Suffix

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In linguistics. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.

Particularly in the study of Semitic languages, suffixes are called afformatives, as they can alter the form of the words.

In Indo-European studies, a distinction is made between suffixes and endings (see Proto-Indo-European root). Suffixes can carry grammatical information or lexical information.

An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence[1] or a grammatical suffix[2] or ending. Inflection changes the grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category

Derivational suffixes can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation.

Description

A suffix (also called ending) is an affix that is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.

Particularly in Semitic languages, a suffix is called an afformative, as it can alter the form of the words. In Indo-European studies, a distinction is made between suffixes and endings. A word-final segment that is somewhere between a free morpheme, and a bound morpheme is known as a suffixoid[3] or a semi-suffix[4] (e.g., English -like or German -freundlich 'friendly').

Productivity

Suffixes can carry grammatical information (inflectional suffixes) or lexical information (derivational/lexical suffixes). An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence[1] or a grammatical suffix.[2]

Examples

English:

Girls, where the suffix -s marks the plural.
He makes, where suffix -s marks the third person singular present tense.
It closed, where the suffix -ed marks the past tense.

French:

De beaux jours, where the suffix -x marks the plural.
Elle est passablement jolie, where the suffix -e marks the feminine form of the adjective.

German:

mein computer
meines computers – genitive case
meinem computer – dative case
meinen computer – accusative case

Russian:

мой компьютер
моего компьютера – genitive case
моему компьютеру – dative case
мой компьютер – accusative case
за-туш-и-ть свечу – first word has -и suffix, -ть ending (infinitive form); second word with ending -у (accusative case, singular)
добр-о-жела-тельн-ый – добр root, -о- interfix, жела root, -тельн suffix (class-changing, to adjectives), -ый ending

Inflectional suffixes

Inflection changes the grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category. In the example:

I was hoping the cloth wouldn't fade, but it has faded quite a bit.

the suffix -ed inflects the root-word fade to indicate past tense.

Inflectional suffixes do not change the word class of the word after the inflection.[5] Inflectional suffixes in Modern English include:

Derivation

Derivational suffixes can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation.[6] In English, they include

  • -ise/-ize (usually changes nouns into verbs)
  • -fy (usually changes nouns into verbs)
  • -ly (usually changes adjectives into adverbs)
  • -ful (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
  • -able/-ible (usually changes verbs into adjectives)
  • -hood (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
  • -ess (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
  • -ness (usually changes adjectives into nouns)
  • -less (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
  • -ism (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
  • -ment (usually changes verbs into nouns)
  • -ist (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
  • -al (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
  • -ish (usually changes nouns into adjectives/ class-maintaining, with the word class remaining an adjective)
  • -ity (usually changes adjectives into nouns)
  • -tion (usually changes verbs into noun)
  • -logy/-ology (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
  • -ant (usually changes verbs into nouns, often referring to a human agent)
Examples

Synthetic languages

Many synthetic languagesCzech, German, Finnish, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, etc.—use a large number of endings.

References

  1. ^ a b "desinence". The Free Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b Mead, Jonathan. Proceedings of the 11th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Center for the Study of Language (CSLI). ISBN 978-1-881526-12-4.
  3. ^ Kremer, Marion. 1997. Person reference and gender in translation: a contrastive investigation of English and German. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, p. 69, note 11.
  4. ^ Marchand, Hans. 1969. The categories and types of present-day English word-formation: A synchronic-diachronic approach. Munich: Beck, pp. 356 ff.
  5. ^ Jackson and Amvela(2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary- An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p.83
  6. ^ Jackson and Amvela(2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary- An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p.88

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