Affixation in English and Vietnamese Running head: affixation in english and vietnamese



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Running head: AFFIXATION IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE

Affixation in English and Vietnamese – A Contrastive Analysis

Phan Gia Bao

University of Pedagogy

Abstract

A purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols is defined as language (Sapir, Language, P.7). Therefore, every language itself provides attentive learners with a wide knowledge of the primary function, social nature as well as the important characteristic which is the system of symbols consisting of different levels from sound systems to meaning, such as phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Only the unity of these four systems can form what is so-called language. Correspondingly, with a purpose of researching on this field that is to bring you, Vietnamese learners of English, an in- depth look at how minimal meaningful English morphemes can be used again and again as building blocks to form different words and some relevance to the constitution of Vietnamese words, I hope this can be a useful material for you to approach English reading comprehension and bilingual translation work from a more efficient and interesting angle.

Literary review

According to Eugene A Nida, “morphemes are the minimal meaningful units which may constitute words or parts of words” (Nida, 1946:1) and are defined as units of semantic content or grammatical function. Morphemes are of two kinds: free morphemes, ones that can be uttered alone with meaning and bound morphemes, ones that cannot be uttered alone with meaning. Based on this definition, affixes are defined as bound morphemes because they occur before or behind roots or cores of all words and somewhat modify the basic meaning of the roots.

e.g. Verb + - able  Adj: enjoy + - able

Verb + - er  Noun: wait + - er, act + - or

un + Adj  Adj: un + - productive, un + - easy

Adj + - en  Verb: deep + - en, thick + - en

Besides, like bound morphemes, affixes may also be derivational or inflectional, which means that affixes can create new words by deriving new words from other words or making minor grammatical changes necessary for agreement with other words without changing meanings or parts of words. From that point, affixation is assumed as the linguistic process speakers use to form new words by adding bound morphemes at the beginning, the middle or the end of words. Correlatively, affixes are divided into prefixes, suffixes, infixes, suprafixes or suprasegmental and so on.

Some categories of affixes:



Prefix

un-do

prefix -stem

Appears at the front of a stem

Suffix

look-ing

stem-suffix

Appears at the back of a stem

Infix

Minne‹flippin'›sota

st-infix-em

Appears within a stem — common in Borneo-Philippines languages

Circumfix

a-scatter-ed

circumfix-stem-circumfix

One portion appears at the front of a stem, and the other at the rear

Interfix

speed-o-meter

stema-interfix-stemb

Links two stems together in a compound

Duplifix

teeny-weeny

stem-duplifix

Incorporates a reduplicated portion of a stem
(may occur in front, at the rear, or within the stem)

Transfix

Maltese: k-i-t-e-b = “he wrote”

(compare root ktb = “write”)



s-transfix-te-transfix›m

A discontinuous affix that interleaves within a discontinuous stem

Simulfix

mouse → mice




Changes a segment of a stem

Suprafix

produce (noun)
produce (verb)




Changes a suprasegmental phoneme of a stem

Disfix

Alabama: tipli = “break up”
(compare root tipasli = “break”)

stm

The elision of a portion of a stem

Those kinds of affixes are categorized, depending on their position with reference to the stem. In general, there are three types of affixes:

- Positional categories of affixes. In this category, prefix and suffix are extremely common whereas the other terms are uncommon as they are not important in European languages.

- Lexical affixes or semantic affixes. These are relatively rare bound elements that appear as affixes. In other words, they are similar to word roots/stems in function but similar to affixes in form. Although similar to incorporated nouns, lexical affixes differ in that they never occur as freestanding nouns, i.e. they always appear as affixes.

- Orthographic affixes. Here, the terms for affixes may be used for the smaller elements of conjunct characters. These are called prefixes, superfixes, postfixes, and subfixes according to their position to the left, on top, to the right, or at the bottom of the main glyph. A small glyph placed inside another is called an infix. For example, the Tibetan alphabet uses prefix, suffix, superfix, and subfix consonant letters.

Affixation in English

English prefixes are bound morphemes providing lexical meaning and added before either simple roots or complex bases consisting of a root and other affixes, multiple roots, or multiple roots and other affixes.

e.g. undo = prefix un- + root do

untouchable = prefix un- + root touch + suffix -able

non-childproof = prefix non- + root child + root proof

non-childproofable = prefix non- + root child + root proof + suffix -able

English words may consist of multiple prefixes: anti-pseudo-classicism (containing an anti- prefix and a pseudo- prefix). In English, all prefixes are derivational. This contrasts with English suffixes, which may be either derivational or inflectional. That is why many English prefixes can only be added to bases of particular lexical categories. For example, the prefix re- meaning “again, back” is only added to verb bases as in rebuild, reuse, resell, re-evaluate, resettle. It cannot be added to bases of other lexical categories. These restrictions can be used to distinguish between identical-sounding prefixes. For instance, there are two different un- prefixes in English: one meaning “not, opposite of”, the other meaning “reverse action, deprive of, release from”. The first prefix un- “not” is attached to adjective and participle bases while the second prefix un- "reverse action" is attached to either verb or noun bases. Thus, English can have two words that are pronounced and spelled the same and have the same lexical category but have different meanings, different prefixes, a different internal morphological structure, and different internal bases that the prefixes are attached to:

unlockable = [ un [ [ lock ]verb able ]adj ]adj = “not able to be locked”

unlockable = [ [ un [ lock ]verb ]verb able ]adj = “able to be unlocked”

Only certain verbs or nouns can be used to form a new verb having the opposite meaning. In particular, using verbs describing an irreversible action produces words often considered nonsense, e.g. unkill, unspend, unlose, unring. These words may nevertheless be in occasional use for humorous or other effect.

Unlike derivational suffixes, English prefixes typically do not change the lexical category of the base. Thus, the word do consisting of a single morpheme is a verb as is the word redo, which consists of the prefix re- and the base root do. However, there are a few prefixes in English that are class-changing in that the word. The reason is that the prefix belongs to a lexical category that is different from the lexical category of the base. Examples of this type include a-, be-, and en-. a- typically creates adjectives from noun and verb bases: blaze (noun/verb)  ablaze (adj). The relatively unproductive be- creates transitive verbs from noun bases: witch (noun)  bewitch (verb). en- creates transitive verbs from noun bases: slave (noun)  enslave (verb)

Several English words are easily analyzed as a combination of a dependent affix and an independent base, such as in the words boy-hood or un-just. Following Marchand (1969), these types of words are referred to as words formed by native word-formation processes.

Other words in English are formed by foreign word-formation processes, particularly Greek and Latin word-formation processes. These word types are often known as neo-classical or neo-Latin words. Words of this nature are borrowed from either Greek or Latin or have been newly coined based upon Greek and Latin word-formation processes. On these days, however, some foreign elements have become a part of productive English word-formation processes. An example of such a now native English prefix is co- as in co-worker, which is ultimately derived from the Latin prefix com- (with its allomorphs co-, con-, col-, and cor-).

Affixation in Vietnamese



Before discussing affixation in Vietnamese, we should mention the characteristics of its morphemes. The noticeable feature of Vietnamese morphemes is that there is no difference between them and the syllables. Almost every morphemes in Vietnamese is considered as “forms of syllables”, e.g. nhà, ăn , ở, người, về, e, u, etc. The number of morphemes containing two or three syllables is very low and they have exotic origin, e.g. xà phòng, ô tô, etc. In Vietnamese, there are many morphemes that also function as potential monosyllables meanwhile, unlike inflectional languages, the pattern of morpheme form for polysyllables is a compounding one. Accordingly, it is easier to recognize a monosyllable than a word. This difference reflects contradictory characteristics of the so-called morpheme in both languages. Besides, we can find that there are more morphemes defined as single words in Vietnamese than in English in terms of speech articulation. The definition of morpheme is quite general as well as universal. It is, however, proposed in a particular way, based on the characteristics of word formation and distribution of linguistic units ruled by each language. Most Vietnamese morphemes are defined owing to word sense which may be meaningful or meaningless. While articulating morphemes, we can see some function as parts of words though the others are morphemes of collocation. The first group is very common in English. The second one is usually found in Vietnamese, e.g. nhà, đất, nước, sự, cuộc, diễn, đã, đang, sẽ, về, etc. Back to the term affixation, as discussed above, we can prove that affixation still exists in Vietnamese although it is limited. Only prefixation and suffixation are attested. A few affixes are used along with reduplication. Many affixes come from the Sino-Vietnamese and learned part of the lexicon. Here are some examples,

Prefixes

Prefix

Gloss

Examples

bán-

"half"

bán nguyệt "semicircular, semi-monthly" (bán- + -nguyệt "moon"),
bán đảo "peninsula" (bán- + đảo "island")

khả-

"ability"

khả kính "respectable" (khả- + kính "to respect"),
khả quan "satisfactory" (khả- + quan "to behold")

lão-

familiar (added to surnames)

lão Thinh "old” Thinh, good old Thinh" (lão- + Thinh surname)

phản-

"counter to, against"

phản cách mạng "counter-revolutionary" (phản- + cách mạng "revolution"),
phản chiến "anti-war" (phản- + -chiến "to fight")

phi-

"not"

phi nghĩa "unethical" (phi- + nghĩa "righteousness"),
phi chính phủ "non-governmental" (phi- + chính phủ "government")

siêu-

"above, better"

siêu thị "supermarket" (siêu- + thị "market"),
siêu đẳng "outstanding" (siêu- + đẳng "level")

tăng-

"over, high"

tăng a xit "hyperacidity" (tăng- + a xit "acid"),
tăng can xi "hypercalcernia" (tăng- + can xi "calcium")

thứ-

ordinal (added to numerals)

thứ mười "tenth" (thứ- + mười "ten"),
thứ bốn mươi ba "forty-third" (thứ- + bốn mươi ba "forty-three")



Suffixes

Suffix

Gloss

Examples

-gia

"profession"

chính trị gia "politician" (chính trị "politics" + -gia),
khoa học gia "scientist" (khoa học "science" + -gia)

-giả

agentive

tác giả "author" (tác "to create" + -giả),
học giả "scholar" (học "to learn" + -giả)

-hóa

forms causative verb

a xít hóa "to acidify" (a xit "acid" + -hóa),
mỹ hóa "to americanize" (Mỹ "USA" + -hóa)

-học

"field of study"

ngôn ngữ học "linguistics" (ngôn ngữ "language" + -học),
động vật học "zoology" (động vật "animal" + -học)

-kế

"measuring device"

nhiệt kế "thermometer" (nhiệt- "warm" + -kế),
áp kế "manometer" (áp "get close, approach" + -kế)

-khoa

"field of study"

nha khoa "dentistry" (nha- "tooth" + -khoa),
dược khoa "pharmacy" (dược- "drug" + -khoa)

-sĩ

"expert"

hoạ sĩ "artist" (hoạ "to draw" + -sĩ),
văn sĩ "writer" (văn "literature" + -sĩ)

-sư

"master"

giáo sư "professor" (giáo "to teach" + -sư),
luật sư "lawyer" (luật "law" + -sư)

-viên

agentive

quan sát viên "observer" (quan sát "to observe" + -viên),
phối trí viên "coordinator" (phối trí "to coordinate" + -viên)

A contrastive analysis of affixation in English and Vietnamese

As we all know, English is an inflectional language categorized into the group of analytic ones, which means English word formation becomes less fusional and it is added manner of syncategoremantic words, word order, etc. On the contrast, Vietnamese is defined as an isolating language so it has no inflectional phenomenon, but only the roots. In terms of word formation, thus, we can easily find that there is a similarity between English and Vietnamese that is about manner of syncategoremantic words and word order.

In his presenting the components that constitute words, Professor Nguyễn Thiện Giáp gives the concept of semi-affixes, which is defined as “the factors that do not completely lose their own sense of things, but have the nature of an affix and are found repeatedly in many words. The basic criteria of semi-affixes is their auxiliary nature, reflected in the characteristics of the meaning, distribution and function. While completing the function of forming words, they retain the relationship of meaning and form with independent roots so they do not really change into affixes” (Dẫn luận ngôn ngữ học. Giáo dục Publishing House, 1998, P.67). When Vietnamese is brought into comparison, Professor Giáp states that the factors, like viên, giả, sĩ, hóa and so on, also have the nature of a semi-affix (sđl, P.68). For this reason, morphemes which have grammatical values and Chinese-Vietnamese origin, but full independence are the ones that have the nature of semi-affixes. Here are some examples:

e.g. - sĩ : nghệ sĩ, hoạ sĩ, nhạc sĩ, viện sĩ, nha sĩ


- học : dân tộc học, tâm lí học, xã hội học, sinh học
tiền - : tiền đề, tiền lệ, tiền sử, tiền tố, tiền nhiệm
bất - : bất biến, bất cẩn, bất chính, bất công, bất định, bất nhân, bất nghĩa, bất ngờ

From these example, we can see that each word is constituted of two factors: one contains meaning of the whole word and the other has a tendency toward grammatical meaning. Here, the second factor is considered as the morphemes that have the properties of semi-affixes. Putting this into comparison with some English equivalences, we find that there is certain correspondence between Vietnamese "semi-affixes" with English affixes about the role of forming words.

e.g. artist, painter, musician, academician, dentist
ethnology, psychology, sociology, biology
premise, precedent, prehistoric, prefix, predecessor
invariable, careless, illegal, injustice, indeterminate, ungrateful, unexpected

Therefore, it is clear that there was a correspondence in the role of forming words between Vietnamese "semi-affixes" and English affixes. However, it is not an entirely one-to-one correspondence, which means not every Vietnamese "semi-affix" has an English suffix as an equivalence. For example, sĩ in Vietnamese has its equivalences which are -ist,-er,-an, etc. in English or bất in Vietnamese has its English equivalences like in-, -less, il-, un- and so on. Conversely, suffix -er in English which functions as a constituent of word formation, such as -er in painter, teacher, worker, driver, etc. has the "semi-affixes" Vietnamese like -sĩ (hoạ sĩ), -viên (giáo viên), -nhân (công nhân), etc. as its equivalences. We easily find a similarity between English and Vietnamese in word formation, which is that they follow a formula of constituting words, root+affix/semi-affix. However, the frequency of use and properties of this formula change in different languages. In English, this formula becomes very common because English belongs to inflectional group.

Although there is no one-to-one correspondence as what we have discussed in the way of forming words, there are still some specific morphemes as language equivalences in semantic category. For example,

a. Category of negation

In English,

dis- : dishonest, disorganize, dislike, disappear, disadvantage


il (+l)- : illegal, illiberal
im (+m or p)- : imposible, impolite
in- : indirect, invisible, injustice
ir (+r)- : irregular, irrelevant
non- : non-alcohobic, non-stop, non-profit
un- : uncomfortable, unusual, undated, uncertain, unpack, unzip
-less : hopeless, powerless

In Vietnamese,

bất- : bất định, bấn đồng, bất biến, bất tận…
phi- : phi lí, phi nghĩa…
vô- : vô vi, vô đạo, vô tình, vô hình…

b. Category of ability

In English,

- able : writeable, unable, comfortable…


- ible : visible, possible, comprehensible…

In Vietnamese,

khả- : khả dụng, khả năng, khả biến…
- được : viết được, ăn được, nhìn (thấy) được…

c. Category of denomination

In English,

- er/ or : driver, editor


- ist : tourist, scientist
- ant/ ent : assistant, student
- an/ ian : republican, electrician
- ee : employee, examinee

In Vietnamese,

- sĩ : nhạc sĩ, hoạ sĩ, giáo sĩ, nha sĩ, bác sĩ, viện sĩ…
- viên : giáo viên, sinh viên, nhân viên, diễn viên…
- giả : học giả, tác giả, kí giả…
- nhân : thi nhân, quân nhân, công nhân, nạn nhân, bệnh nhân…
nhà - : nhà văn, nhà thơ, nhà báo, nhà giáo…
In brief, these examples help learners easily associate English affixes with the so-called Vietnamese meaningful morphemes including semi-affixes which are not entirely independent. This kind of morphemes in Vietnamese has a high productivity of words because the semantic content of each morpheme is of a category, but a single notion. Consequently, the existence of groups of affixes and "semi-affixes" as equivalences between English and Vietnamese is a considerable advantage to translation work.
Some implications for English Teaching and Learning

Studying affixation can provide learners with receptive and productive skills. As for receptive skill, learners can easily make guesses about the meaning of unknown vocabulary because of their being well-equipped with a wide knowledge of word building in terms of affixation. For instance, to complete a task of reading comprehension, the learners may deduce correctly the meaning of some new items found in the given texts, based on their own understanding of affixes (see appendix). In additional, learners’ ability of expression is strongly enhanced if they can apply what are taught at school about basic principles of word formation, as for productive skill.

On the other hand, teachers should pay more attention to teaching affixation in the classroom. As Matthews (1974) put it : “How does one plunge into syntax when one cannot identify and understand the elements whose role and distribution is in question ? It is only in favoured cases , where the morphology is simple or is already thoroughly explored , that a beginner can plunge into syntax .” So beside teaching the grammatical syllabuses, teachers may adjust the lessons to arrange an appropriate amount of time used to give the students some practice of affixation, based on teaching situation. Moreover, teachers can cleverly put an emphasis on how word structures are formed by giving students different tasks designed on the strategy: to help learners get general rules of some affixes in terms of semantic category so that they can make their own system of affixes and enrich their vocabulary. For Vietnamese learners, it is also necessary to give them an association between certain prefixes and suffixes in English with the equivalences of the mother tongue because of the existence of similarities discussed above. By learning about it, learners can avoid some mistakes in translation work. Besides, this makes the lesson much more interesting and easier to be memorized.

Dik (1967) states : “To learn a language is not so much to memorize a set of sentences ; rather , it is to familiarize oneself with a linguistic system in such a way and to such extent that one is able to construct sentences and other linguistic structures on one's own .” In general, it is essential to suggest that at least the process of how words are constituted should be presented in EFL course books and either teaching or learning it should be carefully focused on in order to meet the absolute requirements of language teaching .


Conclusion

In short, this paper shows you a detailed contrastive analysis of affixation concerning Vietnamese and English with the purpose of emphasizing how important and useful word structure should not be ignored at school to help learners acquire the target language much comfortably and thoroughly. Yet, to some extent, the paper has not extended all the vast knowledge in this field because I just try to focus on some very basic concepts and primary theories in comparing and contrasting affixation in Vietnamese and English to express my viewpoints to readers. On the whole, I do hope that it will be a useful material for teachers and students who share the same interest with me in how to improve the way we study our target language efficiently.

References

Nguyen, H.L. (2000). An outline of morphology. Ho Chi Minh: NXB TP Ho Chi Minh.

Bui, T.T., Nguyen, V.B., Hoang, X.T., Nguyen, T.Q., Hoang, D.M. (1997). Giao trinh Tieng Viet. Ha Noi: NXB Giao duc.

Nguyen, T.G. (1998). Dan luan ngon ngu hoc. Ho Chi Minh: NXB Giao duc.

Mai, N.C. (2005). Co so ngon ngu hoc va tieng Viet. Ho Chi Minh: NXB Giao duc.

Le, Q.T. (2004). Nghien cuu doi chieu cac ngon ngu. Ha Noi: NXB Dai hoc quoc gia Ha Noi.

Cao, X.H., Hoang, D. (2005). Tu dien thuat ngu ngon ngu hoc doi chieu Anh-Viet Viet-Anh. Ho Chi Minh: NXB Khoa hoc xa hoi.

Eastwood, J. (1997). Oxford Guide to English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Quinion, M. (2008). Affixes: the building blocks of English. Retrieved from http://www.affixes.org.

British Council, BBC W. S. Teaching English. Retrieved from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk.

Teaching word formation and its pedagogical implications for EFL. http://www.najah.edu.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org.

Megginson, D. (2007). Word formation. Retrieved from http://www.writingcentre.uottawa.ca.

Appendix

* English affixes

Native


Prefix

Meaning

Example

a-/an-

lacking in, lack of

asexual, anemic

a-

verb  predicative adjective with progressive aspect

afloat, atremble

anti-

against

anti-war, antivirus, anti-human

arch-

supreme, highest, worst

arch-rival, archangel

be-

equipped with, covered with, beset with (pejorative or facetious)

bedeviled, becalm, bedazzle, bewitch

co-

joint, with, accompanying

co-worker, coordinator, cooperation

counter-

against, in opposition to

counteract, counterpart

de-

reverse action, get rid of

de-emphasise

dis-

not, opposite of

disloyal, disagree

dis-

reverse action, get rid of

disconnect, disinformation

en-/em-

to make into, to put into, to get into

enmesh, empower

ex-

former

ex-husband, ex-boss, ex-colleague

fore-

before

forearm, forerunner

in-/il-/im-/ir-

not, opposite of

inexact, irregular

inter-

between, among

interstate, interact

mal-

bad(ly)

malnourish

mid-

middle

midlife

mini-

small

minimarket, mini-room

mis-

wrong, astray

misinformation, misguide

out-

better, faster, longer, beyond

outreach, outcome

over-

too much

overreact, overact

pan-

all, worldwide

pan-African

post-

after

post-election, post-graduation

pre-

before

pre-election, pre-enter

pro-

for, on the side of

pro-life

re-

again, back

rerun

self-

self

self-sufficient

step-

family relation by remarriage

stepbrother

trans-

across, from one place to another

transatlantic

twi-

two

twibill, twilight

ultra-

beyond, extremely

ultraviolet, ultramagnetic

un-

not, opposite of

unnecessary, unequal

un-

reverse action, deprive of, release from

undo, untie

under-

below, beneath, lower in grade/dignity, lesser, insufficient

underachieve, underground, underpass

up-




upgrade

vice-

deputy

vice-president, vice-principal

with-

against

withstand

Neo-classical


Prefix

Meaning

Examples

an-, a-

not, without

anemic, asymmetric

ana-/an-

up, against

anacardiaceous, anode

Anglo-

relating to England

Anglo-Norman

ante-

before

antenatal

anti-

opposite

anti-clockwise

apo-

away, different from

apomorphine

astro-

star

astrobiology

auto-

self

autobiography, automatic

bi-

two

bicycle

bio-

biological

biodegrade

circum-

around

circumnavigate

cis-

on this side of

cislunar

con-/com-/col-/cor-/co-

together or with

confederation, commingle, colleague, correlation, cohabit

di-

two

dioxide

dis-, di-, dif-

apart

differ, dissect

down-

to make something lesser, lower or worse

downgrade

du-/duo-

two

duet

eco-

ecological

ecosystem

electro-

electric, electricity

electro-analysis

epi-

upon, at, close upon, in addition

epidermis

Euro-

European

Eurocentric

ex-

out of

export

extra-

outside

extracurricular

fin-

kinship

affinity

Franco-

French, France

Francophile

geo-

relating to the earth or its surface

geography

infra-

below, beneath

infrared

inter-

among, between

intercede

intra-

inside, within

intravenous

iso-

equal

isochromatic

multi-

many

multi-storey

neo-

new

neolithic

non-

not

nonexistent

pre-

before

predict

preter-

beyond, past, more than

preternatural

pro-

substitute, deputy

proconsul

pro-

before

procambium

pros-

toward

prosthesis

proto-

first, original

protoplasm, prototype

sur-

above, over

surreal, surrender

syn-, sy-, syl-, sym-

together, with

synthesis, symbol, syllable, system

tele-

at a distance

television

trans-

across

transverse

tri-

three

tricycle

ultra-

beyond




uni-

one

unicycle

up-

to make something greater, higher, or better

upgrade

Archaic


Prefix

Meaning

Example

y-

inflectional prefix

yclad, yclept (both archaic words)

PREFIXES


1. Negative Prefixes

un- unfair, unadorned

non- non-confomist, non-existence

in- invisible, illogical

a(n)- amoral, atheist

dis- disloyal, disobey



2. Reversible Prefixes

un- undo, undress, unhorse

de- defrost, depoliticize

dis- discouraging, disheartened, disinterested



3. Pejorative Prefixes

mis- mishear, misconduct, misleading, misrepresentation

mal- maltreat, malformed, malfunction

pseudo- pseudo-scientific, pseudo-classicism



4. Prefixes of Degree and Size

arch- archduke, archenemy

super- supermarket, superman

out- outlive, outdo, outrun

sur- surcharge

sub- subnormal, substandard

over-/ under- overdo, undertook

hyper-/ ultra- hypersensitive

mini-/ macro-/ micro- microwave

5. Prefixes of Attitude

co- cooperative, co-director

counter- counter-espionage, counter-attack

anti-/ pro- anti-nuclear, anti-democracy



6. Locative Prefixes

super- superstructure,

sub- subway, subconscious, subdivide

inter- international, intermarry, interweave, interplay

trans- transatlantic, transplant

7. Prefixes of Time and Order

fore- foretell, foreman, forewarn

pre-/ post- pre-historical, pre-marital

ex- ex-minister, ex-wife, ex-husband

re- rebuild, relocation, re-eligible

8. Number Prefixes

uni-/ mono- monosyllable, unilateral

bi-/ di- dichotomy, bifocal

multi-/ poly-/ pluri- multiracial



9. Conversion Prefixes

be- bewigged, bewitch, bedazzle, befriend

en-/ em- endanger, empower

a- afloat


SUFFIXES

  1. NOUN SUFFIXES

1. Occupational Suffixes

-eer engineer

-ster gangster, gamester, trickster

-er Londoner, banker



2. Diminution and Feminine Suffixes

- let booklet, owlet, piglet

- ette cigarette, kitchenette

- ess countess, hostess

- y Johnny, daddy, pussy

3. Status, Domain Suffixes

- hood boyhood, brotherhood, falsehood, likelihood

- ship friendship, companionship

- dom, -ocracy, -ery, -ry seldom



4. Quantity Suffixes

- ful handful, spoonful



5. Noun/ Adjective Suffixes

- ite Israelite, Raphaelite

- (i)an Shakespearian, Elizabethan

- ese Japanese, Chinese

- ist novelist, violinist, typist

- ism Communism, Imperialism



6. De-verbal Suffixes

- er worker, onlooker, drinker

- ant inhabitant, occupant

- ation operation, exploration

- ment arrangement, argument

- al approval, refusal

- ing swimming, shopping, living, painting

- age package, shortage, peerage

- ee trainee, employee

7. De-adjectival Suffixes

- ness: goodness, happiness, selfishness

- ity/ - able/ - ible/ - al readable, readability, sentimental, sentimentality
B. VERB SUFFIXES

- ify certify, indentify

- ize scandalize, organize

- en blacken, widen, sadden

C. ADJECTIVE SUFFIXES

- able readable, drinkable

- al chemical, criminal, special

- ful beautiful, plentiful



- ed blue-eyed, odd-shaped

- en wooden, leaden



- ic Germanic, specific

- ish foolish, boyish, snobbish

- less helpless, hopeless

- like childlike

D. ADVERB SUFFIXES

- ly happily, freely, instantly



- wards onwards, eastwards

* Reader activity:



The following activity contains some “potantial” words – words do not exist but which could conceivably become part of the language.

  1. decide what you think they would mean

  2. give an example of a real word which helped you make the decision. e.g. talkette

Answer: It would probably mean a short talk, by analogy with lecturette, kitchenette.

  1. a readeress

  2. lunocracy

  3. a gaolee

  4. a toolery

  5. a doglet

  6. woolette


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