Suffixation. Classification of Suffixes
Affixationis generally defined as the formation of words by adding derivationalaffixes to different types of bases. Affixation includes suffixation and prefixation. Distinction between suffuxal and prefixal derivatives is made according to the last stage of derivation. For example, from the point of view of derivational analysis the word unreasonable – un+(reason-+-able) is qualified as a prefixal derivative, while the word discouragement – (dis-+courage) +-ment is defined as a suffixal derivative. But from the point of view of morphemic analysis these words are specified as prefixal-suffixal derivatives.
Suffixation is the formation of words with the help of suffixes. Suffixes usually modify the lexical meaning of the base and transfer words to a different part of speech. There are suffixes, however, which do not shift words from one part of speech into another. They can transfer a word into a different semantic group, e.g. a concrete noun becomes an abstract one: friend – friendship.
Suffixes can be classified into different types in accordance with different principles.
According to the lexico-grammatical character of the base suffixes are usually added to, they may be:
a) deverbal suffixes (those added to the verbal base) e.g. –er (speaker); -ing (reading); -ment (agreement); -able (suitable);
b) denominal suffixes (those added to the nominal base), e.g. –less(endless); -ful (armful); -ist (novelist); -some (troublesome);
c) deadjectival suffixes (those added to the adjectival base), e.g. –en (widen); -ly (rapidly); -ish (whitish); -ness (brightness).
2. According to the part of speech formed suffixes fall into several groups:
a) noun-forming suffixes: -ance/-ence (assistance, reference); -dom (freedom, kingdom); -ing (washing, building); -hood (manhood, childhood); -ship (relationship, partnership);
b) adjective-forming suffixes: -ant/-ent (repentant, dependent); -ful (delightful, doubtful); -ish (reddish, bookish); -ive (active);
c) numeral-forming suffixes: -fold (twofold); -teen (fourteen); -ty (sixty); -th (seventh);
d) verb-forming suffixes: -ate (facilitate); -er (glimmer); -fy/-ify (terrify, speechify); -ize (equalize, harmonize); -ish (establish);
e) adverb-forming suffixes: -ly (quickly, coldly); -ward/-wards (upward, northwards); -wise (likewise).
3. Semantically suffixes fall into:
d) monosemantic, e.g. the suffix –ess has only one meaning “female” – tigress, tailoress;
e) polysemantic, e.g. the suffix –hood has two meanings: 1) “condition or quality” – falsehood, womanhood; 2) “collection or group” – brotherhood.
Prefixation is the formation of words with the help of prefixes. Prefixes are derivational morphemes affixed before the derivational base. Prefixes modify the lexical meaning of the base. They seldom shift words from one part of speech into another and therefore both the source word and its prefixed derivative mostly belong to the same part of speech, e.g. to rewrite<to write.
Prefixes can be classified to different principles.
1. According to the lexico-grammatical character of the base prefixes are usually added to, they may be:
a) deverbal (those added to the verbal base), e.g. re- (rewrite); over- (overdo);
b) denominal (those added to the nominal base), e.g. un- (unbutton); ex- (ex-president);
c) deadjectival (those added to the adjectival base), e.g. un- (uneasy); bi- (biannual).
2. According to the class of words they preferably form prefixes are divided into:
a) verb-forming prefixes, e.g. en-/em- (embed, enclose); be- (befriend); de- (dethrone);
b) noun-forming prefixes, e.g. non- (non-smoker); sub- (sub-committee); ex- (ex-husband);
c) adjective-forming prefixes, e.g. un- (unfair); il- (illiterate);ir- (irregular);
d) adverb-forming prefixes, e.g. un- (unfortunately); up- (uphill).
It should be specially mentioned that the majority of prefixes function in more than one part of speech.
Semantically prefixes fall into:
a) monosemantic, e.g. the prefix ex- has only one meaning “former” – ex-boxer;
b) polysemantic, the prefix dis- has four meanings: 1) “not” (disadvantage); 2) “reversal or absence of an action or state” (diseconomy, disaffirm); 3) “removal of” (to disbranch); 4) “completeness or intensification of an unpleasant action” (disgruntled).
4. According to their generalizing denotational meaning prefixes fall into:
a) negative prefixes, e.g. un- (ungrateful); non- (nonpolitical); in- (incorrect); dis- (disloyal); a- (amoral);
b) reversative prefixes, e.g. un2- (untie); de- (decentralize); dis2- (disconnect);
c) pejorative prefixes, e.g. - (mis- (mispronounce), mal- (maltreat), pseudo-( pseudo-scientific) ;
d) prefixes of time and order, e.g. fore- (foretell); pre- (pre-war); post- (post-war); ex- (ex-president);
e) prefix of repetition: re- (rebuild, rewrite);
f) locative prefixes, e.g. super- (superstructure); sub- (subway); inter- (inter-continental), trans- (transatlantic).