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Questions tagged [cranberry-morphemes]

For questions about 'cranberry morphemes,' or lexical items that have no independent meaning but still act as a distinguisher from other similar words. (Examples: 'cran' in 'cranberry', 'kempt' in 'unkempt')

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General way to describe words like "understand", based on archaic senses of their component parts

The word "understand" is fascinating. A surface parse of the word gives little insight into how the components are related to the concept associated with the word. In contrast, with words like "...
Scott Deerwester's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
404 views

The popularity of the word "coeval" has been declining for over 100 years now. Why? [closed]

According to Ngram, anyway. The vast majority of English speakers seem to have no idea what the word means. Now why is that? UPDATE: After reading some of the responses: As a noun.
Ricky's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How many morphemes in 'during'? [closed]

Is 'during' one morpheme or is it something like DURATION+ continuity?
Eloisa's user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
1 answer
334 views

Is "Often" an Elision

I was studying for my exam and I came across something called elision. So my question is... Can "often" be considered an elision? Because of the silent t? Or am I just not getting the concept of ...
fallanga's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

number of morphemes in "liver"

So my understanding is that all morphemes are either "free" morphemes (can exist on their own as words with meaning) or "bound" morphemes (can't exist on their own as words, which means that every ...
dajjorg's user avatar
  • 29
12 votes
3 answers
27k views

What really is a "Yester" in Yesterday or Yesteryear?

Apparently, Yester cannot be used alone in a sentence, except when accompanied by "day (yesterday) or year (yesteryear)". It cannot be used incombination with other portions of time like; yestermonth, ...
ErickBest's user avatar
  • 479
7 votes
3 answers
529 views

Do other ‘suffix­es’ be­sides “‑ere/‑ence/‑ither” ex­ist for com­pos­ing loca­tive and di­rec­tional ‘ad­verbs’ like “here/hither/hence”?

Years ago read­ing J R R Tolkien’s Sil­mar­il­lion, I learned the de­light­ful suffixes ‑ence and ‑ither used in this three­fold set of paired words with these mean­ings: hence: from this nearby place ...
Tom Pace's user avatar
  • 171
8 votes
6 answers
7k views

Is there a term for what 'sheveled' is to 'disheveled'?

Is there a term to describe an unprefixed term like sheveled that is used less or not at all compared to its prefixed relative disheveled? My word Helen, you look very sheveled today! Edit: Below ...
gbutters's user avatar
  • 6,516
29 votes
7 answers
17k views

Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

Certain words you hear in English are only ever heard in a single context. For example, skirl is used to describe the sound a bagpipe makes. Etymonline generously says the word is "rarely" heard ...
Robusto's user avatar
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