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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION 14 страница



3) A classification of suffixes may also be based on the criterion of sense expressed by a set of suffixes. Proceeding from this principle suffixes are classified into various groups within the bounds of a certain part of speech. For instance, noun-suffixes fall into those denoting:

a) the agent of an action, e.g. -er, -ant (baker, dancer, defendant, etc.);

b) appurtenance, e.g. -an, -ian,-ese, etc. (Arabian, Elizabethan, Russian, Chinese, Japanese,etc.);


c) collectivity, e.g. -age, -dom, -ery (-ry),etc. (freightage, officialdom, peasantry,etc.);

d) diminutiveness, e.g. -ie, -let, -ling,etc. (birdie, girlie, cloudlet, squireling, wolfling,etc.).

4) Still another classification of suffixes may be worked out if one examines them from the angle of stylistic reference. Just like prefixes, suffixes are also characterised by quite a definite stylistic reference falling into two basic classes:

a) those characterised by neutral stylistic reference such as -able,-er, -ing, etc.;

b) those having a certain stylistic value such as -oid, -i/form, -aceous, -tron,etc.

Suffixes with neutral stylistic reference may occur in words of different lexico-stylistic layers e.g. agreeable,cf. steerable (steerable spaceship); dancer,cf. transmitter, squealer; 1 meeting,cf. monitoring (the monitoring of digestive processes in the body),etc. As for suffixes of the second class they are restricted in use to quite definite lexico-stylistic layers of words, in particular to terms, e.g. rhomboid, asteroid, cruciform, cyclotron, synchrophasotron,etc.

5) Suffixes are also classified as to the degree of their productivity.

§ 11. Polysemy and Homonymy

As is known, language is never stable: sounds, constructions, grammatical elements, word-forms and word-meanings are all exposed to alteration. Derivational affixes are no exception in this respect, they also undergo semantic change. Consequently many commonly used derivational affixes are polysemantic in Modern English. The following two may well serve as illustrations. The noun-suffix -eris used to coin words denoting 1) persons following some special trade or profession, e.g. baker, driver, hunter,etc.; 2) persons doing a certain action at the moment in question, e.g. packer, chooser, giver,etc.; 3) a device, tool, implement, e.g. blotter, atomiser, boiler, eraser, transmitter, trailer,etc.

The adjective-suffix -yalso has several meanings, such as 1) composed of, full of, e.g. bony, stony;2) characterised by, e.g. rainy, cloudy;3) having the character of, resembling what the base denotes, e.g. inky, bushy.

The various changes that the English language has undergone in the course of time have led to chance coincidence in form of two or more derivational affixes. As a consequence, and this is characteristic of Modern English, many homonymic derivational affixes can be found among those forming both different parts of speech and different semantic groupings within the same part of speech. For instance, the adverb-suffix -lyadded to adjectival bases is homonymous to the adjective-suffix -lyaffixed to noun-bases, cf. quickly, slowlyand lovely, friendly;the verb-suffix -en attached to noun- and adjectival bases is homonymous to the adjective-suffix -entacked on to noun-bases, cf. to strengthen, to softenand wooden, golden;the verb-prefix -un1 added to noun- and verb-bases

1 ‘informer, complainer’ (sl.)


is homonymous to the adjective-prefix -un2 affixed to adjectival bases,cf. to unbind, to unshoeand unfair, untrue,etc.

On the other hand, there are two homonymous adjective-suffixes -ish1 and -ish2 occurring in words like bluish, greenish,and girlish, boyish.In some books on English Lexicology the suffix -ishin these two groups of words is regarded as one suffix having two different meanings. If We probe deeper into the matter, however, we shall inevitably arrive at the conclusion that we are dealing with two different homonymous suffixes: one in bluish,the other in girlish.The reasons are as follows: the suffix -ish,in bluish, reddish,etc. only modifies the lexical meaning of the adjective-base it is affixed to without changing the part of speech. The suffix -ish2in bookish, girlish, womanish,etc. is added to a noun-base to form an adjective. Besides, the suffixes -ish1 and -ish2 differ considerably in the denotational meaning so that no semantic connection may be traced between them: the suffix -ish1 means 'somewhat like' corresponding to the Russian suffix -оват- in such adjectives as голубоватый, красноватый, etc.; the suffix -ish2means 'of the nature of, resembling', often derogatory in force, e. g. childishребяческий, несерьезный (cf. childlikeдетский, простой, невинный; hoggish — свинский, жадный, etc.)

§ 12. Synonymy

In the course of its long history the English language has adopted a great many words from foreign languages all over the world. One of the consequences of extensive borrowing was the appearance of numerous derivational affixes in the English language. Under certain circumstances some of them came to overlap semantically to a certain extent both with one another and with the native affixes. For instance, the suffix -er of native origin denoting the agent is synonymous to the suffix -istof Greek origin which came into the English language through Latin in the 16th century. Both suffixes occur in nouns denoting the agent, e.g. teacher, driller; journalist, botanist, economist,etc. Being synonymous these suffixes naturally differ from each other in some respects. Unlike the suffix -er, the suffix -istis:

1) mostly combined with noun-bases, e.g. violinist, receptionist,etc.;

2) as a rule, added to bases of non-Germanic origin and very seldom to bases of Germanic origin, e.g. walkist, rightist;

3) used to form nouns denoting those who adhere to a doctrine or system, a political party, an ideology or the like, e.g. communist, Leninist, Marxist, chartist, Darwinist,etc. Words in -istdenoting 'the upholder of a principle' are usually matched by an abstract noun in -ismdenoting 'the respective theory' (e.g. Communism, Socialism,etc.).

Sometimes synonymous suffixes differ in emotive charge. For instance, the suffix -eeralso denoting the agent is characterised, in particular, by its derogative force, e.g. sonneteerстихоплет, profiteer —спекулянт, etc.

There is also a considerable number of synonymous prefixes in the English language. Recent research has revealed certain rules concerning correlation between words with synonymous prefixes of native and


foreign origin. It appears, for instance, that in prefixal-suffixal derivatives the general tendency is to use a prefix of Romanic origin if the suffix is also of Romanic origin and a native prefix in the case of a native suffix, cf. unrecognised — irrecognisable; unlimited — illimitable; unformed — informal; undecided — indecisive,etc. Though adequately reflecting the general tendency observed in similar cases this rule has many exceptions. The basic exception is the suffix -ablewhich may often occur together with the native prefix un-,e.g. unbearable, unfavourable, unreasonable,etc. In fact, the pattern un- +(v + -able) -> A is wide-spread and productive in Modern English.

§ 13. Productivity

Distinction is usually made between dead and living affixes. Dead affixes are described as those which are no longer felt in Modern English as component parts of words; they have so fused with the base of the word as to lose their independence completely. It is only by special etymological analysis that they may be singled out, e.g. -din dead, seed, -le, -1, -elin bundle, sail, hovel; -ockin hillock; -lockin wedlock; -tin flight, gift, height.It is quite clear that dead suffixes are irrelevant to present-day English word-formation, they belong in its diachronic study.

Living affixes may be easily singled out from a word, e.g. the noun-forming suffixes -ness, -dom, -hood, -age, -ance,as in darkness, freedom, childhood, marriage, assistance,etc. or the adjective-forming suffixes -en, -ous, -ive, -ful, -yas in wooden, poisonous, active, hopeful, Stony,etc.

However, not all living derivational affixes of Modern English possess the ability to coin new words. Some of them may be employed to coin new words on the spur of the moment, others cannot, so that they are different from the point of view of their productivity. Accordingly they fall into two basic classes — productive and non-productive word-building affixes.

It has been pointed out that linguists disagree as to what is meant by the productivity of derivational affixes.1

Following the first approach all living affixes should be considered productive in varying degrees from highly-productive (e.g. -er, -ish, -less, re-,etc.) to non-productive (e.g. -ard, -cy, -ive,etc.).

Consequently it becomes important to describe the constraints imposed on and the factors favouring the productivity of affixational patterns and individual affixes. The degree of productivity of affixational patterns very much depends on the structural, lexico-grammatical and semantic nature of bases and the meaning of the affix. For instance, the analysis of the bases from which the suffix -ise (-ize) can derive verbs reveals that it is most productive with noun-stems, adjective-stems also favour its productivity, whereas verb-stems and adverb-stems do not, e.g. criticise (cf. critic), organise (cf. organ), itemise (cf. item), mobilise (cf. mobile), localise (cf. local),etc. Comparison of the semantic structure of a verb in -ise (-ize)with that of the base it is built on shows that the number of meanings of the stem usually exceeds that of the verb and that its basic

1 See ‘Word-Formation’, § 4, p. 112.


meaningfavours theproductivity of the suffix -ise (-ize)to a greater degree than its marginal meanings, cf. to characterise — character, to moralise — moral, to dramatise — drama,etc.

Thetreatment of pertain affixes as non-productive naturally also depends on the concept of productivity. The current definition of non-productive derivational affixes as those which cannot be used in Modern English for the coining of new words is rather vague and may be interpreted in different ways. Following the definition the term non-produсtive refers only to the affixes unlikely to be used for the formation of new words, e.g. -ous, -th, fore-and some others (cf. famous, depth, to foresee).

If one accepts the other concept of productivity mentioned above, ■then non-productive affixes must be defined as those that cannot be used for the formation of occasional words and, consequently, such affixes as -dom, -ship, -ful, -en, -ify, -ateand many others are to be regarded as non-productive.

The degree of productivity of a suffix or, to be more exact, of a derivational affix in general may be established on a statistical basis as the ratio of the number of newly-formed words with the given suffix to the number of words with the same suffix already operating in the language. To give an illustration, we shall take the suffix –ise (-ize).The dictionaries of new words compiled by P. Berg (1953) and M. Reifer (1958) as well as the Addenda section of Webster’s New International Dictionary (1958) contain 40 new verbs built up with the help of the suffix –ise (-ize).On the other hand,The Thorndike Century Junior Dictionary (1941) has 127 verbs derived by means of the same suffix. Consequently, the productivity measure of the suffix –ise (-ize)is 40: 127=0.315. A similar examination of the verb-suffixes -ate, -en, -ifyyields the following results characterising the productivity measure of each of the verbs: the suffix -ate — 0.034, the suffix -en — 0.018 and the suffix -ify — 0.017. Thus, these figures lead one to the conclusion that the suffix –ise (-ize)is the most productive of the four under investigation and that the suffix -ateis more productive than -enand -ify.

The theory of relative productivity of derivational affixes is also corroborated by some other observations made on English word-formation. For instance, different productive affixes are found in different periods of the history of the language. It is extremely significant, for example, that out of the seven verb-forming suffixes of the Old English period only one has survived up to the present time with a very low degree of productivity, namely the suffix -en(cf. to soften, to darken, to whiten).

A derivational affix may become productive in just one meaning because thai meaning is specially needed by the community at a particular phase in its history. This may be well illustrated by the prefix de-in the sense of ‘undo what has been done, reverse an action or process’, E.g., deacidify(paint spray), decasualise(dock labour), decentralise(government or management), deration(eggs and butter), de-reserve(medical students), desegregate(coloured, children), and so on.

Furthermore, there are cases when a derivational affix being nonproductive in the non-specialised section of the vocabulary is used to


coin scientific or technical terms. This is the case, for instance, with the suffix -ancewhich has been used to form some terms in Electrical Engineering, e.g. capacitance, impedance, reactance.The same is true of the suffix -itywhich has been used to form terms in physics and chemistry such as alkalinity, luminosity, emissivityand some others.-

§ 14. Origin of Derivational Affixes

While examining the stock of derivational affixes in Modern English from the point of view of their origin distinction should first of all be made between native and foreign affixes, e.g. the suffixes -ness, -ish, -domand the prefixes be-, mis-, un-are of native origin, whereas such suffixes as -ation, -ment, -ableand prefixes like dis-, ex-, re-are of foreign origin.

Many of the suffices and prefixes of native origin were originally independent words. In the course of time they have gradually lost their independence and turned into derivational affixes. For instance, such noun-suffixes as -dom, -hood, -shipmay be traced back to words: -domrepresents the Old English noun domwhich meant ‘judgement’; ’sentence’. The suffix -hoodgoes back to the OE, noun had,which meant ’state’, ‘condition’; the adjective suffix -ly(e.g. manly, friendly)is also traced back to the OE. noun līc — ‘body’, ’shape’. Some suffixes are known to have originated as a result of secretion. An instance of the case is the suffix -lingoccurring in words like duckling, yearling, hireling,etc. The suffix is simply the extended form of the Old English suffix -ingand has sprung from words in which -ingwas tacked on to a stem ending in [1] as lỹtling.Many suffixes, however, have always been known as derivational affixes within the history of the English language, for instance -ish, -less-, -ness,etc.

The same is true of prefixes: some have developed out of independent words, e.g. out-, under-, over-,ethers have always functioned as derivational affixes, e.g. mis-, un-.

In the course of its historical development the English language has adopted a great many suffixes and prefixes from foreign languages. This process does not consist in borrowing derivational affixes as such. It is words that the language borrows from a foreign language and the borrowed words bring with them their derivatives formed after word-building patterns of this language. When such pairs of words as deriveand derivation, esteemand estimation, laudand laudationfound their way into the English vocabulary, it was natural that the suffix -ationshould be recognised by English speakers as an allowable means of forming nouns of action out of verbs. In this way a great many suffixes and prefixes of foreign origin have become an integral part of the system of word-formation in English. Among borrowed derivational affixes we find both suffixes, e.g. -able, -ible, -al, -age, -ance, -ist, -ism, -ess,etc., and prefixes, e.g. dis-, en[em]-, inter-, re-, non-and many others.

It is to be marked that quite a number of borrowed derivational affixes are of international currency. For instance, the suffix -istof Greek origin is used in many European languages to form a noun denoting ‘one who adheres to a given doctrine or system, a political party, an ideology’ or ‘one, who makes a practice of a given action’ (cf. socialist, communist,


Marxist; artist, scenarist, realistand their Russian equivalents). Of international currency is also the suffix -ismof Greek origin used to form abstract nouns denoting ‘philosophical doctrines, political and ’scientific theories,’ etc. (e.g. materialism, realism, Darwinism).Such prefixes as anti-, pre-, extra-, ultra-are also used to coin new words in many languages, especially in political and scientific terminology (e.g. anti-fascist, pro-German, extra-territorial, transatlantic, ultra-violet).

The adoption of countless foreign words exercised a great influence upon the system of English word-formation, one of the result being the appearance of many hybrid words in the English vocabulary. The term hybrid words is, needless to say, of diachronic relevance only. Here distinction should be made between two basic groups:

1) Cases when a foreign stem is combined with a native affix, as in colourless, uncertain.After complete adoption the foreign stem is subject to the same treatment as native stems and new words are derived from it at a very early stage. For instance, such suffixes as -ful, -less, -nesswere used with French words as early as 1300;

2) Cases when native stems are combined with foreign affixes, such as drinkable, joyous, shepherdess.Here the assimilation of a structural pattern is involved, therefore some time must pass before a foreign affix comes to be recognised by speakers as a derivational morpheme that can be tacked on to native words. Therefore such formations are found much later than those of the first type and are less numerous. The early assimilation of -ableis an exception. Some foreign affixes, as -ance,-al, -ity,have never become productive with native stems.

Reinterpretation of borrowed words gave rise to affixes which may not have been regarded as such in the source language. For instance, -scapeoccurring in such words as seascape, cloudscape, mountainscape, moonscape,etc. resulted from landscapeof Dutch origin. The suffix -adedeveloped from lemonadeof French origin, giving rise to fruitade, orangeade, gingerade, pineappleade, etc.; thenoun electronof Greek origin contributed the suffix -tronvery widely used in coining scientific and technical terms, e.g. cyclotron, magnetron, synchrophasotron, thyratron,etc.

§ 15. Summary and Conclusions

1.Affixation (prefixation and suffixation) is the formation of words by adding derivational affixes (prefixes and suffixes) to bases. One distinguishes between derived words of different degrees of derivation.

2. There are quite a number of polysemantic, homonymous and synonymous derivational affixes in Modern English.

3. Classifications of derivational affixes are based on different principles such as: 1) the part of speech formed, 2) the lexico-grammatical character of the stem the affix is added to, 3) its meaning, 4) its stylistic reference, 5) the degree of productivity, 6) the origin of the affix (native or borrowed),1 etc.

1 Lists of all derivational affixes of Modern English containing detailed information of the kind necessary for the practical analysis just referred to may be found in various handbooks and manuals such as L. Bankevich. English Word-Buiding. L., 1961;


4. The productivity of derivational affixes is relative and conditioned by various factors. t

5. Many of the Modern English derivational affixes were at one time independent words. Others have always been known as suffixes or prefixes within the history of the English vocabulary. Some of them are of international currency.

Conversion

§ 16. Definition

Conversion, one of the principal ways of forming words in Modern English is highly productive in replenishing the English word-stock with new words. The term conversion, which some linguists find inadequate, refers to the numerous cases of phonetic identity of word-forms, primarily the so-called initial forms, of two words belonging to different parts of speech. This may be illustrated by the following cases: work — to work; loveto love; paper — to paper; brief — to brief,etc. As a rule we deal with simple words, although there are a few exceptions, e.g. wireless — to wireless.

It is fairly obvious that in the case of a noun and a verb not only are the so-called initial forms (i.e. the infinitive and the common case singular) phonetically identical, but all the other noun forms have their homonyms within the verb paradigm, cf. (my) work [wэ:k]) — (I)work [wэ:k]; (the) dog’s [dogz] (head) — (many) dogs [dogz] — (he) dogs [dogz],etc.

It will be recalled that, although inflectional categories have been greatly reduced in English in the last eight or nine centuries, there is a certain difference on the morphological level between various parts of speech, primarily between nouns and verbs. For instance, there is a clear-cut difference in Modern English between the noun doctorand the verb to doctor — each exists in the language as a unity of its word-forms and variants, not as one form doctor.It is true that some of the forms are identical in sound, i.e. homonymous, but there is a great distinction between them, as they are both grammatically and semantically different.

If we regard such word-pairs as doctor — to doctor; water — to water; brief — to brieffrom the angle of their morphemic structure, we see that they are all root-words. On the derivational level, however, one of them should be referred to derived words, as it belongs to a different part of speech and is understood through semantic and structural relations with the other, i.e. is motivated by it. Consequently, the question arises: what serves as a word-building means in these cases? It would appear that the noun is formed from the verb (or vice versa) without any morphological change, but if we probe deeper into the matter, we inevitably come to the conclusion that the two words differ in the paradigm. Thus it is the paradigm that is used as a word-building means. Hence, we may define conversion as the formation of a new word through changes in its paradigm.1

M. Rayevskaya, English Lexicology. Kiev, 1957; D. Vesnik, S. Khidekel. Exercises in Modern English Word-Building. M., 1964; О. Д. Мешков. Словообразование английского языка. М., 1976.

1 See also ‘Word-Structure’, § 7, p. 96.


It is necessary to call attention to the fact that the paradigm plays a significant role in the process of word-formation in general and not only in the case of conversion. Thus, the noun cooker (in gas-cooker) is formed from the word to cook not only by the addition of the suffix -er, but also by the change in its paradigm. However, in this case, the role played by the paradigm as a word-building means is less obvious, as the word-building suffix -er comes to the fore. Therefore, conversion is characterised not simply by the use of the paradigm as a word-building means, but by the formation of a new word sоlelу by means of changing its paradigm. Hence, the change of paradigm is the only word-building means of conversion. As a paradigm is a morphological category conversion can be described as a morphological way of forming words. The following indisputable cases of conversion have bееn discussed in linguistic literature:

1) formation of verbs from nouns and more rarely from other parts of speech, and

2) formation of nouns from verbs and rarely from other parts of speech.

Opinion differs on the possibility of creating adjectives from nouns through conversion. In the so-called “stone wall” complexes the first members are regarded by some linguists as adjectives formed from the corresponding noun-stems by conversion, or as nouns in an attributive function by others, or as substantival stems by still others so that the whole combination is treated as a compound word. In our treatment of conversion on the pages that follow we shall be mainly concerned with the indisputable cases, i.e. deverbal substantives and denominal verbs.

Conversion has been the subject of a great many linguistic discussions since 1891 when H. Sweet first used the term in his New English Grammar. Various opinions have been expressed on the nature and character of conversion in the English language and different conceptions of conversion have been put forward.

The treatment of conversion as a morphological way of forming words accepted in the present book was suggested by the late Prof. A. I. Smirnitsky in his works on the English language.

Other linguists sharing, on the whole, the conception of conversion as a morphological way of forming words disagree, however, as to what serves here as a word-building means. Some of them define conversion as a non-affixal way of forming words pointing out that the characteristic feature is that a certain stem is used for the formation of a different word of a different part of speech without a derivational affix being added. Others hold the view that conversion is the formation of new words with the help of a zero-morpheme.

The treatment of conversion as a non-affixal word-formation process calls forth some criticism, it can hardly be accepted as adequate, for it fails to bring out the specific means making it possible to form, for instance, a verb from a noun without adding a derivational affix to the base. Besides, the term a non-affixal word-formation process does not help to distinguish between cases of conversion and those of sound-




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