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What is a suprafix?

 

Definition
 

A suprafix is a kind of affix in which a suprasegmental is superimposed on one or more syllables of the root or stem, signalling a particular morphosyntactic operation.

 

This is a morphological process.

Example (English)
 

The placement of stress in the following words signals the difference between a noun and a related verb:

 
  • 'produce, n.
  • pro'duce, v.
Examples (Moba-Gur, Togo)
 

Suprafixes of tone occur on verb roots. The two suprafixes use different tones on different groups of verbs. In the following group of verbs, the high to low tone is the perfective morpheme. The mid to high tone is the imperfective morpheme.

 

Perfective

Imperfective

  • †u bod
  • he PERF.get.lost
  • 'he got lost'
  • Øu bod
  • he IMP.get.lost
  • 'he was getting lost'
  • †u pid
  • he PERF.dust
  • 'he dusted'
  • Øu pid
  • he IMP.dust
  • 'he was dusting'
  • †u jaand
  • he PERF.pray
  • 'he prayed'
  • Øu jaand
  • he IMP.pray
  • 'he was praying'
  • Generic
      A suprafix is a kind of
     

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    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

    Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

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