WORD FORMATION PROCESSES

The processes of forming words can be grouped into two;

Major word formation processes

Minor word formation processes

MAJOR WORD FORMATION PROCESSES

Are commonly used in forming words. They include:-

Affixation

Compounding

Conversion

MINOR WORD FORMATION PROCESSES

Are those which are not commonly used in forming words. They include:-

  1. Clipping
  2. Acronym
  3. Borrowing
  4. Blending
  5. Coining
  6. Neologism
  7. Onomatopoeia
  8. CONVERSION (Zero Affixation)

COMPOUNDING

Is the process of joining two separate word or bases to form a new word e.g. black + board = blackboard, class + room = classroom. Compounds are pronounced as a single unit

TYPES OF COMPOUND WORDS/ WAYS OF WRITING COMPOUNDS

SOLID COMPOUNDS

In this type compound words are joined together. Eg. Textbook, deadline, newsroom etc

OPEN COMPOUNDS

Compounds are written separately e.g. raw material, exercise book, school bus etc

HYPHENATED COMPOUNDS

These are written with hyphens (- ) e.g. long – term, book – keeping, map – reading and  man – made.

Compounds can also be regarded as Opaque and Transparent

  • Opaque compounds are those whose meaning is not clear e.g. deadline. There is no relationship between the words “dead”, “line” and the meaning of the whole compound “deadline” means the point in time when something should be complete or done.
  • Transparent compounds are those compounds whose meaning is the same with that of separate element (compound) i.e. the meaning is clear. e.g. blackboard, newsroom, birthday etc

AFFIXATION

Is the process of attaching an affix to a root or stem

  • Affixation has three processes which are;
  • Prefixation
  • Infixation
  • Suffixation
  • PREFIXATION

Is the process of putting an affix before the base form. e.g. un+ true – untrue dis + like = dislike

TYPES OF PREFIXES

NEGATIVE PREFIXES

DIS – It means not. it is added to Added toAdjectives,VerbsandNouns. e.g. dislike, disobey, disconnect            

UN – (the opposite of ) it is added to Adjectives and verbs e.g. unhappy,unexpected, unfair and unkind

A – Means (lack of/in). it isadded to Adjectives and Nouns e.g. Assexual, amoral

NON – Added toAdjectives, Nouns and Verbs. eg. non – smoket, non – gradable, non – living things

IN, IL, IM, and IRR- (NOT) E.g. incorrect, illogical, impossible, and irregular

RESERVATIVE PREFIXES

(i) UN – (to reverse the action) – it isadded to verbs. e.g. undo, unzip, untie

(ii) DE – ( to reverse theaction, to get rid of ). e.g. deforestation, decolonize, decode

PEJORATIVE PREFIXES

(i) MIS – It means wrong orastray). it is added to verbs. e.g. mislead, misinform, misconduct

(ii) MAL – (bad, badly). it is added to verbs. e.g. maltreat, malnutriotion, malfunction

(iii) PSEUDO ( It means false or imitation). e.g. pseudo – scientific, pseudo – Christianity

DEGREE/SIZE PREFIXES

(i) ARCH – It means supreme, highest or arch. e.g. Arch bishop, Arch enemy, Arch fascist

(ii) Super – it means above e.g. supermarket, super power, supernatural.

(iii) OUT – It means to do something better e.g. outline, outperform

(iv) OVER – It means too much e.g. overgrazing, overconfidence, overfeeding

(v) UNDER – It means low quality e.g. underfeeding, underperform

(vi) MICRO – It means something small. e.g. micro-organism, micro-computer

(vii) MACRO- It means something big e.g. macro – micro – organism, microcyte

ATTITUDE PREFIX

(i) CO- It means joint or accompany with e.g. co-exist, co-operative, co-education

(ii) PRO- e.g. proCCM, prosocialism, proCHADEMA, proactive.

(iii) ANTI- It means something against/ being against e.g. antclockwise, antichrist, antisocial, antibiotic, antivirus.

TIME AND ORDER PREFIXES

(i) PRE-It means before e.g. pre-form V, premock, premature

(ii) FORE- It means before. e.g. foretell, foreshadow, fore father, foreleg

(iii) POST- It means after e.g. post election, post independence, post war, post scool, post graduate

(iv) EX- It means former  e.g. ex-husband, ex-girlfriend, ex-soldiers

LOCATIVEPREFIXES

(i) INTER- It means between/among e.g. International, interschool, intermarriage

(ii) TRANS- It means across e.g. Trans Sahara, trans-Africa, trans continental.

(iii) SUPER-It means over or above e.g. superstructure, superimpose

PREFIXES OF NUMBER

(i) UNI- MONO – (one) e.g. unilateral,  monocotyledon

(ii)  BI- DI- (Two) e.g. Diphthong, bilingual, bicycle

(iii) TRI- (Three) e.g. triangle, tricycle, trinity

AUTO- (Self) e.g. automatic, autocratic

NEO – (New) neo-colonialism

PAN- (All, world-wide) e.g. Pan African, Pan American

PROTO- (First, original) e.g. prototype, protobantu

SEMI- (half) e.g. semi circle, semi final

VICE- (Deduty) e.g. vice president

SUFFIXATION

Is a process of putting a morpheme after the base. Suffix is an element of structure that is added after a base. Most of the suffixes are usually derivatives i.e. they change the word clss

TYPES OF SUFFIXES

NOUN SUFFIXES

-occupational Suffixes

-ster e.g. gangster

–eer e.g. engineer, racketeer

Diminutive suffixes

–let (small, unimportant) e.g. booklet, piglet

–ette ( small, compact) e.g. kitchenette

Status, domain Suffixes

–hood (status) e.g. childhood, adulthood, widowhood.

–ship (status, condition) e.g. leadership, dictatorship, friendship

–dom (domain, status) kingdom, chiefdom

–ocracy (system of government) e.g. democracy, autocracy

NOUN /ADJECTIVES

–an ( belonging to, pertaining to) added to proper noun – e.g. Tanzanian, republican, Indian.

    –ese (means nationality when added to proper noun) e.g. Japanese, Congolese, Chinese

–ist (member of a party, occupation) e.g. capitalist, racialist, stylist

–ite (it is added to names to form personal nouns or adjectives) e.g. Israel – Israelite, Stalin – Stalinite

–ism ( means doctrine, a point of view or political movement) e.g. socialism, capitalism, Nyerereism

VERB TO NOUN SUFFIXES

–er (it means profession) e.g. work + er = worker, teach + er = teacher

drive+ er = driver

–ant e.g. account + ant = accountant, inform + ant = informant

–ee ( one who receives something) e.g. employee, payee, trainee

– ation ( state, action, institution) e.g. organization, civilization, victimization,

-ment (state, action) e.g. enjoyment, entertainment, development

-age (extent, amount) e.g. coverage, westage

 –al e.g. refusal, dismissal.

ADJECTIVE TO NOUN SUFFIXES

–ness (state, quality) e.g. sane + ity =sanity, rapid + ity = rapidity, elastic + ity = elasticity

VERB SUFFIXES

added to nouns or adjectives to form transitive verbs

–ify (causative) e.g. beauty + ify = beautify, amplify + ify = amplify

–ise (causative) e.g. modern + ise = modernize, legal + ise = legalise

–en  (to make more – causative) e.g. wide + en = widen, sharp + en = sharpen

NOUN TO ADJECTIVE SUFFIXES

-ful (fuu of ; having) e.g. hope + ful = hopeful, help +ful =helpful

joy+ joyful

–ly (having the qualities of) e.g. man – manly, friend – friendly, beast – beastly

–less ( without, not having), e.g. tooth – toothless, child – childless, care – careless

–ish (belonging to, having the character of) e.g. turk – Turkish, Sweden – Swedish, child – childish

–able e.g. favour – favourable, comfort – comfortable

–y (like, full of; covered with) e.g. sand – sandy, hair – hairy

ADVERB SUFFIXES

–ly ( manner) e.g. kind – kindly, –ward(s) (manner and direction of movement), added to preposition, adverbs, nouns etc) e.g. on – onwards, south – southwards

–wise (in the manner of, as far as; etc) added to nouns to form adverbs of manner, viewpoint etc e.g. clock – clockwise,  educationwise

INFIXATION

Refersto insertion of an affix into the root or stem there is no infixation process in English word formation

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