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word form[edit]

Depending on the affix and the base morpheme several affixes may be needed to form a complete word form.

list of affixes[edit]

I just added a list of affixes, but then it occurred to me that Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Maybe it should get removed  :-( SebastianHelm 18:43 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I include the affixes in wiktionary. Correct the misspellings, please.


I've corrected a whole bunch of Hispanicisms in the list of suffixes, which are actually noun combining forms, not suffixes. Would you please add more definitions?

redirects & suffix[edit]

Question: Is it a problem that there are pages for prefixes, infixes, and circumfixes, but that suffixes get redirected to affixes? It seems a little, I don't know, inequitable.कुक्कुरोवाच 04:23, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)


this page obviously needs examples from other languages, esp. since English does not really give good examples of some types. peace – ishwar  (speak) 13:52, 2005 July 18 (UTC)

Dimunutives etc.[edit]

I plan to start a page called Dimunutive suffix pretty soon and it will include info from English, Latin, Ancient Greek and Spanish as these are the languages where I can contribute the most. Please add info from other languages if you can. There is a lot of info concerning affixes which is sadly missing from wiki.--Hraefen 00:24, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

exemples from Spanish and Catalan[edit]

Please, add them if you like

prefix:pre- des- contra- sufix: -er -ero - ista - aire infix: -et- -all-


Um...does the term "interfix" actually exist? From searches I don't think it does, but I'm going to ask a professor to verify. If not it should be taken out. --Grenadier 20:27, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

hi. Yes, it exists. Interfixes are problemmatic. They are basically meaningless linking elements that occur between 2 components of a compound word. They might sometimes be called linking phonemes or something to that effect. Because they are meaningless they are known as "empty" morphemes (which is, obviously, something of a contradiction — hence they are problemmatic to analyze, especially in a traditional analysis).
They are well-known in Germanic languages, so you could search for both interfix and Germanic. Here are some examples from German from Bauer (2003) (since I dont know German):
  • Arbeit + Anzug → Arbeit-s-anzug "work clothes"
  • Geburt + Jahr → Geburt-s-jahr "year of birth"
  • Liebe + Brief →Liebe-s-brief "love letter"
  • Verbindung + Tür → Verbindung-s-tür
The interfix above is -s- (note the hyphens dont appear in German spelling). You may be able to figure out that historically some interfixes actually meant something (e.g. they may have previously been plural or possessive affixes), but not necessarily. But, in the modern languages they are just elements that must be there, but they dont add any meaning. – ishwar  (speak) 21:13, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

need disambiguition for affix [grammars] in computer science.[edit]

affix is by definition bound morpheme?[edit]

The intro to the article states that affixes are by definition bound morphemes, but the morpheme article gives the example of the free morphene -able. Which is correct? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

stem or root[edit]

This entire article seems to use the term "stem" where the articles on stem (linguistics) and root (linguistics) say the term "root" would be appropriate. Is this a difference in conventions, or is this article being imprecise? Joriki (talk) 14:02, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

"Stem" is correct, and consistent with what is said in the other articles, as far as I can see. CapnPrep (talk) 20:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it's consistent with the other articles. The affix article says that "An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a word stem to form a new word. Affixes may be derivational, like English -ness and pre-, or inflectional, like English plural -s and past tense -ed." By contrast, the articles on stem (linguistics) and root (linguistics) say that the stem is what inflectional affixes are attached to and the root is what derivational and inflectional affixes are attached to. While the article on root (linguistics) says that "root" is sometimes used instead of "stem", neither article says that "stem" is sometimes used instead of "root". So the use of "stem" for something that derivational affixes are attached to appears inconsistent with these articles. Or am I missing something? Joriki (talk) 13:29, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
The definition given in Word stem needs to be expanded (with sources) to include derivational morphology. (Root (linguistics) also lacks basic references.) There are lots of partially overlapping definitions floating around, and so there is some confusion/interchangeability between the two terms. This is usually harmless, but the terminology adopted in this article is better for talking about alternations like destroy·ed vs. destruc·tion (they share the same root, but have distinct stems). I.e. "root" is a more abstract, semantic, historical notion.
If your general point is that all three of these articles need more work, I agree 100%. CapnPrep (talk) 21:54, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree about the articles needing more work. But it's not just a matter of expanding Word stem to include derivational morphology -- the article isn't merely failing to say something on that subject, it explicitly says that derivational morphemes are part of the stem -- so it uses a definition of "stem" that's incompatible with the one being used here, and a decision needs to be made which of the two to use. You may well be right that the one adopted here is better; I don't know much about the subject. Joriki (talk) 09:25, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
A root is a monomorphemic stem. Each time an affix is added, the result is a stem. So narrate is a root; it is the stem of narration, which in turn is the stem of narrations. kwami (talk) 21:23, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
That's a nice succinct explanation. But would you agree that it contradicts some of the statements in the article on stem (linguistics)? There it says "a stem is the part of a word that is common to all its inflected variants" and "a stem is that part of a word that inflectional affixes attach to". According to your definition (which makes sense to me), a word contains several stems, and some of them have derivational, not inflectional affixes attached to them. Joriki (talk) 09:32, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Kwami's definition is very precise and the articles need work so that it is clarified. "Roots" are monomorphemic. Once you add a derivational affix to a root, you have a stem. You can add affixes (either derivational or inflectional) to either roots or stems. There is an implicit understanding among linguists that when one says "add to stems" it is a shortcut for "add to roots or stems". That would imply that "roots" is a subset of "stems", but monomorphemic forms are not secondary to derived forms--it's just a linguistic shorthand. (Taivo (talk) 10:32, 10 April 2009 (UTC))
The way I've always thought of it is that both root and stem refer to what you add on to. A root is what you get when you go all the way to the core; a stem is each step of the way. I don't know if maybe technically a root is not a kind of stem, as Taivo puts it; I always assumed that a root was the "first stem".
Ah no, wait. A root may be an independent word, which is not a requirement of being a stem? Taivo, in destabilize, would you say that stabil- is a stem, but not a root, which would be stable? kwami (talk) 20:08, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't get the stable example. (I didn't sleep well last night.) But "independent word" is not part of the definition of either root or stem. It's language-dependent. "Am-" is a root in Latin, but it's never an independent word (amo, amas, amat, etc.). OK, now I think I understand, "stable" and "stabil-" are identical (just spelling differences)--they are the root "stable", which changes spelling for "stability", "stabilize", etc. The adverb is spelled "stably" and there is another adjective spelling "stabile". (Taivo (talk) 20:38, 10 April 2009 (UTC))
And remember the "cran-" morphemes in English--roots without independent forms--such as "-ceive", "huckle-", "cran-", etc. (Taivo (talk) 20:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC))
I never thought of any of those as roots. Actually, "root" isn't a word I use very much. It's pretty much either 'morpheme' or 'stem'. Okay, would the root be the set stable/stabil/etc. (which are phonemically distinct, as in stability) depending on derivation, with each of those forms being considered a separate stem? I'm trying to think why 'root' would not be a subset of 'stem'. kwami (talk) 21:23, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Here's the basic clade: morphemes are either roots or affixes (realizing that "affix" is a rather broader term that encompasses processes as well as physical -fixes). Stems are roots plus derivational affixes. Some authors use "stem" as a base for inflectional affixation, which means that "stems" can include both roots and stems, but I see that as more of a shortcut for "roots and stems". Since "root" is the base of the tree as the primary unit of lexical meaning, that's why I don't like to talk about them as a subset of "stems". Instead I see "stem" as something more like an augmented "root". So, basically, every lexical word must start with a root, to which are added any derivational and inflectional affixes (or other roots in compounding). Thus, -ceive is the root to which can be added the derivational prefixes re-, per-, de-, con-, etc. (Taivo (talk) 21:34, 10 April 2009 (UTC))

I've edited word stem to reflect the different uses of the term, with a reference for each main usage. (Whether the root itself counts as a stem seems like a minor variation compared to the more fundamental question whether a stem is anything that affixes can be attached to, or the part of a word that inflectional affixes are attached to.) What do you think? Joriki (talk) 21:33, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


The following terms need some references: Duplifix, Simulfix, and Suprafix. These are not called affixes in the literature, but are almost always called derivational or inflectional processes. I've never seen the "fix" terms for these because they don't involve adding a physical morpheme. They are phonological processes that have semantic content (thus their relevance in morphology), but they are not affixes. "Disfix" should also be considered a phonological process, but since it at least has a reference at disfix and a linguist has used the term, then it can slide. I've also seen reduplication talked about as a "morpheme" with an empty phonological shape that is filled by the phonology of the root, but not with the term "Duplifix". Since these three things I've mentioned above are almost always treated not as morphemes, but as processes, then they should be removed from this article since "affix" is a kind of morpheme. I can be convinced otherwise if there is some reliable (linguistic) literature on the topic. (Taivo (talk) 15:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC))


really? saxo-ma-phone is the best example of infix that anyone could come up with? Is everyone editing this page a morpheme addict or something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

In all my years of being a native speaker of English, I have never heard of a form like saxo-ma-phone or any other use of "ma" as an infix. --Taivo (talk) 06:21, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Arguably the best known infix in the English language is -fucking- as intensifier, but using that as an example might be pushing it.  :-) — Coren (talk) 16:25, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
We already cite one of the polite forms of the'- infix--"Minne-flippin'-sota". --Taivo (talk) 16:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Although I dislike the example by default, because it's tmesis, not an actual infix. (Unless tmesis counts as infixing) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 24 January 2015 (UTC)


In redirecting Prefix (linguistics) to here, the list of English prefixes and their meanings has been lost. Though I don't think the list would fit here, I think the article should be resurrected for that reason.--Jcvamp (talk) 01:43, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Confix / Circumfix[edit]

What is the proper term? We have both confix and circumfix, but no indication as to which is more commonly used or more generally accepted. The confix article seems to have been mainly written with Indonesian and Malaysian in mind, while the circumfix article has examples from German and also mentions other languages with this kind of affix. Which is correct, and should they be merged? Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:04, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Circumfix is the only term I've encountered among the languages I work with. The confix article should be merged with circumfix. --Taivo (talk) 13:03, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I first saw confix, but I am studying in Indonesia so that might be why. I will nominate confix to be merged into circumfix. Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:49, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Scratch that, you already did. Will add my two cents. Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:51, 15 April 2011 (UTC)