Lexicology — Билет 9

Morphological Structure of Words. Affixation. 

70% of all English words are complex forms, that’s they are constructed according to the norms and rules of the English word-building processes:

ü     affixation

ü     conversion

ü     composition

ü     some other minor word-building process


Structurally, words are divided into smaller units – morphemes. (the smallest lexical unit of form which possesses but unlike a word it can’t be used autonomously(автономно))

Types of morphemes:

  1. Free (can be used separately in an utterance) (sport, sportive, overage)
  2. Bound (can’t be used separate in the utterance the exist only the root or stem)


  1. Roots (is a part of a word which possesses a lexical meaning and in some

cases grammatical meaning)

  1. Stems (is a part of a word which possesses a lexical meaning and a part

of the categorical meaning)

  1. simple (boy, boyish, boyhood – simple stem is —boy)
  2. derived (it contains one or more affixes) (wonderfully the derived stem iswonderful)
  3. free (if it is homonymous to the word) (rainy the free stem is rain)
  4. Affixes
  5. derivational (help to form new words with the same root)

(use –ful;-less) (prefixes and suffixes)

  1. functional (do not form new words but they change the word within its paradigm) (work – ed;-s;-ing) (endings, flections)


According to their position affixes:


  1. Prefixes (is a derivational affix which is placed before the root and it

changes the meaning of the word and very seldom the

grammatically category of a word)

  1. (meanings) before some words prefixes express the difference betweentransitive and intransitive verbs (stay — outstay)
  2. can have a very generalized meaning of time (pre-;post-)
  3. have negative meanings (un-;dis-;im-;in-;ir-;il-;de-;ab-;mis-)
  4. one prefix denotes repetition (re-)
  5. some prefixes define the manner (out-, over-; under-; to outlive, overpay, underpay)


  1. Suffixes (is derivational morpheme which is added after the root or stem

                    and can change both the lexical meaning of a word and its

grammatical category) (criteria of classification)

  1. according to their origin
  2. Frenchance( hidrance);-ence (intelligence);- ment(development); —age (village); —ess (lioness); -ous (joyous); —fy(terrify); —ize (organize)
  3. Lain — —ion (union); —tion (revolution); —ate (create); -ute(distribute); —de (divide); —able (curable); —ent (evident); —or(junior); —al (final)

iii.      Greek –izm () –ist (nationalist)

  1. Native suffixes: -er (teacher); —ing (feeling); —dom (freedom); —ship (friendship); —th (truth); —hood (manhood); —ful (joyful); -less(sleepless); —y (snowy); -ly (ugly); —en (golden).
  2. according to what part of speech they form (noun forming; adj.-forming; verb-forming);
  3. according to frequency

Frequency – is some earlier stage of the development of a language; some affixes

were used to produce many new words but in cause of time these

affixes lost their productivity still there are exist many words with this

affix which is no more productive but frequent (-ful).


  1. according to what meaning they possess (-ful; full of; ish – quality; green-greenish)
  2. according to their productivity

Productivity – it is the ability of an affix to form many new words at a given stage

of the development of a language it’s a living, working process.

(-er; -ing; -y; -ish; -able; -ate; un-; pre-; dis-)

There are also non-productive affixes (-th; -hood; -ly; -some; -en; -ous;)


Some dead affixes which lost their both productivity and there frequent merged (сливаются) with roots and are not considered affixes any more.

-d      seed, deed

-le/l   sale

-nd    friend

-red   catered

-k      walk, talk


  1. Infixes (is a derivational affix which is placed within the root and changes

the grammatical category of a word but it practically never use

in English) (stand-stood)


In English it is possible to meet hybrids (words comprising elements of different languages) (artist; art- French; ist-Greek suffix)

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