Hi,

I am from Sweden, and my name is Erik, and I am trying to learn English Morphology, so
here I have two word(s):

'Irreversible' = Ir-re-vers-ible = prefix + prefix + root + suffix

'Preoperational' = Pre-oper-ation-al = prefix + root + suffix + suffix

I am not sure if they are correct, and I am not sure of how I shall describe the affixes, i.e.
Are they derivational or inflectional? What meaning do they have or what function do they perform?

Any help is appreciated, thank you very much, I love the English language and America.

Best regards,
Erik from Sweden Emotion: smile
New Member06
Please, any native speakers?? Emotion: smile
Hi

English words don't always work in that way. It is interesting to take them apart to see where they came from, but it doesn't always work in a logical way

Here is the first one..

- irreversible

Probably starts with Latin - verso - to turn

Then Latin prefix - re - in a different direction or way

Hence - reverse - to turn so as to face the opposite way

Latin suffix - ible - capable of being..

Hence reversible - capapable of being turned around the other way

Latin prefix - in - expressing a negative and sometimes doubling an 'r' instead of using the 'n'..

irreversible - cannot be changed so as to face in the opposite direction

Regards, Dave
Contributing Member1,732
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Hello Dave,

Thank you for your reply!
Very good information, however, how can you explain this,

Are they derivational or inflectional?
What meaning do they have or what function do they perform?

I am not sure, of how to describe the affixes (prefix & suffix)?

Anyone that can explain this?

Thank you very much!

Best,
Erik from Sweden. Emotion: smile
Hi

My understanding is that inflection is when words change in a predictable way. In English, I would say this only happens in simple ways with verbs: -s; -ed; -ing; with nouns: -s; and with adjectives with -ly

And, of course, even that doesn't always work..

- Have you travelled far?

- Have you eaten yet?

There are hundreds of derivational affixes but there are no simple rules. This is because English has so many origins and sometimes you can mix affixes from different origins and sometimes it just doesn't work

Words of Latin origin tend to have a clear morphology (which, strictly speadking is Latin morphology, rather than English!). Both the examples you give are Latin. Here is the other one (all the elements are Latin)..

Opus - Work

Operate - to make something work

Operation - a process that involves work

Operational - describing a process that works

Preoperational - describing something that happens before a thing will work

An example of an affix mixture would be..

legere (Latin) - to read

legible (English) - describing something in writing that can be read

illegible (English) - describing something thatcannot be read (doubled 'l' instead of 'in-')

However, "read" is Old English and we have..

- unreadable: similarly, it means that something cannot be read, but it also means that it is too bad to be worth reading. The read does not have an origin that can be traced with the un- and the -able (until, maybe, the 19th century)

Once you have an ear for the affixes, I think you just have to look the word up in a dictionary and see if it is in use

Does this have any helpability? (Alas, that's definitely not English!)

But I hope it may have been of some help, Dave
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Thank you Dave, however, there is one suffix which is unclear in this word, '-ation' is it a latin word as well? Where is the true description of it?

What do you know about the number of derivational morphemes in these two words I gave earlier??

Thank you very much!!! I was doing some search in Google, and saw an e-mail saying that
Dave replied on the Forum. Emotion: smile

Best,
Erik
Hi

My understanding is that the English suffix -tion can be used to form conceptual nouns from other noun or verbs. This works best with words from Latin but it may occasionally work elsewhere. The exact way in which the suffix is used is quite tricky: I don't think there is a definite rule..

- Operator - one who works with machinery

- Operation - a process involving work with machinery

- Rationalise - to make more efficient and rational

- Rationalisation - the process of making something more efficient and rational

To give you another mixed affix..

Old Norse: guamr - the head

Latin: -tion having the quality of

- He has no gumption

- He has no commonsense

The origin of -tion is definitely Latin...

- Ipse cum rationem cogitatum meum congruit

- He agrees with my conception

The tion in English derives from this

Do get back if I can clarify, Dave
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Sorry about the asterisks in that

English Forums has a very strict policy and has censored the Latin word for "with"!

Dave
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