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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4answers
222 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 ...
2
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3answers
62 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
76 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 ...
8
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3answers
759 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
vote
3answers
88 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
130 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
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2answers
62 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
122 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
711 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, ...
11
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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. ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Is “incomplex” a legitimate word?

I want to create a poster titled "An Incomplex Introduction to Complexity-based Cryptography." As you see, it contrasts the words incomplex and complexity. (Words like simple or easy do not provide ...
33
votes
3answers
33k views

What’s the rule for adding “-er” vs. “-or” when nouning a verb?

What’s the rule to decide whether you add -er or whether you add -or when creating a noun from a verb? Sometimes it’s -er: read > reader hate > hater hit > hitter But other times it’s -or: ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Where is the root in these words: miniature, minimal, minimize?

Is it possible to identify one and the same root MIN in all these words: Miniature, minimal, minimize, minimum minor, minority, minus, minute ? From etymological point of view they all came from one ...
15
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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?
0
votes
1answer
145 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
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
66 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?
6
votes
3answers
753 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
99 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
529 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 ...
17
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3answers
5k views

Does a gerund always end with -ing? If so, why?

After asking what the difference is between a gerund and a participle, I began to wonder if all gerunds end with -ing, since I couldn't think of any that didn't. If they do, why?
18
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5answers
4k views

Why do we use the object instead of the subject pronoun in constructions like “stupid me”?

I'm trying to find out how come we say lucky me and stupid us rather than lucky I and stupid we. My understanding is that this is not a recent invention, but a relic from the distant past where it was ...
0
votes
4answers
194 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 ...
9
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3answers
359 views
17
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4answers
7k views

Is there a rule for which suffix to use when creating adjectives from nouns?

There are many suffixes that are used to create adjectives from nouns (-al, -ic, -ive, -y). Are there any rules used to create adjectives from nouns? In example, why is the adjective excessive, and ...
5
votes
2answers
825 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
263 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?
59
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is it “geometric” but “theoretical”?

I just came across a course name: Geometric and Theoretical Optics. The mismatched endings bug me. Why do we have both -ical and -ic endings? Is there any difference in meaning between, say, ...
4
votes
2answers
178 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 ...
15
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2answers
665 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 ...
3
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5answers
3k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
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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?
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vote
4answers
290 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
58 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
2
votes
2answers
43k 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 ...
3
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1answer
102 views
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1answer
134 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 ...
11
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3answers
3k 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? ...
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 ...
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. ...
0
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2answers
960 views
5
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2answers
724 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 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? ...
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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
143 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. ...
13
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3answers
1k views

How did 'anyway' become 'anyways,' anyway?

All of the time I see people use these two words synonymously. For example: Why did he move there anyway? Versus: Why did he move there anyways? I always assumed that there was once just ...