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What is a zero affix?

 

Definition
 

A zero affix is the member of a set of inflectional affixes which is represented by the absence of an expected morpheme.

Example: Mangga Buang (Papua New Guinea)
 

Here is a set of affixes in which one member of the set is a zero affix:

 

Word

Gloss

Personal pronoun prefixes

  • aa-lipis
  • ga-lipis
  • a-lipis
  • lipis
  • la-lipis
  • ‘I/we washed’
  • ‘you (sing.) washed’
  • ‘you (plural) washed’
  • ‘he/she/it washed’
  • ‘they washed’
  • aa- ‘I/we'
  • ga- ‘you (sing.)’
  • a- ‘you (plural)’
  • Ø ‘he/she/it’
  • la- ‘they’

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