Affixation is the morphological process where by, a bound morpheme,
an affix,  is attached to a root or stems
to mark changes in meaning, part of speech, or grammatical relationships.
Affixes take on several forms and serve different fucntions. Affixation falls in the scope of
Morphology where bound morphemes are either roots or affixes. Prefixes (affixes
that precede the root) and suffixes (affixes that follow the root) are the most
common types of affixes cross-linguistically. Affixes mark derivational (-er in teach-er)
and inflectional (-s in teacher-s) changes, and
affixation is the most common strategy that human languages employ for
derivation of new words and word forms. The scope of this study is to
specifically look into affixation as a process of word formation.

The paper falls into two sections: The first section
introduces the term Affixation  in
general and presents some examples of adding new affixes to some words. The
second section defines and identifies the affix and also talks about the
types of affixation.

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Section one

 

Introduction

 

Most
English words are made up of the base word known as root which contains the
heart of the meaning of the word. To expand such words, appendages (affixes)
are added at either the beginning or at the end of the word. It is the process
of attaching these affixes that is referred to as affixation. The affix added
at the beginning of the root is known as prefix while that at the end of a word
is suffix. The root is central to the building of new words. For instance,
advantage, help, forgive, measure are the core words (roots) 10 in
disadvantageous, unhelpful, unforgivable and immeasurable respectively. They
can be analysed as:

Prefix                  Root Word              Suffix            New Word

Dis-                       advantage               ous           
 disadvantageous

Un-                          
 help                        ful            
 unhelpful

Un-                          forgive                     able          
 unforgivable

Im-                          measure                  able            immeasurable

Despite the fact that prefixes and suffixes are just a combination
of two, three or four letters, they have meaning in English. They are therefore
morphemes. A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of a word. They change
the meaning of the root word. In the above examples, dis-, un-, and im- depict
negative. The different approaches to identifying morphemes and the
relationships between morphemes and words are reflections of the different
trends in linguistics during the twentieth century, but most linguists are in
agreement on the type of phenomena morphology is concerned with. Prefixes and
suffixes added to words change the meanings of such words. This study will
start with the examination of the meanings of some English prefixes and
suffixes.

 

Affixation                                                                                               

is a process which involves adding
bound morphemes to roots which results in a newly-created derivative. Whereas
we can distinguish many types of this process, the English language generally
makes use of two — pre-fixation and suffixation. The first is characterized by
adding a morpheme that is placed before the base: mature — premature, do —
undo, affirm — reaffirm, function — malfunction. In contrast, suffixation
focuses on attaching a morpheme that rather follows the base than proceeds it:
read — reader, friend — friendship, manage — management. What is also
characteristic for this type of affixation is the fact that suffixes can be
stacked on one another — this does not happen when it comes to prefixes:
re-spect-ful-ness, friend-liness, un-help-ful-ness. It should be noted that
affixes are divided into two main categories: while some of them are labelled
as inflectional, a majority of them is known to be derivational.                                                      

 

Affixes

2.3.1 Definition of Affixes

There are a number of common ways in constructing words.  One of the ways is through the use of Affixes
(Thornbury, 1997: 43). Thus; Words may include morphemes usually as Affs
(Johnson and Jonson, 1999: 219).

Accordingly, this study deals only with morphological formation of words
by means of Affs as the title clearly indicates. In this subsection some
definitions of the Affs are introduced:

Falk (1978:
29) sees that various bound morphemes can be attached to free morphemes to
create new words. These attached bound morphemes are called Affs.