Distinctive Properties of English Lexical Affixes: An Overall View
Keywords:affixes, lexical, prefixes, suffixes, derivational, English, distinctive properties
This paper deals with determining distinctive properties of English lexical affixes, i.e. derivational prefixes, like un-, in untie, and suffixes, like -ish, in childish. Its main aim is to establish a set of synchronically relevant affixal properties that will make it possible, firstly, to offer a characterization of all affixes and, secondly, to ensure their appropriate lexicological, lexicographic and pedagogical treatment. The discussion will be organized in the following way: in Section 1, some scenesetting remarks will be made; in Section 2, theoretical explanations regarding the nature and status of affixes will be given; in Section 3, two sets of properties, essential and relational, stemming from prefixal and suffixal forms, functions, meanings and uses, will be identified, described and illustrated; and in Section 4, a summary of the main results of the paper alongside their possible implications will be offered.
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