Suffix

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In linguistics, a suffix (sometimes termed postfix) is an affix which 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. 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.

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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.

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 [5] or a grammatical suffix. [6]

Examples

English

Girls—where the suffix -s marks the plurality.
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—where the lack of suffixes is because its case, nominative, is "unmarked"
meines Computers—genitive case
meinem Computer—dative case
meinen Computer—accusative case

Russian

мой компьютер—where the lack of suffixes is because its case, nominative, is "unmarked"
моего компьютера—genitive case
моему компьютеру—dative case
мой компьютер—accusative case
за-туш-и-ть свечу—where first word has -и- suffix, -ть ending (infinitive form); second word with ending -у (accusative case, singular, feminine).
добр-о-жел-а-тель-н-ый —добр- root, -о- interfix, -жел- root, verbal -a- interfix, nominal -тель suffix, adjectival -н- suffix, adjectival -ый ending (nominative case, singular, masculine).

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 participle.

Inflectional suffixes do not change the word class of the word after the inflection. [7] Inflectional suffixes in Modern English include:

Verbs

Nouns

  • -s plural number
  • -en plural number (irregular)

Adjectives and Adverbs

Derivation

Derivational suffixes can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation. [8] In English, they include

Synthetic languages

Many synthetic languagesCzech, German, Finnish, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, etc.—use many endings.

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References

  1. "desinence". The Free Dictionary.
  2. Mead, Jonathan (1993). 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. "desinence". The Free Dictionary.
  6. Mead, Jonathan (1993). Proceedings of the 11th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Center for the Study of Language (CSLI). ISBN   978-1-881526-12-4.
  7. Jackson and Amvela(2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary- An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p.83
  8. Jackson and Amvela(2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary- An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p.88