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Prefixation
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Prefixation is the process of adding a prefix at the left edge of a base word, thus deriving a prefixed word. The prefix system of Afrikaans overlaps to a large extent with that of Dutch. The analysis of Afrikaans prefixation below is therefore based on Booij's article, illustrated with Dutch prefixation.

A substantial number of Afrikaans prefixes are category-neutral, that is, they do not change the syntactic category of their base word, as illustrated by the following examples in which the category of the base word is preserved:

daaddeed > misdaadcrime

bewusconscious > onbewusunconscious.

Verbal prefixes, however, may change the syntactic category of the base word, as in the verb verhuis move derived from the noun huis house.

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Some category-neutral native prefixes of Afrikaans (Germanic stratum) are listed in the following table:

Table 1
Prefix Meaning Base category Example
aarts- [intense SEM(A/N)] A/N aartsluivery lazy, aartsskurkarrant villain
her- [again SEM(V/N/A)] V/N/A herskryfrewrite, hereksamenre-examination, herbruikbaarreusable It is, however, arguable that the nominal derivations are derived from a base Verb with her-.If this is the case, her- and her-derivations would belong in the next table. )
nie- [negative SEM(N/A)] N/A nierokernon-smoker, nie-Christeliknon-Christian
oer- [intense/original SEM(N/A)] N/A oermensprehistoric man, oeroudvery old
on- [negative SEM(A/N)] A/N ongesondunhealthy, onmensbrute
opper- [upper SEM(N)] N opperhoofchief
oud- [former SEM(A)] N oudstudentformer student
It is arguable that in the case of her-the nominal derivations are derived from a base Verb with her-. If this is the case, her- and her-derivations would belong in the next table.

According to (Trommelen and Zonneveld 1986), theRighthand Head Rule claims that the rightmost constituent of a complex word is its head, and therefore determines its syntactic category. However, there are also a number of verbalizing prefixes that do change the syntactic category of the base word, and thus form a problem for the Righthand Head Rule.

Table 2
Prefix Base category Example base Example prefixed verb
be- N/A/V dykdike, suinigstinchy, kyklook be-dykto secure with a dike, besuinigeconomise, bekyklook at
ver- N/A/V huishouse, bleekpale, koopbuy verhuismove, verbleekbecome pale, verkoopsell
ont- N/A/V kurkcork, nugterown, bindbind ontkurkuncork, ontnugterdisown, ontbinddissolve
A number of affixoids (i.e. morphemes that function as words by themselves but are nevertheless considered prefixes, because they have a specific meaning when part of a complex verb, and because they have category-changing power, as illustrated by the verb deurspek interlard derived from the noun spek bacon, lard and the preposition deurthrough, but which has the metaphorical meaning fill with. Other examples are the following Germanic prefixes:
Table 3
Prefix Example base Example prefixed verb
aan- bidpray aanbidworship
agter- haalfetch agterhaalfind out
deur- snycut, speklard deursnycut through, deur'spekinterlard/intersperse
mis- vormform (V) misvormdeform
om- sluitclose, sirkelcircle omsluitenclose, omsirkelencircle
onder- breekbreak (V), titeltitle onderbreekinterrupt, ondertitelsubtitle
oor- winwin, brugbridge oorwindefeat, oorbrugbridge
vol- maakmake volmaakbring to perfection
voor- komcome voorkomprevent
weer- spieëlmirror weerspieëlreflect
Afrikaans prefixes are always non-cohering affixes . See
Combrink 1990
and
Kempen 1969
.

References:
  • Trommelen, Mieke & Zonneveld, Wim1986Dutch morphology: evidence for the right-hand head ruleLinguistic Inquiry17147-170
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