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Productive and Unproductive Derivation
This public article was written by argyle, and last updated on 7 Nov 2015, 05:40.

[comments] Menu 1. Derivation from Verbs 2. Derivation from Nouns 3. Derivation from Adjectives 4. Unproductive Processes
?FYI...
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.
Derivation is commonly used in Edievian. There are several active forms of derivation still operating in the language, and plenty of unproductive forms that died out, some as old as the  Colian language. This article will begin with the productive derivational processes.

[top]Derivation from Verbs

Most derivation from verbs occurs via suffixes, and require the final -ae (the infinitive marker) to be removed before derivation.

-aes - Result of the verb
-aes is an exceptionally common derivational suffix and is extremely productive. It usually denotes the result of completing a verb and can be analogous to English -(i)tion. Other times it refers to a specific, tangible result of the verb:

  • palae > palaes (to help > help [n])
  • cauvae > cauvaes (to warn > warning)
  • eltae > eltaes (to cry > tear)
  • otoae > otoaes (to steal > theft)


-aeg - Doer of the verb
Another common and productive suffix, -aeg can be used with virtually any verb. It is worth noting the -aeg denotes a person that does the action, not a tool or an object. (There are a few exceptions to that rule however, such as naoaebraeg, "turn signal", from naoaebrae, "to wink".)

  • nagae > nagaeg (to swim > swimmer)
  • etebae > etebaeg (to owe > debtor)
  • ruae > ruaeg (to fly > pilot)
  • surfae > surfaeg (to surf > surfer)


-ops - Tool to complete the verb
-ops is a common suffix and is reserved for objects that do the verb, in contrast from -aeg.

  • gresae > gresops (to bake > oven)
  • irae > irops (to wash > washing machine)
  • mogae > mogops (to inject > syringe)
  • pendae > pendops (to paint > paintbrush)


-el - Relating to the verb
An adjectival suffix, -el usually creates a relational adjective. -el isn't exceptionally common when applied to verbs (it is also added to nouns, which will be addressed later).

  • ruae > ruel (to fly > aerial)
  • fesae > fesel (to cook > culinary)
  • nevobae > nevobel (to follow > sequential)
  • durae > durel (to ask > interrogative)


-lunae/-linae - Augmentative/Diminutive
Rather self-explanatory, -lunae and -linae effectively 'strengthen' and 'weaken' the verb's meaning. They have a few allomorphs; the <l> becomes <r> after /t d/, becomes <bl> after /m/, and becomes <dr> after /l n/.

  • hentarae > hentarlunae (to leave > to abandon)
  • tiágae > tiáglunae (to give > to bestow)
  • laae > lalunae (to push > to shove)
  • dodae > dodrunae (to talk > to pronounce)
  • siáomae > siáomblunae (to eat > to devour)


  • laevae > laevlinae (to smile > to grin)
  • bevae > bevlinae (to rain > to drizzle)
  • crinae > crindrinae (to think > to ponder)


-fos - Verb-able
A suffix derived from fosae, "to be able to", -fos is virtually identical to English -able:

  • healae > healfos (to understand > understandable)
  • eumae > eumfos (to love > lovable)
  • nendae > nendfos (to deny > deniable)
  • siáomae > siáomfos (to eat > edible)


-oncae - Pejorative
Nowadays a rare suffix, -oncae forms a pejorative form of the verb. This suffix is almost entirely unproductive as a verbal modifier.

  • criticae > criticoncae (to critique > to criticise)
  • uastae > uastoncae (to yell > to object)
  • dodae > dodoncae (to speak > to slander)
  • laegrae > laegroncae (to pull > to trick)


[top]Derivation from Nouns

Derivation from nouns uses one of a noun's two possible stems, either the singular or plural.

-os - Like the noun, noun-ish
-os is best equivocated to English -ly, -ish, -esque, or -like.

  • plesc - plescos (ash > ashy)
  • haem > haemos (mother > motherly)
  • hont > hontos (ice > icy)
  • samac > samacos (same [n] > similar)


-el - Relating to the noun
-el creates an adjective that relates to the original noun (aka a relational adjective). It doesn't describe something that is like the noun; instead it shows how something else is related to the original noun. English -ine and -al fill this role occasionally. This suffix is added to the plural form of the noun. In the case of nouns that have final consonant changes, this requires the orthographic accented vowel and <i> to shift to being after the final consonant.

  • baen > ben > benel (woman > women > feminine)
  • oton > otun > otunel (otter > otters > lutrine)
  • es > íis > isiél (arm > arms > brachial)
  • iot > iúit > iutiél (tail > tails > caudal)


-lon / -len - Augmentative / Diminutive
Like the verbal versions -lunae / -linae, -lon / -len have a few allomorphs: <l> becomes <r> after /t d/, becomes <bl> after /m/, and becomes <dr> after /l n/.

  • spes > speslon (pride > hubris)
  • seia > seialon (chair > armchair)
  • clasió > clasiólon (meal > feast)
  • rean > reandron (poison > toxin)
  • aelvard > aelvardron (house > mansion)


  • varos > varoslen (town > village)
  • holg > holglen (cage > pen)
  • vaet > vaetren (wind > breeze)
  • caban > cabandren (closet > cabinet)


-toc - Noun-ness/hood
Not nearly as common as when applied to adjectives, nouns ending in -toc are still found in the language. The allomorph -doc appears in some older words when applied after voiced obstruents.

  • aeb > aebtoc (eye > sight)
  • haem > haemtoc (mother > motherhood)
  • mecs > mecstoc (friend > friendship)
  • mamaeg > mamaegdoc (owner > ownership)


-agae - To make noun
-Agae is a somewhat productive process in standard Edievian. Many new words are coined from it, but using it with any noun can see very contrived. It usually uses the plural stem of the noun, but does not always.

This suffix also combines with prefixes to coin words, and often times will make words that do not exist without the prefix.

  • ol > ul > ulagae (light > lights > to illuminate)
  • dromaec > droméic > dromeciágae (name > names > to call, give name to)
  • alf > alfagae (letter(s) > to spell)
  • vars > váirs > varsiágae (hatred > hatreds > to hate)
  • telefon > telefun > telefunagae > funagae* (telephone > telephones > to telephone > to call*)
  • mechop > mechopagae (makeup > to put on makeup)
  • stan > aestanagae (country > immigrate [to-country-agae])

*Funagae is the informal way to say "to call" and is common in speech but not in writing.

-onc - Pejorative
Similar to its verbal counterpart, -onc forms pejorative versions of nouns it's applied to. While more common with nouns than with verbs, -onc is uncommon and moving into being an unproductive affix.

  • res > resonc (dream > nightmare)
  • aelvard > aelvardonc (house > shack)
  • natién > natiénonc (sound > noise)
  • isaraes > isaraesonc (payment > fine)


[top]Derivation from Adjectives

-lon / -len - Augmentative / Diminutive
Just like nouns and verbs, the augmentative and diminutive suffixes are very commonly seen. They also share the same allomorphs: <l> becomes <r> after /t d/, becomes <bl> after /m/, and becomes <dr> after /l n/.

  • lop > loplin (sad > depressed)
  • aemp > aemblon (cold > frigid) (aemblon is case of medial voicing)
  • iet > ietron (far > distant)


  • rof > roflen (wet > moist)
  • aemp > aemplen (cold > cool)
  • alcen > alcendren (hot > warm)


-toc - Adjective-ness/hood
By far the most common suffix found in adjectives, it is analogous to English -hood, -ity, and -ness. Some older words have the allomorph -doc after voiced obstruents, but contemporary derivations always use -toc.

  • lop > loptoc (sad > sadness)
  • tol > toltoc (important > importance)
  • totián > totiántoc (safe > safety)
  • magnetos > magnetostoc (magnetic > magnetism)
  • cavales > cavalestoc (living > animacy)
  • caev > caevdoc (angry > anger)


-agae - To make adjective
-Agae is another common suffix for adjectives, and creates a verb that means "to make something [adjective]". It is still productive today, but it can sound contrived on some adjectives, especially those that are multisyllabic.

  • nad > nadagae (white > to whiten)
  • fo > foagae (long > to stretch, to lengthen)
  • dor > doragae (hard > to stiffen)
  • rof > rofagae (wet > to wet)
  • sosoen > sosoenagae (sweet > to sweeten)


-at - That which is adjective
-At is a nominalizing suffix for adjectives, creating nouns that have the quality of the original adjective. This is not a very productive suffix, and is on the brink of moving into unproductive status.

  • biaom > biaomat (good > asset)
  • halcan > halcanat (true > truth)
  • sión > siónat (sharp > blade)
  • tamanc > tamancat (beautiful > beauty)


[top]Unproductive Processes

There are several prefixes, suffixes, and processes that have died out and are no longer productive in standard Edievian. Some covered here actually date back to the language when it was still late Colian, as the vestiges of the derivational processes are still present.

Initial Reduplication
Initial reduplication dates back to the Late Colian stage of Edievian's history, and there are not too many words left that are reduplicated. The reduplication was simple: the first consonant of the word was reduplicated, followed by /i/. All parts of speech were susceptible to this process.

  • bevaond (tonight), from bibondu, reduplicated bondu "night"
  • geda (regarding), from gigá, reduplicated "in", plus gVg > gVd
  • memimae (to last, endure), from mimímea, reduplicated mímea "to occur"


-ol - Full of
-Ol stopped being a productive suffix only recently in Edievian, being supplanted mainly by -os. -Ol meant "full of, having a lot of". This suffix, like -el, took the plural form of the noun in question.

  • fraol > frol > frolol (salt > salts > salty)
  • fan > fanol (worth > worthy, valuable)
  • bev > biv > bivol (rain > rains > rainy)
  • deo > deu > deuol (knot > knots > knotted)


lo-, -ob - Without
Both lo- and -ob are rather rare, and died out by the Middle Edievian period in the late 1600s. Both mean "without".

  • loasom (deodorant), from lo asaom "without nose"
  • magaes - magaesob (end - infinite)
  • mer - merob (air - flat [uninflated])


-otet, -tet, -tot, -ot - Collection of
The original form of this suffix, -otet, was often mutilated in speech. A productive suffix in the days of early Edievian, by late Middle Edievian (mid 1700s at the latest) the suffix had eroded into a variety of unproductive endings.

  • lagen > lagenotet (mountains > mountain range)
  • caen > caenotet (three > trio)
  • praos > praostet (feather > plumage)
  • agorc > agortot (field > county)
  • pet > petot (leaf > foliage)
  • aemsal > aemsalot (sell all > merchandise)


-edae, -dae - To be
A rather common suffix in Colian times, -edae (then -idea) was a copulative suffix that could be applied to nouns and adjectives in place of the normal copula abae (Colian apea). For the most part it has died out, but there are some vestiges in Edievian words.

  • ansmac > ansmacedae (different [archaic] > to differ)
  • fael > feledae (like/as > to be alike)
  • padaccenc > padaccencedae (fossil > to fossilize)*
  • sma > smadae (mouse > to sneak)

*This was a recent coinage based on the unproductive -edae.
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