Derivation and rules of word formation

Derivation and the process of word formation


Derivation and rules of word formation is very important to understand.

The derivation is a regular procedure word formation that allows languages designate semantically related concepts with other in a sense considered primitive by adding suffixes (eg knife of knife ). The existence of the derivation allows to have a lexicon that allows to designate numerous senses from a much smaller number of roots or lexemes . Also the derivation is the main source of new words in many languages.

The shunt is similar to certain flexion forms , since both would use morphemes added to the root to express differences. However, flexion does not involve changing referents but rather the added marks have a strictly grammatical purpose. On the other hand, the derivation resembles changes in meaning to the composition .

The derivation is a set of a primitive word together with a prefix or a suffix

In the field of linguistics, the concept of derivation refers to one of the processes of new word formation . This process has a general criterion : the union of a base or lexeme and a derivative morfema.

Keep in mind that different words come from the same primitive word. Thus, all words that come from a primitive are known as derived words. In this way, with the primitive word sun, I can form a series of derived words, such as solace, sunstroke, solar, sunny, etc. For the derivation process to be possible it is necessary to apply a series of rules.

Rules of derivation in verbs, nouns and adjectives

n the case of verbs, the derivation is based on the union of a suffix and a lexeme. In this way, in the verbal form “dreamed”, the lexeme “dreamed” is accompanied by the suffix “ado” of the participle. On the other hand, when the verbs have a lexeme ending in “e” or “i”, these two vowels disappear in the derivation (for example, “squeak” becomes “squeak”).

With respect to nouns and adjectives, derivation also has its rules. Thus, with the “house” lexeme, the “a” disappears if we form the word “house”. Similarly, if we add the derivative morpheme “age” to the adjective “fool”, we have the word “foolishness.”

Other ways to form words

The derivation is not the only system to form words, since there is also flexion, composition and parasynthesis.

Flexion involves adding a flexive morpheme to a lexeme. Thus, there are flexible morphemes of gender and number (for example, from the yellow lexeme, we can incorporate the flexible morpheme as and we have the word yellow).

The composition does not start from the union of a morpheme to a base or lexeme, but is about joining more than one base or more than one word. In this way a compound word is obtained (for example, umbrellas, lightning rods, skyscrapers or noon).

In para synthesis, words are formed by combining the principle of composition and derivation

In the case of the word “motorist”, there is a composition ( auto + mobile) and at the same time a derivation, since the suffix “ista” is added. On the other hand, parasynthesis is produced by the simultaneous union of a prefix and a suffix, such as the word “inasumible” (it comes from assuming, but with the prefix “in” and the suffix “ible” it becomes “inasumible “).


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