Some frequent native suffixes

Noun-forming: -er: worker, miner, teacher, etc.

-ness: coldness, loneliness, etc.

-ing: feeling, singing, reading, etc.

-dom: freedom, wisdom, kingdom, etc.

Adjective-forming: -ful: careful, joyful, wonderful, etc.

-less: careless, sleepless, senseless, etc.

-y: tidy, cozy, merry, snowy

-ish: English, reddish, childish

-ly: lonely, lovely, ugly

-en: wooden, silken, golden

Verb-forming: -en widen, darken, redden

Adverb-forming: -lywarmly, hardly, simply, carefully

Borrowed suffixes, especially of Some frequent native suffixes Roman origin are numerous in the English vocabulary. It would be wrong to suppose that affixes are borrowed in the same way and for the same reasons as words. An affix of foreign origin can be regarded as borrowed only after it has begun an independent and active life in the recipient Some frequent native suffixes language, that is, is taking part in the word-making processes of that language.

* * *

Affixes can also be classified into productiveandnon-productive types. By productiveaffixes we mean the ones, which take part in deriving new words in this particular period of language development. The best way to identify Some frequent native suffixes productive affixes is to look for them among neologismsand so-called nonce-words,i.e. words coined and used only for this particular occasion. The latter are usually formed on the level of living speech and reflect the most productive and progressive patterns in word-building. The adjectives thinnish and Some frequent native suffixes baldish are examples of nonce-words coined on the current pattern of Modern English. They bring in mind dozens of other adjectives мейд with the same suffix: oldish, youngish, yellowish, etc. proving that the suffix –ish is a live and active one.

One should not confuse the Some frequent native suffixes productivity of affixes with their frequency of occurrence. There are quite a number of high-frequency affixes which are no longer used in word-derivation (e.g. the adjective-forming native suffixes –ful, -ly; the adjective-forming suffixes of Latin origin –ant,-ent, -al which are quite frequent).

Some Some frequent native suffixes productive affixes

Noun-forming suffixes -er(trainer, leader), -ing(dying, building), -ness(coldness, fairness), -ism(materialism), -ist(impressionist)
Adjective-formingsuffixes -y(angry, merry), -ish(oldish, lookish), -ed(learned), -able(capable)
Adverb-forming suffixes -ly(coldly, simply)
Verb-forming suffixes -ize/-ise(realize)
Prefixes un-(unhappy), re-(reconstruct), dis-(disappoint)

Some non-productive Some frequent native suffixes affixes

Noun-forming suffixes -th, -hood
Adjective-forming suffixes -ly, -some, -en, -ous
Verb-forming suffix -en

Semantics of affixes

The morpheme,and therefore affix, which is a type of morpheme, is generally defined as the smallest indivisible component of the word possessing a meaning of its own. Meanings of Some frequent native suffixes affixes are specific and considerably differ from those of root morphemes. Affixes have widely generalized meanings and refer the concept conveyed by the whole word to a certain category, which is vast and all-embracing. So, the noun-forming suffix –er could be roughly defined as designating Some frequent native suffixes persons from the object of their occupation or labour (painter – the one who paints) or from their place of origin or abode (southerner – the one living in the South). The adjective-forming suffix –ful has the meaning of “full of”, “characterized by” (beautiful, careful) whereas –ish may often apply Some frequent native suffixes insufficiency of quality (greenish – green but not quite; youngish (моложавый) – not quite young but looking it).

The semantic distinctions of words produced from the same root by means of different affixes are also of considerable interest for language studies. Compare: womanly (женственный) – womanish (женоподобный), flowery (цветистый) – flowering (расцветающий) – flowered (увенчанный Some frequent native suffixes цветочными узорами), reddened (окрашенный в красноватый цвет) – reddish (красный).

The semantic difference between the members of these groups is very obvious: the meanings of the suffixes are so distinct that they colour the whole words.

Womanly is used in a complimentary manner about girls and women, whereas womanish Some frequent native suffixes is used to indicate an effeminate man and certainly implies criticism.

Flowery is applied to speech or a style, flowering is the same as blossoming (e.g. flowering bushes or shrubs).

Reddened imply the result of an action or process, as in the eyes reddened with weeping, whereas reddish Some frequent native suffixes point to insufficiency of quality: reddish is not exactly red,but tinged with red.


Conversionconsists in making a new word from some existing word by changing the category of a part of speech: the morphemic shape of the original word remains unchanged. The new word has a meaning which differs from Some frequent native suffixes that of the original one though it can more or less be easily associated with it. It has also a new paradigm peculiar to its new category as a part of speech.

nurse, n > to nurse, v
-s, pl. -s, 3rd p. sg.
Substantive paradigm -`s, possesive, sg Some frequent native suffixes. -s`, possesive, pl. Verbal paradigm -ed, past s., past participle -ing, pres. part, gerund

Conversion is accepted as one of the major ways of enriching English vocabulary with new words. One of the major arguments for this approach to conversion is the semantic change that regularly accompanies each instance of Some frequent native suffixes conversion. Normally, a word changes its syntactic function without any shift in lexical meaning. E.g. both in yellow leaves and in The leaves were turning yellow the adjective denotes colour. Yet, in The leaves yellowed the converted unit no longer denotes colour, but the process of changing colour, so Some frequent native suffixes that there is an essential change in meaning.

The change of meaning is even more obvious in such pairs as хэнд > to хэнд, face > to face, to go > a go, etc.

The other argument is the regularity and completeness with which converted units develop a paradigm of their new Some frequent native suffixes category of part of speech.As soon as it has crossed the category borderline, the new word automatically acquires all the properties of the new category, so that if it has entered the verb category, it is now regularly used in all the forms of tense and it Some frequent native suffixes also develops the forms of the participle and the gerund.

Conversion is not only a highly productive but also a particularly English way of word-building. Its immense productivity is considerably encouraged by certain features of the English language in its modern stage of development. The analytical structure of Modern Some frequent native suffixes English greatly facilitates processes of making words of one category of parts of speech from words of another. So does the simplicity of paradigms of English parts of speech.A great number of one-syllable words is another factor in favour of conversion.

One should guard against thinking that Some frequent native suffixes every case of noun and verb (verb and adjective, adjective and noun, etc.) with the same morphemic shape results from conversion. There are numerous pairs of words (e.g. love n – to love v, work n – to work v, etc.) which did not occur due to conversion but coincided as Some frequent native suffixes a result of certain historical processes (dropping of endings, simplification of stems) when before they had different forms.

The two categories of parts of speech aspecially affected by conversion are nouns and verbs. Verbs мейд from nouns are the most numerous amongst the words produced by conversion: e.g. to Some frequent native suffixes хэнд, to back, to face, to screen, to blackmail, and very many others.

Nouns are frequently мейд from verbs: do, make, walk, etc.

Verbs can also be мейд from adjectives: to pale, to cool, to yellow, etc.

Other parts of speech are not entirely unsusceptible to Some frequent native suffixes conversion: to down, to out.

* * *

It was mentioned that a word мейд by conversion has a different meaning from that of the word from which it was мейд though the two meanings can be associated. For instance, in the group of verbs мейд from nouns some of the regular semantic associations Some frequent native suffixes are as indicated in the following list:

I. The noun is the name of a tool, the verb denotes an action performed by the tool: to hammer, to nail, to comb, to brush.

II. The noun is the name of an animal, the verb denotes an action or aspect of Some frequent native suffixes behaviour considered typical of this animal: to dog (преследовать), to wolf (пожирать), to monkey (дразнить), to rat (предать).

III. The name of a part of the human body – an action performed by it: to хэнд, to eye (рассматривать), to elbow (толкать локтем), to nose (нюхать).

IV Some frequent native suffixes. The name of a profession or occupation – an activity typical of it: to nurse, to cook.

V. The name of a place – the process of occupying the place or of putting smth./smb. in it: to room (занимать комнату), to place, to table (класть на стол).

VI. The name Some frequent native suffixes of a container – the act of putting smth. within the container (to can, to bottle (разливать по бутылкам)).

VII. The name of a meal – the process of taking it (to lunch, to supper).

The suggested groups do not include all the great variety of verbs мейд from nouns by conversion Some frequent native suffixes. They just represent the most obvious cases and illustrate the great variety of semantic interrelations within so-called converted pairs.

Answer these questions.

1. What are the main ways of enriching the English vocabulary?

2. What are the principal productive ways of word-building in English?

3. What do we mean by Some frequent native suffixes derivation?

4. What is the difference between frequency and productivity of affixes? Give examples.

5. Give examples of your own to show that affixes have meanings.

6. Prove that the words a finger and to finger (“to touch or handle with the fingers”) are two words and not one word finger used either as Some frequent native suffixes a noun or as a verb.

7. What features of Modern English have produced the high productivity of conversion?

8. Which categories of parts of speech are especially affected by conversion?


abodeместо проживания

affixationаффиксация, деривация


compound wordсложное слово






nonce-wordслова, образованные для данного варианта


radicalкорень (слова)

readjustmentперегруппировка; приспособление

root wordкорневые,обыкновенные корневые слова

shorteningsyn contractionсокращение

slylyтайком, исподтишка


subtleтяжелый, запутанный

word Some frequent native suffixes-buildingсловообразование

Lecture 7


(pp. 104 – 120)

1. Composition.

1.1. Groups and subgroups of compounds. Productive and non-productive types of composition.

1.2. Semantic aspects of compound words.

1.3. A compound and a word-combination.

2. Semi-affixes.

3. Shortening (Contraction)

4. Onomotopoeia.

5. Reduplication.

6. Back-formation (Reversion).


This type of word-building, in which new words are Some frequent native suffixes produced by combining two or more stems, is one of the three most productive types in Modern English, the other two are conversionandaffixation.Compounds, though certainly fewer in quantity than derived or root words, still represent one of the most typical and specific features of English word-structure.

1.1. Groups and subgroups of Some frequent native suffixes compounds.

There are at least three aspects of composition that present special interest.

The first is the structural aspect. Compounds are not homogenous in structure. Traditionally three types are distinguished: neutral, morphological and syntactic.

In neutral compounds the process of compounding is realized without any linking elements, by Some frequent native suffixes a mere juxtaposition of two stems, as in blackbird, shop-window, bedroom, tallboy (высочайший комод), etc. There are three subtypes of neutral compounds depending on the structure of the constituent stems.

The examples above represent the subtype which may be described as simple neutral compounds: they consist of simple Some frequent native suffixes affixless stems.

Compounds which have affixes in their structure are called derived or derivational compounds. E.g. blue-eyed, golden-haired, lady-killer (сердцеед), film-goer (киноман), music-lover (меломан), first-nighter (театрал, посещающий театральные премьеры), late-comer (опоздавший), newcomer (новичок), early-riser (ранешняя пташка), evil-doer (злодей). The Some frequent native suffixes productivity of this type is confirmed by a considerable number of comparatively recent formations, such as teenager, babysitter, doubledecker (a ship or bus with two decks). Numerous nonce-words are coined on this pattern which is another proof of its high productivity, e.g. (goose-flesher (“murder story” – триллер).

The Some frequent native suffixes third subtype of neutral compounds is called contracted compounds. These words have a shortened (contracted) stem in their structure: TV-set, V-day (Victory day), G-man (Government man – FBI agent), T-shirt, etc.

Morphological compounds are few in number. This type is non-productive. It Some frequent native suffixes is represented by words in which two compounding stems are combined by a linking vowel or consonant, e.g. Anglo-Saxon, handiwork (ручная работа), handicraft (ремесло), spokesman (представитель), statesman (муниципальный деятель).

In syntactic compounds we find a feature of specifically English word-structure. These words are formed from segments Some frequent native suffixes of speech, preserving in their structure numerous traces of syntagmatic relations typical of speech: articles, prepositions, adverbs, as in the nouns lily-of-the-valley (ландыш), Jack-of-all-trades (мастер на все руки), good-for-nothing (негодяй, лоботряс), mother-in-law (тёща). Syntactical relations and grammatical patterns current in present-day Some frequent native suffixes English can be clearly traced in the structures of such compound nouns as know-all (всезнайка), know-nothing (невeжда), go-between (посредник), whodunit (детектив). The last word (meaning “a detective story”) was obviously coined from the ungrammatical variant of the word-group who (has) done it Some frequent native suffixes.

In this group of compounds we find a great number of neologisms, and whodunit isone of them.

The structure of most compounds is transparent and clearly betrays the origin of these words from word-combinations.

1.2. Semantic aspect of compound words.

Another фокус of interest is the semantic aspect of Some frequent native suffixes compound words, that is, the question of correlations of the separate meanings of the constituent parts and the actual meaning of the compound. Can the meaning of a compound word be regarded as the sum of its constituent meanings?

To try and answer this question, let us consider the following Some frequent native suffixes groups of examples.

(1) Classroom, bedroom, dining-room, sleeping-car, reading-room, dancing-hall.

This group seems to represent compounds whose meanings can really be described as the sum of their constituent meanings. Yet, in the last four words we can distinctly detect a slight shift of meaning. The first component Some frequent native suffixes in these words, if taken as a free form, denotes an action or state of whatever or whoever is characterized by the word. Yet, a sleeping-car is not a car that sleeps (cf. a sleeping child), nor is a dancing-hall actually dancing (cf. dancing pairs Some frequent native suffixes).

The shift of meaning becomes much more pronounced in the second group of examples.

(2) Blackboard, blackbird, football, chatterbox (болтун), lady-killer, good-for-nothing (лоботряс).

In this compounds one of the components (or both) has changed its meaning: a blackboard is neither a board nor necessarily black, football is not Some frequent native suffixes a ball but a game, a chatterbox not a box but a person, and a lady-killer kills no one but is merely a man who fascinates women. In all these compounds the meaning of the whole word cannot be defined as the sum of the constituent meanings.

Yet, despite Some frequent native suffixes a certain readjustment in the semantic structure of the word, the meanings of the constituents of the compounds of this second group are still transparent: you can see through them the meaning of the whole complex. At least, it is clear that a blackbird is some kind of Some frequent native suffixes bird and that a good-for-nothing is not meant as a compliment.

(3) In the third group of compounds the process of deducing the meaning of the

whole from those of the constituents is impossible. The key to the meaning seems to have been lost: ladybird (божья коровка) is not a Some frequent native suffixes bird but an insect, tallboy not a boy but a piece of furniture.

The compounds whose meanings do not correspond to the separate meanings of their constituent parts (2nd and 3rd group) are called idiomatic compounds,in contrast to the first group known as non-idiomatic compounds.

The Some frequent native suffixes suggested subdivision into three groups is based on the degree of semantic cohesion of the constituent parts, the third group representing the extreme case of cohesion where the constituent meanings blend to produce an entirely new meaning.

Composition is not quite so flexible a way of coining new words as Some frequent native suffixes conversion but flexible enough as is convincingly shown by the examples of nonce-words. Among compounds are found numerous expressive and colourful words. They are also comparatively laconic, absorbing into one word an idea that otherwise would have required a whole phrase (cf. The hotel was full Some frequent native suffixes of week-enders and The hotel was full of people spending the weekend there).

Both the laconic and the expressive value of compounds can be well illustrated by English compound adjectives denoting colours (cf. snow-white – as white as snow).