Morphology - Unit Three - Lesson No. 18


Derivational affixes

Derivational affixes may be either class-maintaining or class-changing but in English, as in many other languages, inflectional affixes are always class-maintaining. A class-maintaining derivational affix is one by adding which to a base we produce a lexeme of the same grammatical class (part of speech) as the base. A class-changing derivational affix is one by adding which to a base we produce a lexeme of different grammatical class. The following examples are taken from English:

Class-maintaining affixes
Prefixes Suffixes
Prefix Example Suffix Example
fore- forewarn, foretell -hood manhood, womanhood
mini- miniskirt, minibus -let booklet, rivulet, streamlet
non- nonsense, nonentity -ship friendship, kinship, scholarship
pre- premature, prehistoric -some queersome, threesome, troublesome

 

Class-changing affixes

 

Prefixes Suffixes
Prefix Example Suffix Example
a- asleep, ablaze -ance acceptance, appearance, assistance
be- befriend, belittle -ate affectionate, passionate
en- endanger, enlarge, enrich -ation affiliation, confirmation, reservation
im- impression -ee absentee, divorcee, employee, payee
re- renew, review -ence confidence, existence, preference
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