Is there a word for the process of adding to or removing parts from a word (prefixes, suffixes and the like) to alter it's meaning? Like nounization, but for all types of words not just specific to verbs, adjectives or nouns.


As clarification I would like to offer an example in another language. In Swahili - my native tongue, bear with me - they have the perfect word that I've never had used in any other context other than I described in my question "Unyambulishaji" so much so that the closest term in English to it is Transmission which doesn't do the word justice given the specificity of its meaning.

I'm not looking for a general word. Something closer to the tune of Neologisms and how it's applied rather than Manipulate. All neologisms are manipulations of a language and its sounds but not all manipulations are neologisms.

  • Affixation and stemming? Oct 16, 2020 at 13:20
  • No, not really. English doesn't do much of that, and what there is is pretty irregular. Languages with more inflection, like Latin or Sanskrit, have many more terms because they have many more procedures like that, and they're pretty regular so names are useful. If you want to see what the terminology is for what English does have, see the Inflection handout. Oct 16, 2020 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


"tweak" or "recast"

ref for 'tweak' - Cambridge Dictionary

ref for 'recast' - Cambridge Dictionary

  • Hi, and welcome to ELU. Please take the tour and consider how you might improve your answer. As it stands, this sounds like opinion. Can you cite a reference to show this is a common use?
    – Davo
    Oct 16, 2020 at 13:36
  • 1
    @Davo I beg your pardon for my obscure reply. I've updated the same with supporting ref links.
    – PBKN
    Oct 16, 2020 at 14:11
  • I get what you meant by your answer but that's not what I was looking for. I was looking for a word specific to the application of language not ones that can be used generally like "tweak" or "recast". Thanks for your contribution though.
    – Mark
    Oct 16, 2020 at 18:01
  • @Mark I suppose, the word you are looking for is 'cohesive' with ref to FutureLearn
    – PBKN
    Oct 19, 2020 at 7:50
  • Your link isn't helping me out much @PBKN I created an account enrolled in the course but I still can't see what you're referring to cause I have to wait 33 days for the course to be available. Take a screenshot or something.
    – Mark
    Oct 21, 2020 at 20:59

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