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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".

closed as too broad by FumbleFingers, choster, Skooba, Glorfindel, vickyace Mar 24 '17 at 12:27

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    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
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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).

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