Affixation in modern english


Theme actually. Word – building is one of the main ways of enriching vocabulary. Affixation is one of the most productive ways of word building throughout the history of English. The main function of affixation in Modern English is to form one part of speech from another; the secondary function is to change the lexical meaning of the same part of speech.

As we are future teacher must know the rules of word – formation. It will help us to teach our students. Besides if we know affixes we can easily form new words while we are writing or speaking,

The aims and purposes of the work. The goal of the work is based on detailed study of affixation, which play important role in word – formation. According to this general aim the following particular tasks are put forward:

1. to classify affixes.

2. to classify the affixes according to its structure and semantics.

3. to show productive ways of word – building process of the English language.

The scientific novelty of the work. Novelty of the qualification work is determined by the necessity o the study of affixation which form a large layer of word – building process. And studying the productive ways of affixes in Modern English.

The practical value. The practical value of the research is that material and the results of the given qualification work can serve the material for theoretical course of lexicology, stylistics, typology as well as can be used for practical lessons in translation, home reading, conversational practice and current events.

Literature overview. While writing present qualification work I used the books written by great scholars such as: The English Word by Arnold I.V, A Course of Lexicology by Ginzburg R.S, A Course of lexicology by Buronov J.B. Besides above mentioned literatures I took information from Internet, Work Book Encyclopedia.

The structure of the work. Present qualification work consists of Introduction, main part, conclusion and the list of used literatures.

1. Main part

1.1 Morphemes, free and bound forms

If we describe a word as an autonomous unit of language in which a particular meaning is associated with a particular sound complex and which is capable of a particular grammatical employment and able to form a sentence by itself we have the possibility to distinguish it from the other fundamental language unit, namely, the morpheme.

A morpheme is also an association of a given meaning with a given sound pattern. But unlike a word it is not autonomous. Morphemes occur in speech only as constituent parts of words, not independently, although a word may consist of a single morpheme. Nor are they divisible into smaller meaningful units. That is why the morpheme may be defined as the minimum meaningful language unit.

The term morpheme is derived from Gr morphe 'form'+ eme. Linguists to denote the smallest unit or the minimum distinctive feature have adopted the Greek suffix – eme. (Cf. phoneme, sememe). The morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of form. A form in these cases is a recurring discrete unit of speech.

A form is said to be free if it may stand alone without changing its meaning; if not, it is a bound form, so called because it is always bound to something else. For example, if we compare the words sportive and elegant and their parts, we see that sport, sportive, elegant may occur alone as utterances, whereas eleg – – ive, – ant are bound forms because they never occur alone. A word is, by L. Bloomfield's definition, a minimum free form. A morpheme is said to be either bound or free. This statement' should be taken with caution. It means that some morphemes are capable of forming words without adding other morphemes: that is, they are homonymous to free forms.

According to the role they play in constructing words, morphemes are subdivided into roots and affixes. The latter are further subdivided, according to their position, into prefixes, suffixes and infixes, and according to their function and meaning, into derivational and functional affixes, the latter also called endings or outer formatives.

When a derivational or functional affix is stripped from the word, what remains is a stem (or a stem base). The stem expresses the lexical and the part of speech meaning.[1] For the word hearty and for the paradigm heart (Sing.) – hearts (Pl.)[2] the stem may be represented as heart– This stem is a single morpheme, it contains nothing but the root, so it is a simple stem. It is also a free stem because it is homonymous to the word heart.

A stem may also be defined as the part of the word that remains unchanged throughout its paradigm. The stem of the paradigm hearty – heartier – (the) heartiest is hearty– It is a free stem, but as it consists of a root morpheme and an affix, it is not simple but derived. Thus, a stem containing one or more affixes is a derived stem. If after deducing the affix the remaining stem is not homonymous to a separate word of the same root, we call it a bound stem. Thus, in the word cordial 'proceeding as if from the heart', the adjective-forming suffix can be separated on the analogy with such words as bronchia/, radial, social. The remaining stem, however, cannot form a separate' word by itself: it is bound. In cordially and cordiality, on the other hand, the stems are free.

Bound stems are especially characteristic of loan words. The point may be illustrated by the following French borrowings: arrogance, charity, courage, coward, distort, involve, notion, legible and tolerable, to give but a few.[3] After the suffixes of these words are taken away the remaining elements are: arrog-, char-, cour-, cow-, – tort, – voIve, nat-, leg-, toler-, which do not coincide with any semantically related independent words.

Roots-are main morphemic vehicles of a given idea in a given language at a given stage of its development. A root may be also regarded as the ultimate constituent element which remains after the removal of all functional and derivational affixes and does not admit any further analysis. It is the common element of words within a word-family. Thus, – heart – is the common root of the following series of words: heart, hearten, dishearten, heartily, heartless, hearty, heartiness, sweetheart, heart-broken, kind-hearted, whole-heartedly, etc. In some of these, as, for example, in hearten, there is only one root; in others the root – heart is combined with some other root, thus forming a compound like sweetheart.

It will at once be noticed that the root in English is very often homonymous with the word. This fact is of fundamental importance as it is one of the most specific features of the English language arising from its general grammatical system on the one hand, and from its phonemic system on the other. The influence of the analytical structure of the language is obvious. The second point, however, calls for some explanation. Actually the usual phonemic shape most favoured in English is one single stressed syllable: bear, find, jump, land, man, sing, etc. This does not give much space for a second morpheme to add classifying Lexico-grammatical meaning to the lexical meaning already present in the root-stem, so the Lexico-grammatical meaning must be signaled by distribution. In the phrases a morning's drive, a morning's ride, a morning's walk the words drive, ride and walk receive the Lexico-grammatical meaning of. a noun not due to the structure of their stems, but because they are preceded by a noun in the Possessive case.

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