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Suffixation
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Suffixation is the addition of a bound morpheme at the right edge of a base word, thus deriving a suffixed word.

Suffixes are mostly category-determining, i.e. they usually determine the syntactic category of the complex word as a whole. The examples below illustrate how suffixes can create nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. In a few cases, e.g. to indicate gender, suffixes are category-neutral.

Example 1

Nominalisation (NMLZ)
werk·er
[[work](V)[er](NMLZ)](N)
work·NMLZ
worker
Example 2

Verbalisation (VBZ)
fout·eer
[[fout](N)[eer](VBZ)](V)
error·VBZ
err
Example 3

Adjectivalisation (ADJZ)
sport·ief
[[sport](N)[ief](ADJZ)](ADJ)
sport·ADJZ
sporting; sportsmanlike
Example 4

Adverbialisation (ADVZ)
droog·weg
[[droog](ADJ)[weg](ADVZ)](ADV)
dry·ADVZ
dryly
Example 5

Category-neutral (CN)
kelner·in
[[kelner](N)[in](CN.F)](N)
waiter·CN.F
waitress
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x

The suffix system of Afrikaans overlaps to a large extent with that of Dutch. The description of Afrikaans suffixation in this section is therefore based on the Dutch topic on Suffixation.

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The category-determining nature of suffixes is considered evidence for the Righthand Head Rule that claims that the rightward morphological constituent of a complex word is its head and hence determines its syntactic category (Trommelen and Zonneveld 1986), as illustrated in the examples above.

Suffixes can be cohering or non-cohering. While most non-native and native suffixes are cohering, a number of native suffixes are non-cohering. Compare for instance the following suffixes, which were all historically independent words: -agtig, -baar, -dom, -heid, -ling, -loos, -skap, -saam . For the same historical reason, affixoids are always non-cohering.

Suffixes play a central role in determining the location of the main stress of a complex word, and can be stress-bearing (attracting), stress-shifting (fixing), or stress-neutral (Booij 1995:110-115; Booij 2002:169). Most non-native suffixes are stress-bearing (example), and in a few cases stress-shifting (example), or traditionally stress-neutral (example). Native suffixes can be stress-bearing (example), stress-shifting (example), or stress-neutral (example).

Example 6

Non-native suffix: stress-bearing
problem·at·iek
/prɔ.blə.maˈtik/
[[probleem](N)[at](LK)[iek](NMLZ)](N)
problem·LK·NMLZ
difficulty
Example 7

Non-native suffix: stress-shifting
problem·at·ies
/prɔ.bləˈma.tis/
[[probleem](N)[at](LK)[ies](ADJZ)](A)
problem·LK·ADJZ
problematic
Example 8

Non-native suffix: stress-neutral
antikwar·ies
/ɑn.tiˈkwa.ris/
[[antikwaar](N)[ies](ADJZ)](A)
antquary·ADJZ
antiquarian
Example 9

Native suffix: stress-bearing
kelner·in
/kæl.nəˈrən/
[[kelner](N)[in](CN.F)](N)
waiter·CN.F
waitress
Example 10

Native suffix: stress-shifting
oor·draag·baar
/orˈdrax.bar/
[[[oor](PREP.PTCL)[dra](V)](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJZ)
over·bear·ADJZ
transferable; contagious
[In the separable complex verb oor·dra, main stress is on the first syllable. Note that draag is an allomorph of the verb drabear.]
Example 11

Native suffix: stress-neutral
oor·draag·baar·heid
/orˈdrax.bar.ɦəit/
[[[[oor](PREP.PTCL)[dra](V)](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJZ)[heid](NMLZ)](N)
over·bear·ADJZ·NMLZ
transferability; contagiousness

Some suffixes are closing suffixes, which means that they do not allow for the attachment of other suffixes. This applies mostly to adverbial suffixes. See (Booij 2002) for more information.

References:
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert2002The morphology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert2002The morphology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Trommelen, Mieke & Zonneveld, Wim1986Dutch morphology: evidence for the right-hand head ruleLinguistic Inquiry17147-170
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