Affix

An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a stem to form a word. 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, thus, the linguistic process speakers use to form new words (neologisms) by adding sounds (affixes) at the beginning (prefixation), the middle (infixation) or the end (suffixation) of words.

Positional categories of affixes

Affixes are divided into several categories, depending on their position with reference to the stem. "Prefix" and "suffix" are extremely common terms. "Infix" and "circumfix" are less so, as they are not important in European languages. The other terms are uncommon.

In sentence (1), the verb "wash" is unicode|šak’ʷətəs where unicode|šak’ʷ- is the root and unicode|-ət and unicode|-əs are inflectional suffixes. The subject "the woman" is unicode|łə słeniʔ and the object "the baby" is unicode|łə qeq. In this sentence, "the baby" is a free noun. (The unicode|niʔ here is an auxiliary, which can be ignored for explanatory purposes.)

In sentence (2), "baby" does not appear as a free noun. Instead it appears as the lexical suffix unicode|-əyəł which is affixed to the verb root unicode|šk’ʷ- (which has changed slightly in pronunciation, but this can also be ignored here). Note how the lexical suffix is neither "the baby" (definite) nor "a baby" (indefinite); such referential changes are routine with incorporated nouns.

ee also

* Agglutination
* Augmentative
* Binary prefix
* Clitic
* Concatenation
* Derivation
* Diminutive
* English prefixes
* Family name affixes
* Internet-related prefixes
* Marker (linguistics)
* Separable affix
* SI prefix
* Stemming - affix removal using computer software
* Unpaired word
* Word formation

Bibliography

* Gerdts, Donna B. (2003). The morphosyntax of Halkomelem lexical suffixes. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "69" (4), 345-356.
* Montler, Timothy. (1986). "An outline of the morphology and phonology of Saanich, North Straits Salish". Occasional Papers in Linguistics (No. 4). Missoula, MT: University of Montana Linguistics Laboratory.
* Montler, Timothy. (1991). "Saanich, North Straits Salish classified word list". Canadian Ethnology service paper (No. 119); Mercury series. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization."'

External links

* [http://www.prefixsuffix.com/ Comprehensive and searchable affix dictionary reference]


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  • affix — af·fix /ə fiks, a / vt 1: to attach physically 2: to attach or add in any way affix a signature to a document 3: to make by or as if by pressure affix my seal Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law …   Law dictionary

  • Affix — Af*fix , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Affixed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Affixing}.] [LL. affixare, L. affixus, p. p. of affigere to fasten to; ad + figere to fasten: cf. OE. affichen, F. afficher, ultimately fr. L. affigere. See {Fix}.] 1. To subjoin, annex, or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Affix — Sn nicht frei vorkommendes Wortbildungselement per. Wortschatz fach. (16. Jh., Form 20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. affīxum das Angeheftete , dem substantivierten PPP. von l. affīgere anheften, an etwas befestigen , zu l. fīgere (fīxum)… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • affix — [ə fiks′, afiks′; ] for n. [, af′iks΄] vt. [< L affixus, pp. of affigere, to fasten to < ad , to + figere, FIX] 1. to fasten; attach [to affix a label to a bottle] 2. to add at the end; append n. [Fr affixe < L affixus: see AFFIX the vt …   English World dictionary

  • Affix — Af fix, n.; pl. {Affixes}. [L. affixus, p. p. of affigere: cf. F. affixe.] That which is affixed; an appendage; esp. one or more letters or syllables added at the end of a word; a suffix; a postfix. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Affíx — (lat., »Anfügung«), die am Anfang oder Ende eines Wortes angehängten Silben, die den Begriff desselben näher bestimmen, z. B. » lich« in »weiblich«. Vgl. Sprache …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Affix — (lat. affixum, Mehrzahl affixa), Anhang, am Anfang oder Ende eines Wortes angehängte Silbe …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • affix — vb *fasten, attach, fix Analogous words: append, *add, subjoin, annex: *stick, adhere Antonyms: detach Contrasted words: disengage (see DETACH) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • affix — is a grammatical term for word elements added at the beginnings or ends of words (e.g. anti , post , re , able, ness, tion). It is also used for elements put in the middle of words (infixes) such as Eliza Doolittle s abso blooming lutely …   Modern English usage

  • affix — [v] attach or stick add, annex, append, bind, fasten, glue, hitch on*, join, paste, put on, rivet, slap on*, subjoin, tack, tack on*, tag, tag on*; concepts 85,113,160 Ant. detach, let go, loosen …   New thesaurus

  • affix — ► VERB ▪ attach or fasten to something else. ► NOUN Grammar ▪ an addition to a word in order to modify its meaning or create a new word. DERIVATIVES affixation noun. ORIGIN Latin affixare, from figere to fix …   English terms dictionary

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