Hi, I study English at a Swedish university. I have some assignments to make, but they're difficult (for me, that is. You'll probably laugh). I stumpbled upon this board.. sorry for the intrusion.

We're supposed to draw "trees" to the following words:


But I found it difficult even to divide the words into morphemes.

Should it be un-bear-able-ity?

And the seconds word... 'illusion' is a noun, but 'disillusion' is a verb! 'dis' is not something that makes verbs out of nouns... while 'ment' does create the noun 'disillusionment' out of the verb 'disillusion'.

How does this work??? It can't be disillusion-ment right?

I know this may be simple, but any help is highly appreciated. Thanks a lot! /Fred
at least for the second, I'd say: dis-illusion-ment.
and un/bear/able/ity sounds fine to me.
Maybe you'd need an ethymological dictionnary?
Mind you, I'm not a teacher here...
Thanks... I guess that's the way it should be. The problem with dis-illusion is that "disillusion" is a verb and not a noun. 'Illusion' is of course a noun, but there's no way a verb can be created by adding dis- to a noun... This is what has me confused - especially because it feels very wrong to claim that "disillusion" is a morpheme on its own.
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Here's the web address of an ethymologiacl dictionnary: http://www.etymonline.com
I got it in this site.
I checked, and illusion comes from 2 latin words.
Maybe they can help you?
Good luck, and again, I'm not a teacher here, come & see later, there may be a more helpful answer than mine!
Hello Fred

You are right. English has two kinds of 'disillusion'. The one is a noun and the other is a verb.

Disillusionment [action of disillusioning, fact of being disillusioned] is a derivative of the verb 'disillusion'.
This verb 'disillusion' is a French import (v: desillusioner) and was used for the first in 1856..

The noun 'disillusion' also came into English from French (desillusion). But it came much earlier than the verb 'disillusion'. The first use of the noun 'disillusion' was in 1598. The noun disillusion can be disintegrated like:
The noun 'illusion' is also French original and it was a derivative of a French/Latin verb 'illuder' [illude in English]. This illuder can be further disintegrated as: il+luder. This prefix il- or in- was virtually the same as the Germanic prefix un- [against/reverse-ward].

Thanks a lot! That's just the information I was looking for.

So... that means that a 'tree' for "disillusionment" only should consist of disillusion + -ment? (I'm not very good at writing brackets, sorry..)

And unbearability, is it correct to divide that into


Thanks again, much appreciated.
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Hey, Fred again
a 'tree' for "disillusionment" only should consist of disillusion + -ment?

I don't know what way 'a tree of a word' is defined by linguistically. I think the answer depends on the definition your teacher gives.
Three options :
1. disillusion (v) + ment (suf)
2. dis (pre) + illusion (noun) + ment (suf)
3. dis (pre) + il (pre) + lus (v) + ion (suf) + ment (suf)
In the realm of the English language, the verb 'disillusion' did not emerge as a verbalized form of the noun 'disillusion', though the verbalization took place in the French language. So I think one would better take the English verb 'disillusion' as a word different in DNA from the noun 'disillusion'. If you are allowed to consider word conversions occurring in the realm of French and Latin, #3 can be an answer. I think #2 would be wrong.
And unbearability, is it correct to divide that into

As for this, I think you are right.

I'm sorry I can't give you a decisive answer.

This is what I found for illusion:
c.1340, "act of deception," from O.Fr. illusion "a mocking," from L. illusionem (nom. illusio) "a mocking, jesting, irony," from illudere "mock at," lit. "to play with," from in- "at" + ludere "to play." Sense of "deceptive appearance" developed in Eng. c.1374. Illusionist "conjurer, magic act performer" is from 1850. Illusive formed in Eng. 1679; the other adj. form, illusory (1599) is from Fr. illusorie, from L.L. illusorius "of a mocking character," from L. illudere.
Hi Fred!

I hope I'm going to have right:

I attend university as well as you majoring English and American studeis in Hungary.

have you ever heard about derivation. Now "disillusionment" is one of it. There ae certain types of it, for instance deriving from verb to noun, from Adj to N, and also from a N to another N.!!!!!! But derivation not only refers to the fact of producing nouns.

Here: dis illusion ment DIS is a prefix of the main word, which is a noun = ILLUSION and MENT is a suffix used in WORD-FORMATION to create or to derive something into a NOUN. Quite interesting, ain't it? :-(

DIS does not produce verbs out of nouns. It is for altering the exact meaning of all nouns, verbs, adjectives... into their negative counterparts. eg.: to use (Verb) - to use sth but in a right way to MISuse (Verb) you used it in a way it went off = you misused it to lead (Verb) - to control to MISlead (Veb) controlling in the wrong way

MISleading (Adjective) - means you can't understand it, you MISunderstand it, that is why it is MISleading

MENT - suffix expressing noun form = to encourage (V) - to make sy brave encourageMENT (N) - braveness

Now: illusion (N, which has more or less a positive effect) - DISillusionMent (N, which has a negative effect)

Is that clear?


to bear (V expresses how you can stand sth) to UNbear (V, expresses that you can't stand it) UN works here as the same way as it in the foregoing example, DIS - it is a prefix, making sth negative but the original function of the word stays the same, so it remains to be a VERB NOW= UNbearABLE a rule: you can have as many suffixes as you want or as you can put after the word - ABLE is a suffix that changes the VERB into an Adjective. UNbearABL(E)ITY - here TY or ITY(I'm not sure) is another suffix that changes the Adjectival form into a NOUN. in ABLE the last letter becomes a siletn /e/ where you have to pronunce /i/ instead of.

I think that it.

If it's false (it shouldn't be), just BLAME it on me!

See Ya! Zoltán Németh, form Hungary!
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