A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word.Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, when the prefix un- is added to the word happy, it creates the word unhappy. Particularly in the study of languages, a prefix is also called a preformative, because it alters the form of the words to which it is affixed.
In linguistics, an affix is a morpheme that is attached to a word stem to form a new word or word form. Affixes may be derivational, like English -ness and pre-, or inflectional, like English plural -s and past tense -ed. They are bound morphemes by definition; prefixes and suffixes may be separable affixes. Affixation is the linguistic process that speakers use to form different words by adding morphemes at the beginning (prefixation), the middle (infixation) or the end (suffixation) of words.
In linguistics, a stem is a part of a word. The term is used with slightly different meanings.
Prefixes, like other affixes, can be either inflectional, creating a new form of the word with the same basic meaning and same lexical category (but playing a different role in the sentence), or derivational, creating a new word with a new semantic meaning and sometimes also a different lexical category.Prefixes, like all other affixes, are usually bound morphemes.
In grammar, inflection is the modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, case, voice, aspect, person, number, gender, and mood. It is found in many but not all languages. The inflection of verbs is also called conjugation, and one can refer to the inflection of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, determiners, participles, prepositions, postpositions, numerals, articles etc., as declension.
In traditional grammar, a part of speech is a category of words which have similar grammatical properties. Words that are assigned to the same part of speech generally display similar behavior in terms of syntax—they play similar roles within the grammatical structure of sentences—and sometimes in terms of morphology, in that they undergo inflection for similar properties.
Morphological derivation, in linguistics, is the process of forming a new word from an existing word, often by adding a prefix or suffix, such as -ness or un-. For example, happiness and unhappy derive from the root word happy.
In English, there are no inflectional prefixes; English uses suffixes instead for that purpose.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.
In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case ending, which indicate the grammatical cased of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.
The word prefix is itself made up of the stem fix (meaning "attach", in this case), and the prefix pre- (meaning "before"), both of which are derived from Latin roots.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
A root is a word that does not have a prefix in front of the word or a suffix at the end of the word. The root word is the primary lexical unit of a word, and of a word family, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. Content words in nearly all languages contain, and may consist only of root morphemes. However, sometimes the term "root" is also used to describe the word minus its inflectional endings, but with its lexical endings in place. For example, chatters has the inflectional root or lemma chatter, but the lexical root chat. Inflectional roots are often called stems, and a root in the stricter sense may be thought of as a monomorphemic stem.
In English, a fairly comprehensive list, although not exhaustive, is the following. Depending on precisely how one defines a derivational prefix, some of the neoclassical combining forms may or may not qualify for inclusion in such a list. This list takes the broad view that acro- and auto- count as English derivational prefixes because they function the same way that prefixes such as over- and self- do.
Classical compounds and neoclassical compounds are compound words composed from combining forms derived from classical Latin or ancient Greek roots. New Latin comprises many such words and is a substantial component of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other languages, including international scientific vocabulary. For example, bio- combines with -graphy to form biography.
As for numeral prefixes, only the most common members of that class are included here. There is a large separate table covering them all at Numeral prefix > Table of number prefixes in English.
Numeral or number prefixes are prefixes derived from numerals or occasionally other numbers. In English and other European languages, they are used to coin numerous series of words, such as unicycle – bicycle – tricycle, dyad – triad – decade, biped – quadruped, September – October – November – December, decimal – hexadecimal, sexagenarian – octogenarian, centipede – millipede, etc. There are two principal systems, taken from Latin and Greek, each with several subsystems; in addition, Sanskrit occupies a marginal position. There is also an international set of metric prefixes, which are used in the metric system, and which for the most part are either distorted from the forms below or not based on actual number words.
|a-||"not"||asymmetric , "not symmetric"||a- before consonants, an- before vowels|
|acro-||"high"||acrophobia , "fear of heights" (more)|
|allo-||"other"||allotransplantation , "transplant of tissue from another person" (more)|
|alter-||"at least secondary"||alter ego , "an at least secondary personality" (more)|
|an-||"additional"||anaerobic , "additionally to a multicellular or unicellular organism relating to oxygen"||a- before consonants, an- before vowels|
|ante-||"prior"||antebellum , "before a war"|
|anti-||"opposite"||anti-inflammatory , "against inflammation" (more)|
|auto-||"by oneself or itself"||automobile , "moves itself" (more)|
|bi-||"two"|| bicentennial , "consisting of or occurring every two centuries" |
binomial , "two terms"
|See number prefixes in English|
|co-||"together"||cooperation , "working together"|
|contra-||"below" ; "against"||contraindication , "against indication" (more)|
|counter-||"against"||countermeasure , "action against" (more)|
|de-||"negative, remove"||deactivate , "stop from working"|
|di-||"two"|| diatomic , "two atoms" |
dipole, "two poles"
|See number prefixes in English|
|dis-||"negative, remove"||disappear , "vanish" (more)|
|down-||"down"; "reduce"|| downshift , "shift to a lower gear" |
downregulation , "regulation toward lessened expression" (more)
|dys-||"negative, badly, wrongly"||dysfunction , "bad function" (more)|
|epi-||"upon addition" , "above"||epidural , "outside the dura mater" (more)|
|extra-||"to a greater extent" ; "beyond"||extracellular , "outside a cell" (more)|
|fore-||"before"||foresight , "seeing beforehand" (more)|
|hemi-||"half"||hemisphere , "half of a sphere" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|hexa-||"six"||hexagon , "six-sided polygon" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|hyper-||"beyond"||hypercalcemia , "too much calcium in the blood" (more)||See hyper|
|hypo-||"marginal"; "not enough"||hypokalemia , "not enough potassium in the blood" (more)|
|ig-||"not"|| ignoble , "not noble" |
ignorant , (from roots meaning) "not knowing"
|ig- (before gn- or n-), il- (before l-), im- (before b-, m-, or p-), in- (before most letters), or ir- (before r-)|
|il-||"within" ; "toward" ; "marginal or not"||illegal , "not legal" (more)||ig- (before gn- or n-), il- (before l-), im- (before b-, m-, or p-), in- (before most letters), or ir- (before r-)|
|im-||"within" ; "toward" ; "marginal or not"||imbalance , "lack of balance" (more)||ig- (before gn- or n-), il- (before l-), im- (before b-, m-, or p-), in- (before most letters), or ir- (before r-)|
|in-||"within" ; "toward" ; "marginal or not"||inactive , "not active"|
|infra-||"below"||infrared , "below red on the spectrum" (more)|
|inter-||"between"||interobserver , "between observers" (more)|
|intra-||"within"||intracellular , "inside a cell" (more)|
|ir-||"within" ; "toward" ; "marginal or not"||irregular , "not regular" (more)|
|macro-||"large-scale" ; "exceptionally prominent"||macroeconomics , "workings of entire economies" (more)|
|mal-||"unpleasant", "not"||malocclusion , "bad occlusion" (more)|
|maxi-||"big", "as big as possible"||maxi-single , "single with extras" (more)|
|meso-||"middle"||mesoamerican , "middle of the Americas" (more)|
|meta-||"self-referential"||metadata , "data that provides information about other data" (more)|
|micro-||"small-scale"||micrometer , "small-measurement instrument" (more)|
|mid-||"middle"||midportion , "middle part" (more)|
|mini-||"small"||miniature , "small"; "smaller version" (more)|
|mis-||"bad", "wrong"||misspelling , "incorrect spelling" (more)|
|mono-||"one"||monotheism , "belief in one god" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|multi-||"many", "more than one"||multiplex , "many signals in one circuit" (more)|
|non-||"no", "not"||nonstop , "without stopping" (more)|
|octo-||"eight"||octopus , "eight-footed" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|over-||"excess", "too much"; |
| overexpression , "too much expression" |
overcoat , "outer coat" (more)
|pan-||"all"|| pancytopenia , "low counts across all cell types" |
pan-American, "involving all of the Americas"
|Sometimes "all-" is used, especially in Asian English, where All-Union was a standard translation of the Russian word meaning "pan-USSR" or "USSR-wide", and "All-India" is a similar standard term in India, comparable to words such as national, nationwide, or federal (in the case of federations).|
|para-||"beside"; "beyond"; "related to"; "altered"|| paranormal , "beyond the normal" |
paresthesia , "altered sensation"
paramilitary , "military-like" (more)
|penta-||"five"||pentateuch , "the five books of Moses" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|per-||"through"; "throughout"||percutaneous , "through the skin" (more)|
|peri-||"around"||pericardial , "around the heart" (more)|
|poly-||"many"||polyglot , "many languages" (more)|
|post-||"after"||postoperative , "after surgery" (more)|
|pre-||"before"; "already"||preassembled , "already built" (more)|
|pro-||"on behalf of" ; "before"||pro-science, "in favor of science" (more)|
|proto-||"first"; "primitive"; "precursor"||Proto-Indo-European , "precursor of Indo-European" (more)|
|pseudo-||"false", "specious"||pseudonym , "fake name" (more)|
|quadri-||"four"||quadrilateral , "four-sided" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|quasi-||"somewhat", "resembling"||quasiparticulate, "resembling particles" (more)|
|re-||"again"||reestablish , "establish again" (more)|
|self-||"[acting on or by] oneself"||self-cleaning , "cleans itself" (more)||By normative convention, always hyphenated (except for a few multiprefix compounds such as unselfconscious)|
|semi-||"partial"; "somewhat"; "half"||semiarid , "somewhat arid" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|sub-||"below"||subzero , "below zero" (more)|
|super-||"above"; "more than"; "great"||supermarket , "big market" (more)|
|supra-||"above"||supraorbital, "above the eye sockets" (more)|
|tetra-||"four"||tetravalent , "four valence electrons" (more)||See number prefixes in English|
|trans-||"across"; "connecting"||transatlantic , "across the Atlantic Ocean" (more)|
|tri-||"three"||tripartite , "three parts" (more)|
|ultra-||"beyond"; "extremely"||ultraviolet , "beyond violet on the spectrum" (more)|
|un-||"not"; "remove"; "opposite"||unopened , "not opened" (more)|
|under-||"beneath"; "not enough"||underexposure , "not enough exposure" (more)|
|up-||"up"; "increase"|| upshift , "shift to a higher gear" |
upregulation , "regulation toward increased expression" (more)
|xeno-||"foreign"|| xenophobia , "fear of strangers or foreigners" |
xenotransplantation , "transplant from another species" (more)
The choice between hyphenation or solid styling for prefixes in English is covered at Hyphen > Prefixes and suffixes.
The most commonly used prefix in Japanese, おo-, is used as part of the honorific system of speech. It is a marker for politeness, showing respect for the person or thing it is affixed to.
In the Bantu languages of Africa, which are agglutinating, the noun class is conveyed through prefixes, which is declined and agrees with all of its arguments accordingly.
Verbs in the Navajo language are formed from a word stem and multiple affixes. For example, each verb requires one of four non-syllabic prefixes (∅, ł, d, l) to create a verb theme.
In the Sunwar language of Eastern Nepal, the prefix ma- म is used to create negative verbs. It is the only verbal prefix in the language.
As a part of the formation of nouns, prefixes are less common in Russian than suffixes, but alter the meaning of a word.
In German, derivatives formed with prefixes may be classified in two categories: those used with substantives and adjectives, and those used with verbs.For derivative substantives and adjectives, only two productive prefixes are generally addable to any substantive or adjective as of 1970: un-, which expresses negation (as in ungesund, from gesund), and ur-, which means "original, primitive" in substantives, and has an emphatic function in adjectives. ge-, on the other hand, expresses union or togetherness, and cannot simply be added to any noun or adjective.
Verbal prefixes commonly in use are be-, er-, ent-, ge-, ver-, zer-, and miss- (see also Separable verb).be- expresses strengthening or generalization. ent- expresses negation. ge- indicates the completion of an action, and that's why its most common use has become the forming of the past participle of verbs; ver- has an emphatic function, or it is used to turn a substantive or an adjective into a verb. In some cases, the prefix particle ent- (negation) can be considered the opposite of particle be-, while er- can be considered the opposite of ver-.
The prefix er- usually indicates the successful completion of an action, and sometimes the conclusion means death.With fewer verbs, it indicates the beginning of and action. The prefix er- is also used to form verbs from adjectives (e.g. erkalten is equivalent to kalt werden which means to get cold).
A lexeme is a unit of lexical meaning that exists regardless of the number of inflectional endings it may have or the number of words it may contain. It is a basic abstract unit of meaning. Put more technically, a lexeme is an abstract unit of morphological analysis in linguistics, that roughly corresponds to a set of forms taken by a single word. For example, in English, run, runs, ran and running are forms of the same lexeme, which can be represented as RUN. A related concept is the lemma, which is a particular form of a lexeme that is chosen by convention to represent a canonical form of a lexeme. Lemmas, being a subset of lexemes, are likewise used in dictionaries as the headwords, and other forms of a lexeme are often listed later in the entry if they are not common conjugations of that word.
A morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit in a language. A morpheme is not identical to a word, and the principal difference between the two is that a morpheme may or may not stand alone, whereas a word, by definition, is freestanding. The linguistics field of study dedicated to morphemes is called morphology. When a morpheme stands by itself, it is considered as a root because it has a meaning of its own and when it depends on another morpheme to express an idea, it is an affix because it has a grammatical function. Every word comprises one or more morphemes.
In grammar the term particle has a traditional meaning, as a part of speech that cannot be inflected, and a modern meaning, as a function word associated with another word or phrase to impart meaning.
In grammar, a frequentative form of a word is one that indicates repeated action, but is not to be confused with iterative aspect. The frequentative form can be considered a separate but not completely independent word called a frequentative. The frequentative is no longer productive in English, but still is in some language groups, such as Finno-Ugric, Balto-Slavic, Turkic, etc.
A synthetic language uses inflection or agglutination to express syntactic relationships within a sentence. Inflection is the addition of morphemes to a root word that assigns grammatical property to that word, while agglutination is the combination of two or more morphemes into one word. The information added by morphemes can include indications of a word's grammatical category, such as whether a word is the subject or object in the sentence. Morphology can be either relational or derivational.
Wiyot is an extinct Algic language formerly spoken by the Wiyot of Humboldt Bay, California. The language's last native speaker, Delia Prince, died in 1962.
The Nandi languages, or Kalenjin proper, are a dialect cluster of the Kalenjin branch of the Nilotic language family.
The Georgian language belongs to the Kartvelian family. Georgian grammar is remarkably different from European languages and has many distinct features, such as split ergativity and a polypersonal verb agreement system.
In linguistics, nominalization or nominalisation is the use of a word which is not a noun as a noun, or as the head of a noun phrase, with or without morphological transformation. The term refers, for instance, to the process of producing a noun from another part of speech by adding a derivational affix.
English prefixes are affixes that are added before either simple roots or complex bases consisting of (a) a root and other affixes, (b) multiple roots, or (c) multiple roots and other affixes. Examples of these follow:
This article presents a brief overview of the grammar of the Sotho language and provides links to more detailed articles.
Odia morphology is the identification, analysis and description of the structure of morphemes and other units of meaning in the Odia language. Morphemes are the smallest units of the Odia language that carry and convey a unique meaning and is grammatically appropriate. A morpheme in Odia is the most minuscule meaningful constituent which combines and synthesizes the phonemes into a meaningful expression through its (morpheme's) form & structure. Thus, in essence, the morpheme is a structural combination of phonemes in Odia. In other words, in Odia language, the morpheme is a combination of sounds that possess and convey a meaning. A morpheme is not necessarily a meaningful word in Odia. In Odia, every morpheme is either a base or an affix.
Wandala, also known as Mandara or Mura', is a language in the Chadic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, spoken in Cameroon and Nigeria.
Mekéns (Mekem), or Amniapé, is a nearly extinct Tupian language of the state of Rondônia, in the Amazon region of Brazil.
A content morpheme or contentive morpheme is a root that forms the semantic core of a major class word. Content morphemes have lexical denotations that are not dependent on the context or on other morphemes. For instance, in English, the abstract noun beauty may mean 'pleasing quality'. Adding the causative verbal suffix -fy produces the verb beautify 'to make pleasing'. By adding the suffix -ful, the adjective beautiful is formed. Further adding the adverbializer -ly produces the adverb beautifully. The various functional morphemes surrounding the semantic core are able to modify the use of the root through derivation, but do not alter the lexical denotation of the root as somehow 'pleasing' or 'satisfying'.
|Look up prefix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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