Questions regarding morphemes (smallest semantically meaningful units in a language) such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context.

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1answer
37 views

Usage of the noun suffix “-ment”

What is a good rule for the usage of the noun suffix -ment? Is desirement as acceptable as achievement?
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5answers
940 views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
4
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1answer
96 views

Different sounds of “t” [closed]

Why do we sometimes pronounce t as /t/, whereas other times we pronounce it as /ʧ/ or /ʃ/? t in town, 'ʧ' in natural 'ʃ' in hamartia/tertiary Is there any special rule for these?
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2answers
139 views

“Sexy” and “sexiness”

When did the noun sex acquire its corresponding adjective and abstract noun? I would really like to know a few things about the history of these two word formations. As far as I know, these lexical ...
2
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1answer
97 views

When is “all y'allses” used?

I have a student from Virginia who says she has heard the use of all y'allses; does anyone know about this? Is it that the second person plural being used is all y'alls (with the -s at the end here ...
6
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1answer
72 views

Is the suffix “-ize” particularly productive in the morphological domain of nouns ending in “-nym”?

On a recent question asking if acronymize is a word, a comment caught my attention: Why bother to acronymize? If I'm going to take such liberties, I might as well just acronym the text. This ...
3
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1answer
116 views

What are the implicit rules for creating new portmanteaux in English?

Wikipedia defines a portmanteau1 as: “Portmanteau word” is used to describe a linguistic blend, namely “a word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their ...
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1answer
145 views

Is “grammered” a word?

Can I get any details about the word grammered? Is there any relation between it and "grammatically corrected" or "grilled and hammered"?
2
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1answer
85 views

Morphological structure of 'misrepresent' and 'consideration'

I've been wondering about the morphological structure of 'misrepresent' and 'consideration.' In 'misrepresent,' is sent, present, or represent the stem? It's quite tricky! Consideration is also ...
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1answer
60 views

Is there a correlation between “bad” and “bat”?

I saw something about Batman somewhere online, and for a very brief moment it crossed my mind that it sounds like 'bad man'. A fraction of a second later I noticed the bat logo. Bats are usually ...
5
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2answers
429 views

Is there a word for made up verbs that end in “ing”?

One thing I love about English is that verbs can be easily created just by adding the suffix "-ing" and adjectives by adding "-ly". How would you call this phenomenon? Examples: Googling, ...
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2answers
321 views

Why do all negating words start with the letter N?

Maybe this question is stupid, but I came to wonder: Why do all negating words start with the letter n? This is the case in all languages I know of.
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1answer
59 views

What is a comparative form of the adverb nicely?

The adjective "nice" can be inflected: nicer, nicest. Can the derived adverb "nicely" be inflected or it only has the absolute form?
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2answers
80 views

How to find words which are related morphologically?

I'm looking for a book, or any other source, which lists words that are morphologically related, like this: imagine verb imagination noun imaginative adjective Or this: medic ...
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3answers
99 views

Travel/Travelers & Journey/Journeyers [closed]

When I change Travel to Travelers, what is that? Is that some sort of participle? Also, how is this accomplished with Exodus? As in 'Exodus-ers'. Does one use the Latin ablative?
9
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2answers
1k views

Usage of -ist and -ian, when to use which?

This is a question bugging me for a long long time, especially for a non-native speaker like myself. We have physicist standing for the people doing physics research, as is linguist, chemist, etc. ...
5
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2answers
487 views

Why are the notes or protocol of a meeting referred to as its 'minutes'?

A minute is 60 seconds. Something 'minute' is small, minor, perhaps short. Now, what about the minutes of a meeting or a session? As in, its written protocol? Are they called that because: The ...
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1answer
185 views

Is there any other word meaning “prick” with initial onsets “pr-” except prick?

This is my edited question: I look up in the etymological dictionay about prick, and find that prick is not a word derived from Proto-indo-european etymon. Meanwhile, I find a lot of words meaning ...
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1answer
1k views

Does the suffix -ion in “invention” mean the same in “station”?

Is the suffix -ion in the word invention the same as in the words direction, nation, fiction, station?
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4answers
3k views

Are the words “sillily”, “uglily”, “friendlily”, “livelily”, etc., valid English?

I have wondered about how to make the words silly, ugly, friendly, lively, etc. into adverbs, so I researched in the Internet. I found many different answers, so I tried checking Oxford Dictionaries. ...
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1answer
184 views

Which best describes the English language?

English has complex morphology and less rigid phonology. English has less complex phonology but more rigid morphology. English has both rigid and complex morphology and phonology.
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2answers
409 views

Is this a morphological error? or an instance of neologism? [closed]

A learner's error of translation: Hand me the pincers. (for pliers) Is this an error of morphology; or is it, as I think, a neologism, in that the learner substitutes a term he already knows ...
14
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2answers
341 views

What’s going on with “drink > drench”? Is it like “passage > passenger”?

Edit: I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process (which here uses terminal palatalization to indicate such) of turning passive verbs like drink into active verbs like drench. I ...
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2answers
275 views

Are there names for consonant-shifts when suffixes are added?

I saw a spelling mistake on an SO question: submittion. That got me wondering, is there a name for the shift of ‑mit‑ to ‑miss‑ in submission, permission, admission and so on? Are there other patterns ...
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2answers
545 views

Comparative adverbs

"Officially" (or so I believe) English doesn't have comparative adverbs (a single word rather than "more" + an adverb), but faster is in common usage as one, for example: Do it faster When ...
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1answer
375 views

What are the component words of 'Cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust'? Can this be accepted as a practical English word?

I was amused to find the unusually lengthy word, “Cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust” in Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Watch Out Below!” in December 15 NY-Times. Dowd admits she used a word invented by Jon ...
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1answer
610 views

Forming occupational nouns: Why do you say “butcher” and not “butchian” or “butchor”?

Question: Occupational nouns (butcher, sailor, musician, etc.) have various suffixes in English (er, or, ee, ant, etc.). Is there a set of rules to form occupational nouns from the verbs or their ...
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2answers
347 views

Is “re-enqueue” or “reenqueue” a proper word?

This came up while reviewing a technical document: The algorithm could re-enqueue the id associated with the job ... This has generated some discussion as the word does not appear in the ...
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0answers
508 views

Why does English have so many words when the grammar doesn't allow for concatenating? [closed]

In English the words "mathematics professor" are 2: mathematics professor We get 3 meanings from these 2 words: Mathematics, professor and mathematics professor. In Swedish the words are matematik ...
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1answer
215 views

What term describes the relationship between 'collectivism' and 'collectivisation'?

What is collectivism, in terms of grammar, of collectivisation? Put another way: Collectivism is the [which word?] of collectivisation? Another example word pair might be centralism and ...
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1answer
207 views

“Utilisability” vs. “usability”

I tried hard to find if we have the noun utilisability in dictionaries but it does not exist. But, when goolging, I found some articles that contain this word. I know that we have the verb to use ...
6
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4answers
866 views

Is “Englishnization” an acceptable term?

There's a company named Rakuten in Japan, which introduced "Englishnization" a couple of years ago. They adopted an internal policy where all the employees are expected to speak English as an official ...
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3answers
11k views

Which nouns can be used as verbs?

Someone told me that the English language is special (compared to German, at least) in the way that every noun could be used as a verb. I think this phenomenon is called supine. Is this correct? ...
6
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4answers
799 views

Does “neath” have any standalone meaning?

Beneath and underneath both indicate similar concepts, and since under- is a free morpheme in many contexts, is neath a bound morpheme or does it derive from a standalone root? I bring this up since ...
8
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1answer
304 views

Morphological process for derivation of the word “ish” from suffix “-ish”?

"Ish" is a recently derived word (free root) conveying a sense of "so-so" or approximation. It is most commonly used as an adjective but occasionally as an adverb. I would not be at all surprised to ...
14
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3answers
9k views

Why is the plural form of “life” “lives”, while the plural form of “still life” is “still lifes”?

Why does the plural form of "life" is "lives", while the plural form of "still life" is "still lifes"? From Wikipedia: A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly ...
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2answers
492 views

Should I say “domesticable” or “domesticatable”?

What should I say better, "domesticable" or "domesticatable"?
6
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1answer
169 views

“Commutivity” or “commutativity”

I see commutivity used in contexts where the meaning appears to be the same as commutativity. Here are an example from physics and another example. Is commutivity incorrect? Does it differ from ...
5
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2answers
361 views

What does “-bot” of “Obama-bot”, “GOP-bot” mean?

I came across the following sentence of the Time magazine’s article (March 22) dealing with the gaffe made by Mitt Romney’s adviser Eric Fehrnstrom who compared the frequent changes of Romney’s ...
4
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1answer
789 views

Rules for forming demonyms

Are there specific rules / conventions at play when creating demonyms? Or are they merely formed organically over time - the most popular winning out? There are many suffixes to choose from, but I ...
6
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2answers
542 views

What comes in between predecessor and successor?

I'd like a good word for "current item in a succession of items". Let's say I am looking ahead, towards my successor. Back behind me, I can also see my predecessor. What am I? I'd hate to use the ...
3
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4answers
695 views

Adjective or noun when referring to plural citizenship

What is the right form to use when talking about plural citizenship? "We are Italian" or "we are Italians"? (or American, Or German or any other ending with "*an") Same issue for "Saudi" or "Saudies", ...
0
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1answer
893 views

Does the word “please” come from “plea”?

I thought that the word please came from the plural of plea. But then why is it please instead of just pleas? Why the e? Are "plea" and "please" really related to each other?
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1answer
2k views

What form of verb is “thank” in “thank you”?

Is the word thank in Thank you! a verb? If not, what part of speech is it then? If it is a verb, is it in the imperative mood? I'm asking because I've seen someone write Do thank you! which ...
9
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3answers
958 views

Can we call a person who loses things a “loser”?

Think > Thinker Draw > Drawer Can we call a person who loses thing a loser? Of course, I do not mean that they are not successful or failed but what should I call them?
6
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1answer
341 views

What are the rules for the use of words that have a variant ending in -al? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is it “geometric” but “theoretical”? “Electric” vs. “electrical” I think I'm clear on the difference between word ...
9
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3answers
219 views

Verbed color names and “-en”

"whitened", "blackened", and "reddened"; but "yellowed", "grayed", and "blued". Is there some rule or is it just one of those things? "Greened" makes sense; no one is going to say "greenened". ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the person called whom you give a recommendation?

If person A gives person B a recommendation, can you call A recommender and B recommendee or are these words made up? I've seen both forms used in everyday language (e.g. magazines), but never in a ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the story behind “a-” prefix / suffix?

For example, If this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' Here We Come A-caroling (song title) Come on-a My House (song title) I have a few related questions: What is the "a-" or "-a" called? ...
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2answers
806 views

Morpheme help: How many morphemes does the word “dost” (Shakespeare) have?

How many morphemes does the word "dost" (Shakespeare) have? How many morphemes does the word "thy" have? How many morphemes does the word "thou" have? Are "and", "if", "of", "a", "but", and "in" ...