to mark noun class, number, case, verb tense and other grammatical categories. Wikipedia has a great ...
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  • 164
2 votes
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Roots categorization

Yes, some linguists consider this possible. Here are some such concepts/authors: "roots": Pesetsky, David. 1995.Zero syntax: Experiencers and cascades (CurrentStudies in Linguistics 27). ...
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2 votes

Roots categorization

This is a common issue in Austronesian linguistics where the notion of precategorial (=functionally unspecified) roots is often employed to explain the fact that roots don't have a POS category until ...
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2 votes

The classification of morphemes

• Are the two featured categorizations correct? They do look correct, from my point of view. Unfortunately, you haven't mentioned whose exactly point of view you would like your categorizations to be ...
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1 vote
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Terminology for this kind of affixes

In the Wikipedia article on Aymara they (i.e., the affix -wa and some similar other affixes) are called phrase-final suffixes with the remark that some authors call them sentence-final suffixes.
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1 vote

Do each intensive prefix intensify a verb uniquely and differently from other intensive prefixes?

Not in the least random. Capio = 'I take,' becomes -cipio and teneo becomes -tineo; both have some tidy parallels with English in verb phrases and 'intensives.' In-cipio //to take on (a new task) >...
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  • 246
1 vote

Are there languages that form noun singulars by adding suffixes to plurals, rather than vice versa?

What you say about Arabic is a bit confused. ghurfa / ghuraf is a simple singular / plural situation, the plural being formed by restructuring the consonants of the singular (which is not at all "...
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1 vote
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Are there languages that form noun singulars by adding suffixes to plurals, rather than vice versa?

Yes. Here's my answer to a similar question (What kind of pluralisation system does Welsh use?): Some words in Welsh use a singulative/collective distinction instead of the singular/plural ...
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