Hot answers tagged

13

There was the agent suffix -ter- of PIE. It was used for creation of terms for relatives and for creation of agent nouns. Suffix -ter- was used to create a noun for person whose function or profession was to perform the action (irrespective whether he actually did it) while the o-grade of it -tor- was used to denote a person who just did the action. The ...


10

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. Kari Navajo Verb Prefix Phonology and Young & Morgan The Navajo Language. One can check information from the related language Sekani, and it seems that the ...


9

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. This is rough outline: plural -s: < AS -as 'masc. a-stem nom.-acc. pl.' < PGmc -anz 'acc. pl.' < PIE -(o)ns 'acc. pl.' third person singular -s: &...


7

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.


7

Your analysis is correct - the typical criterion is whether or not the affix/particle seems to act as part of the word it attaches to. When nice phonological demonstrations like vowel harmony aren't available, prosody is the next recourse. If prosody isn't helpful, you're pretty much left with an open question - you have to reason from the rest of the ...


6

Nepida "water-scorpion-like" (apparently coined by Leach in 1818) comes from classical Latin nepa(s), meaning "scorpion" or "crab". The water scorpion or nepa is currently a genus under the family of nepidae, which in turn fall under the infraorder of nepomorpha; according to Wikipedia, it was so named or classified by Linnaeus himself in 1758. Latin nepa ...


5

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 forms but the same etymological root. — Wikipedia Yet another, more strict definition, is: Doublets are cognates within a single language The rest of your ...


5

"Particles" in Japanese are actually a fairly diverse class of words. Some things which are traditionally called particles are suffixes. For instance, the representative plural marker, -tachi is very closely bound to the noun it attaches to--not even core argument case markers like =ga or =o can interrupt it. Other things traditionally called particles, ...


4

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.stackexchange.com/a/407/7


4

Yes. One such word is Russian word вынуть "to take out". Here the вы- is prefix, -ну- is suffix and -ть is ending. The old form of this word was вынять which had the root -ня-, but later the root was re-analyzed as suffix by analogy with other words (сунуть, дунуть).


4

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 or discontinuous morphology, which would include transfixation as well as other processes such as reduplication and morphologically conditioned segmental (e.g., ...


4

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 items let alone constructions with more abstract meanings (like tense or affixes). But the examples you give are examples of polysemy NOT homonymy. You have one ...


4

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 gerunds differently. There are linguists who are agnostic about the inflectional/derivational opposition; others have a continuum with inflection and derivation ...


4

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 (presumably, by spatial analogy), and as a result, ‘continual’ got a distinct sense. If this trajectory is correct, how could the original Latin sources of the ...


4

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 prefix isn't adding any new semantic meaning: it's just changing the part of speech and attaching a reference point to the description. "Hind" is an adjective ...


4

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 are close to zero. They know the word for what it means, not what it used to mean. The word cata-ballein was originally Greek, as the Wiktionary entry points ...


4

In addition to the criteria in Sjiveru's answer, syntactic criteria are also important for distinguishing affixes from adpositions (or determiners, or any other syntactic class whose function might be equivalent to that of affixes; but I'll focus on adpositions here). Affixes attach at the word level, while adpositions attach at the phrase level. If what ...


4

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)yā to make abstract nouns in IE itself (e.g., Gr. phil-ó-s ‘beloved’, phil-ía ’fondness’). The -e (MW -ed) that descended from it was a common way of forming ...


3

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 following is wrong: ✘ le renard rapproche. ✘). The prefixed verb needs the reflexive (that absorbs the internal argument and detransitivizes the verb), This ...


3

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 catch-all POS of 'adverb', but it doesn't behave like any other adverb); -me and -'em are pronouns (as in gimme and got'em) In French me and y are pronoun ...


3

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 then have spread by analogy to nouns that aren't a-stems, too. This is a common type of process; for a close parallel cf. the Greek feminine suffix -ssa, which ...


3

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 verbs. Even in Proto-Indo-European, there is "skeue", pay attention. On the other hand, "eschew" is from proto-Germanic "skeukhwaz", i.e. escape.


3

"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 nouns because they can be subjects. Traditionally, this refers to noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, postposition, conjunction, interjection, ...


2

As pointed out in the etymology you give, "figurine" is ultimately a borrowing from Italian, through French. Therefore, it is in Italian that you'll find the diminutive suffix -in- meaning "little", as shown in the following derivations : gatto - gattino (male cat - kitten) viola - violino (viola - violin) concerto - concertino I highly doubt that this ...


2

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 a derivational suffix does change the part of speech, but adding -ing to a verb to get a gerund leaves you with the same part of speech, since a gerund is a ...


2

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 of the phrase starting with by, but I think they're wrong. My viewpoint would be that it is technically indeterminate in the second sentence. "Excited" passes ...


2

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 many different prefixes and suffixes as necessary to convey a particular meaning. Especially when it comes to verbs, the prefixes can be especially many since ...


1

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) >begin Re-cipio // to take back from (someone's hand) >receive. Con-cipio // >conceive. (con- ?within) De-cipio // >deceive (de- ?away from reality) Retineo /...


1

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 "sporadic"). There are, however, words with a three-fold distinction between collective / singularative / plural, where the collective is the primary form, for ...


1

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 distinction used e.g. in English. This means exactly what you've shown: the collective term for '(a collective of) trees' is the root, and you add the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible