1

How can we decide which suffix is used to create a noun from a verb? Consider these suffixes: -ee, -er, -or, -ment, -al, -ant, -ation.

For example, when we form the noun "examination" the suffix "-ation" is used, not "-al" or "-ant".

  • 2
    Derivational morphology is very irregular. Which affix goes with which lexical item is arbitrary, and affixes are mostly not productive any more. The most common kind of morphology is Zero-affix: shoe (n), shoe (v); walk (v), walk (n). – John Lawler Mar 22 '17 at 15:00
  • Are you asking about the difference between examiner, examinee, examination, etc.? Or are you asking why -ation is used on some verbs (such as "examine") instead of -ment or -al, so that examinement or examinal could have been the "proper" form instead of examination? – Hellion Mar 22 '17 at 18:03
  • I think this question is Too Broad. There are probably specific questions already asked on ELU for many contexts, such as What’s the rule for adding “-er” vs. “-or” when forming an agent noun from a verb?, but it's a bit much to expect a single answer to address all of them. – FumbleFingers Mar 22 '17 at 18:05
2

In comment, John Lawler wrote:

Derivational morphology is very irregular. Which affix goes with which lexical item is arbitrary, and affixes are mostly not productive any more. The most common kind of morphology is Zero-affix: shoe (n), shoe (v); walk (v), walk (n).

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.