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What is a derivative?



In the lexical database, a derivative is usually entered as a subentry. Only irregular, semantic derivatives are entered as separate major entries.


A derivative is a stem that is formed by combining a root with an affix that adds a component of meaning that is more than just inflectional.


The meaning of a derivative is determined by its context, not its parts.

Also known as:

derived form, derived stem


A derivative is a stem formed by derivation, a morphosyntactic operation.

  Here are some kinds of derivatives:
  • Grammatical derivatives

    • Nominalized stems, such as encouragement from encourage
    • Adverbialized stems, such as courageously from courageous
  • Semantic derivatives


    nominalized stems, such as generation from generate

See also

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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.]

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