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What is a derivational affix?

 

Definition
 

A derivational affix is an affix by means of which one word is formed (derived) from another. The derived word is often of a different word class from the original.

Discussion
 

In contrast to an inflectional affix, a derivational affix

 
  • is not part of an obligatory set of affixes
  • generally occurs closer to the root
  • generally is more meaningful, and
  • is more likely to result in a form that has a somewhat idiosyncratic meaning.
Examples (English)
 
  • Joyful
  • Joyfulness
  • Stapler
Kinds
  Here are some kinds of derivational affixes:
 
Generic
  A derivational affix is a kind of
 
Sources
 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 62

 

Crystal 1985 89

 

Mish 1991 342

 

Bybee 1985 81–82, 99


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