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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
61 views

Do the words 'poster' and 'mixer' have one or two morphemes?

The words 'Driver', 'writer' and 'player' are composed of base and -er morpheme, which have the meaning of the one who writes or drives..., whereas 'mixer' doesn't mean the one who mixes, does it mean ...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

Why Greek morphemes over Latin, or Latin over Greek? *A Call to Lexicographers*

Is there a rationale behind why certain English words take Greek morphemes (or affixes) over Latin morphemes, and vice versa? Why do certain Greek morphemes become standard English idiom over Latin ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the need of an invisible affix?

When nothing means something: In morpheme-based morphology, a null morpheme is a morpheme that is realized by a phonologically null affix (an empty string of phonological segments). In simpler ...
4
votes
4answers
204 views

Why is “omnipotent” stressed iambically?

"Omnipotent" is stressed like omˈnipotent, with a stress on second syllable. But both components are stressed on the first syllable ('omni and 'potent). And a comparable word, "omnipresent", has the ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

Base/root of increment and decrement

I'm tasked with a morphological analysis of incrementing. I would say that crement is the base of increment and the root of the word. But I'm curious, because all my life I've been thinking about ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “coon” a word?

The word formation process that yielded the word coon is called (fore-)clipping: raccoon > coon Other examples of fore-clipping include: bot (robot), chute (parachute), roach (cockroach), coon ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Morphology of mobster, gangster, webster, hipster

Where the letter "t" came from in these words? Is it part of the suffix -ter- or a separate suffix? Where the "s" comes from? Can other words on -ster be formed this way?
1
vote
2answers
61 views

How common are adjectives on -ly?

How common in English are adjectives ending with -ly? I can remember only "stately" and "unruly". Is it adequate to assume, say in machine text analysis, that apart from several predefined exceptions ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

What's the origin of the demonym Thai?

I was curious why we called people from Thailand "Thai" and those from Taiwan "Taiwanese." The latter by itself is a bit less surprising, though. See also: Are there any rules governing what we call ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

How do I invent a word targeted to english speakers? [closed]

I'm looking for rules, guidance, and structure that will allow me to invent a word (or series of words) that would be easy for an English speaker to pronounce and remember. The intent is to generate ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Morphemic versus phonemic approach to teaching the many sounds of “ou”

Is there a way I can explain the many sounds of the phoneme "ou" using the morphemic structure of words instead of the phonemic way?
2
votes
3answers
91 views

Compounds and Phrases

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
0
votes
4answers
190 views

What is the nominal form of the verb “to give”?

Normally one can add -tion or -ation to a verb to make it nominal, but that nominalization doesn't work for "give". Is there a nominalized form of "to give"? If not, is there a word that could serve ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

“Sometimes”, “oftentimes” — is there a -times word for “very rarely”?

If something happens sometimes, it happens occasionally. If something happens oftentimes, it happens often. Is there an equivalent word for something happening very rarely?
2
votes
1answer
259 views

When do I use non-, ir-/i-, dis-, a-, or un-?

Between using the prefixes non-, ir-, i-, and dis-, a-, or un-, meaning "not (root word) to do something", when is the best time to use each?
9
votes
3answers
353 views

Is there a general rule for which types of nouns end in -archy vs. -cracy?

Why do we use democracy vs. demarchy and anarchy vs. anocracy?
4
votes
2answers
174 views

“tube” vs. “tubing”

I have always run into word twins like tube vs. tubing. More pairs: fence vs. fencing, pipe vs. piping, cable vs. cabling, rail vs. railing, etc. This is an interesting phemonenon. Most of these ...
1
vote
4answers
289 views

Decomposing “fingerprint”

I somehow ended up in a small argument about the first part of the compound word "fingerprint". The other person insists that the first word "finger" is an adjective, which I cannot agree with. ...
4
votes
2answers
528 views

Are there many words that come with “a” as the prefix to mean “no, non” like “asymptomatic” and “apolitical”?

I didn’t know the word, “asymptomatic” to my shame, until I heard the following narration in AP Radio news aired on October 27 through AFN network: “Dr. Anthony Fauci with the NIH says CDC ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

What kind of morphemes do you call -ish and -y? How would you describe their function?

In the context of neologisms and/or teenspeak: e.g. soon-ish, tumblr-y
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

The word foresaw and its morphemes

I need help with the word foresaw. I know that the morphemes for foresaw are {fore} and {saw} but what kind of morpehmes are they (derivational/inflection) and what are their category and function
0
votes
0answers
24 views

“Jesus is a coming” - what's the exact grammatical role of the “a” before the gerund? [duplicate]

I've noticed that in the common use of English, namely in songs, there is also an extra redundant(?) "a" before a gerund, such as in a gospel song I heard Jesus is a coming (this particular ...
8
votes
3answers
745 views

“Inter-”, “multi-”, “cross-”, “trans-” in relation to disciplines

In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field. ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

Is “Universityhood” a valid English word? [closed]

This is a theme during the foundation day of a college, "Nurturing Elders' Legacy and Aspiring for Excellent Quest as a Keystone into University". Isn't it universityhood instead of just university? ...
1
vote
3answers
129 views

“Silence” and “silently”: What is the name of the relation between these words?

Consider: Silence is a noun. Silent is an adjective. Silently is an adverb. Silence! is an interjection. Not sure how these words actually evolved, but they were likely all derived from the noun ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

“Stadiums” vs. “stadia” [duplicate]

I'm not that old, but when I was a child/teen, stadia was the common term. As in: Wembley, the Nou Camp, and the Santiago Bernabeu are football stadia. The MCG and Lord's are cricket stadia. ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

“Napoleon complex” or “Napoleonic complex”? [closed]

Which is correct: "he has a Napoleon complex" or "he has a Napoleonic complex"?
0
votes
1answer
143 views

What it the morphological classification of the ending -ump? [duplicate]

Can someone tell me how to classify the morpheme -ump, such as can be combined with lump,slump, bump, etc. (It's for a research I'm doing on onomatopoeia.) thanks
2
votes
1answer
985 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?
-2
votes
1answer
132 views

“Oriented” vs. “orientated” [duplicate]

I couldn't help but add an additional frame of reference. Though I personally find the utterance of "orientated" to be a failed attempt at the proper word "oriented", the collective commentary is ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
2
votes
2answers
42k views

How to convert verbs to nouns, and nouns to adjectives?

How to convert verbs to nouns, and nouns to adjectives? I was told that if I put an -ing to the end of a verb, the verb could become an adjective or a noun. For example: read → reading ...
4
votes
1answer
207 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?
0
votes
2answers
469 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
votes
1answer
212 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
votes
1answer
215 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
votes
1answer
264 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
533 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
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
113 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
votes
2answers
710 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
636 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.
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the comparative form of the adverb “nicely”?

The adjective nice can be inflected: nicer, nicest. Can the derived adverb nicely be inflected as well, or does it only have the absolute form?
1
vote
2answers
150 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
289 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?
11
votes
5answers
4k 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
220 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
3k 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?
12
votes
4answers
9k 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. ...