Word Formation

Part of Speech of Affixed Words

Prefixes do not alter the part of speech of the affixed word. On the other hand, suffixes do and are defined as either adjective/adverb suffixes or noun/verb suffixes.  
 

Grammatical Affixes

  • -li: (1) turns nouns into adjective/adverbs (of, relating to); (2) attaches to nouns to generate noun quasi-compounds
     

  • -mo: (1) turns adjectives into adjective/adverb-modifying adverbs; (2) attaches to nouns to generate adjective quasi-compounds
     

  • -ya: turns adjectives into abstract nouns 
     

  • -gi: transitivity marker
     

  • -cu: intransitivity marker 
     

  • -su: possessive adjectives
     

  • be-: passive voice
     

  • du-: gerund; habitual/continuous verb aspect

Prefixes​​​

  • ami-: in-law [gami - spouse/marry]

    • amisodar - brother-in-law, sister-in-law (sodar - sibling); amiatre - in-laws (atre - parent)​
       

  • aw-: away [awsen - absent]

    • awidi - leave, go away (idi - go)​​; awglu - drink up (glu - drink); awpel - drive away (pel - drive/push, impulse/impetus)
       

  • bon-: good, eu- [bono - good]

    • bonata - welcome (ata - come)​; bonxanse - good luck (xanse - chance, luck); bonsoba - good morning (soba - morning); bonleksi - euphemism (leksi - word); bonmorcu - euthanasia (morcu - death); bonoko - observe, watch (oko - eye/see/look); bonore - listen (ore - ear/hear)

  • bur-: objectively or morally bad [buru - bad]

    • burnini - brat (nini - kid); bursolo - lonely (solo - alone); burleksi - swearword (leksi - word)
       

  • col-: ugly [colo - ugly]

    • coleskri - scribble (eskri - write)

  • day-: augmentative [dayo - big/large]

    • daybono - excellent, great, awesome (bono - good); daydayo - huge, gigantic (dayo - big, large​); daylile - tiny (lile - small, little); dayxaher - metropolis (xaher - town, city); daybaytu - mansion (baytu - house)

  • dis-: disperse, scatter

    • disgibe - distribute (gibe - give)​

  • fin-: finish, to the end [fini - finish, end]

    • finfe - until (fe - at); finki - until (ki - conj that); findoxo - finish reading to the end (doxo - read)​; finyam - finish eating (yam - eat); findinalar - weekend (dina - day, dinalar - week)

​​

  • fron-: forwards [fronta - forehead, front]

    • fronkadam - progress​ (kadam - step)
       

  • gal-: wrong, mis- [gale - wrong]

    • galaham - misunderstand (aham - understand)​​; galhesabu - miscount (hesabu - count)

  • haw-: aero- [hawa - air]

    • hawnavi - aircraft​ (navi - ship)

  • jun-: young, offspring [juni - young]

    • junbwaw - puppy (bwaw - dog); junmyaw - kitten (myaw - cat)​; junsinga - cub (singa - lion); junnini - infant, toddler (nini - kid, child)
       

  • lam-: ancient [lama - old, opp newe]

    • lamhistori - prehistory (histori - history)

  • law-: old [lawo - old, opp juni]

    • la​watre - ancestor, forefather, foremother (atre - parent); lawnini - teen, adolescent (nini - kid, child); lawdaypatre/lawdaypa - great grandfather/great grandpa (daypatre - grandfather; daypa - grandpa)

  • lil-diminutive [lile - little/small]

    • lilhaha - giggle (​haha - laugh); lilbaytu - hut, cottage (baytu - house); lilnahir - stream (nahir - river); lilroso - pink (roso - red)

  • mel-: beautiful [meli - beautiful]

    • meleskri - calligraphy (eskri - write)​

​​

  • new-: neo- [newe - new]

    • newklasiko - neoclassical​ (klasiko - classic, classical)
       

  • pos-: opposite [opos - opposite]

    • possahay - hinder (sahay - help); possuces - failure/fail (suces - success); posdongi - disagree (dongi - agree); posgami - divorce (gami - spouse/marry)

  • pre-: here/there (as opposed to away) [presen - present]

    • preata - arrive​ (ata - come); preporta - bring, take (porta - carry)
       

  • ri-: re- (again)

    • rieskri - rewrite​ (eskri - write)​; riadres - forward (adres - address); ridoxo - reread (doxo - read)

  • ru-: retro-, re- (back) [ruke - back/rear]

    • ruata - come back, return (ata - come); ruidi - go back, return (idi - go); rugibe - give back, return (gibe - give); ruaksyon - react/reaction (aksyon - act/action)
       

  • xor-: begin, start [xoru - begin, start]

    • xorfe - from (fe - at); xorki - since (ki - conj. that); xorsomno - fall asleep (somno - sleep); xoraham - realize, come to understand (aham - understand)

Function Words as Prefixes

  • anti-: against, counter, anti-

    • antidokya - antidote (dokya - poison); antijento - fight against (jento - fight); antiaksyon - counteract (aksyon - act/action)

  • bax-: under, sub-, vice-

    • baxgeoli - subterranean (geo - earth, ground); baxpresidiyen - vice-president (presidiyen -president)

  • daw-: through

    • dawdoxo - read through (doxo - read); dawjiwa - live through (jiwa - live, life)​​​; dawpasa - traverse, pass through (pasa - pass)

  • ex-: out

    • exidi - exit (idi - go)​; exporta - export (porta - carry); exnasyonli - foreign (nasyon - nation)

  • in-: in

    • inidi - enter (idi - go)​; inporta - import (porta - carry); inhare - contain (hare - have)

  • infra-: infra-, hypo-

    • infratermo - hypothermia (termo - heat); infraroso - infrared (roso - red); infraidi - descend (idi - go) ​
       

  • intre-: between, inter-

    • intrenasyonli - international (nasyon - nation); intreloga - conversation (loga - speak); intreaksyon - interact/interaction (aksyon - act/action); intrediskuti - dialogue (diskuti - discuss/discussion)

  • le-: past

    • lefe - before (fe - at); leja - last, previous (ja - immediately adjacent)ledina - yesterday (dina - day)

  • lefe-: pre-, fore-

    • lefeoko - foresee (oko - see); lefeloga - foretell, predict (loga - speak/talk, say/tell)​
       

  • moy-: every, all

    • moyabilpul - almightly, omnipotent (abil - ability)​; moydinali - daily, everyday (dina - day)
       

  • nen-: un-, in-, im-

    • nenmuhim - unimportant (muhim - important); nenkompleto - incomplete (kompleto - complete)
       

  • of-: forms fractions (off, out of)

    • un ofdua - half, one out of two (dua - two)​

  • se-: self (synonymous with seli)

    • semorgi - suicide (morgi - kill)

  • supra-: above, super-, hyper-

    • suprarealsim - hyperrealistic (real - real; realsim - realistic); supraidi - ascend (idi - go)
       

  • ton-: together, co-

    • tonaksyon - cooperate (aksyon - act/action); tonergo - collaborate (ergo - work)

  • tras-: across, trans-

    • trasporta - transport/transportation (porta - carry); trasatlanti - transatlantic (Atlanti - Atlantic); trasbasa - translate, interpret (basa - language, communicate through language)

  • ultra-: beyond

    • ultrajiwa - survive (jiwa - life)​; ultranaturali - supernatural (natura - nature)​​; ultrapasa - surpass (pasa - pass)
       

  • wal-: without (not having)

    • walergo - unemployment (ergo - work); walbarix - drought (barix - rain); walsomno - insomnia (somno - sleep)

  • xa-: future

    • xafe - after (fe - at); xaja - next (ja - immediately adjacent)​​; xadina - tomorrow (dina - day)

  • xafe-: post-

    • xafeplasi - postpone (plasi - put); xafemorculi (preferably expressed more succinctly as a prepositional phrase - xafe morcu) - postmortem, posthumous (morcu - death); xafexengili (preferably expressed more succinctly as a prepositional phrase - xafe xengi) - postpartum (xen - bornxengi - give birth)

​​

Adj/Adv Suffixes

  • -bel: -able/-ible [short for be-X-bil: be- - passive particle; -bil - can/-ive]

    • yambel - edible (yam - eat); doxobel - legible (doxo - read); (nen)okobel - (in)visible (oko - see)
       

  • -bil: (active) can/-ive; (passive) -able/-ible [abil - ability/can]

    • active: kreabil - creative (krea - create)​; nenokobil - blind (oko - see

    • passive: beyambil - edible (yam - eat)​; bedoxobil - legible (doxo - read); (nen)beokobil - (in)visible (oko - see)

  • -do: in an inactive state of (turns nouns into inactive adjectives)

    • jugedo - broken (juge - break); klosido - closed (klosi - close); estodo - stopped (esto - stop)  
       

  • -kal: empty, -less [kali - empty]

    • legakal - illegal, lawless (lega - law); sabarkal - impatient (sabar - patience); ergokal - unemployed (ergo - work); pesakal - poor (pesa - money); luminkal - dark (lumin - light)

  • -lay: worthy of [laye - value/worth]

    • xinloylay - trust-worthy (xinloy - trust); memorilay - memorable (memori - memory/remember); doxolay - worth reading (doxo - read)

  • -lor: shade [kolor - color]

    • asmanlor - sky blue​ (asman - sky)
       

  • -mar: ill, sick [bimar - sick]

    • sikomar - crazy (siko - mind)
       

  • -mey: inclined to, prone [meylu - inclination, tendency/tend to]

    • ergomey - diligent, industrious (ergo - work); hawfumey - fear-prone (hawfu - fear); wajibumey - responsible (wajibu - responsibility, obligation); dinimey - religious (dini - religion)

  • -mus: (active) must; (passive) must be, imperative [musi - must]

    • active: triunfamus - who must win (triunfa - win/triumph)

    • passive: beokomus - must-see (oko - see; beoko - be seen)
       

  • -ne: in the active process of (turns verbs into active adjectives)

    • somnone - sleeping (somno - sleep); interesne - interesing (interes - interest); amusane - amusing, fun (amusa - amuse)

  • -ple: multiple

    • duaple - double (dua - two); tigaple - triple (tiga - three)​; careple - quadruple (care - four) ​
       

  • -pul: -ful [pule - full]

    • kimapul - costly, pricey, expensive (kima - price)​; jawgupul - careful (jawgu - take care); brilapul - shiny (brila - shine); pesapul - rich (pesa - money); hataripul - dangerous (hatari - danger); abilpul - able, capable (abil - can, able)​; legapul - legal, lawful (lega - law); sabarpul - patient (sabar - patience); bawlupul - violent (bawlu - violence

  • -sim: -like [similer - similar]

    • dostesim - friendly (doste - friend); femsim - effeminate (fem - feminine); ninisim - childish (nini - child); realsim - realistic (real - real)
       

  • -wol: wanting [wole - want]

    • somnowol - sleepy (somno - sleep)​; yamwol - hungry (yam - eat/meal); suiwol - thirsty (sui - water)

 
 
 
 
 

Noun Suffixes

 

  • -bol - ball [bola - ball]

    • pedabol - soccer/football​​ (peda - foot); basketebol - basketball (baskete - basket)

  • -ci: branch of medicine [medici - medici/medicate] 

    • dentaci - dentistry (denta - tooth); sikoci - psychiatry (siko - mind); hewanci - veterinary medicine (hewan - animal); ninici - pediatrics (nini - child); pifuci - dermatology (pifu - skin)
       

  • -dom: place, room [dome - place built for specific purpose]

    • kitabudom - library (kitabu - book); mehmandom - hostel (mehman - guest); dinidom - church, temple (dini - religion); banyodom - bathroom (banyo - bath); darsudom - classroom (darsu - lesson, class)
       

  • -fon: -phone, tool for speech sound [fono - speech sound]

    • telifon - telephone (teli - far); logafon - microphone (loga - speak/speech); orefon - earphones (ore - ear)​; radyofon - radio transmitter (radyo - radio)
       

  • -hol: sheath, holder [hole - sheath]

    • xumahol - candlestick (xuma - candle); pamtulhol - holster (pamtul - gun)
       

  • -grafi: recording [grafia - to record/recording]

    • jiwagrafi - biography (jiwa - life); radyagrafi - x-ray image (radya - radiation)​; teligrafi - telegram (teli - far)
       

  • -i: denotes endearment, affection

    • mamai - mommy (mama - mom); papai - daddy (papa - dad)

  • -ismo: -ism

    • kapitalismo - capitalism (kapital - capital); komunismo - communism (komun - communal); Budaismo - Buddhism (Buda - Buddha)
       

  • -ista: -ist​​ (meaning limited to "adherent to -ism") [Compare with -yen]

    • kapitalista - capitalist (kapital - capital); komunista - communist (komun - communal); Budaista - Buddhist (Buda - Buddha)
       

  • -je: degree [daraje - degree, level] 

    • dayoje - size (dayo - big/large); velosije - speed (velosi - fast); telije - distance (teli - far); lawoje - age (lawo - old); lamaje - age (lama - old); termoje - temperature (termo - heat); gaoje - height (gao - tall/high)
       

  • -kan: store [dukan - store]

    • kitabukan - bookstore (kitabu - book); yamkan - restaurant (yam - meal/eat); yamxeykan - grocery store (yamxey - food)​

  • -kax: container [kaxa - case]

    • anjenkax - safebox (anjen - safe); pesakax - purse (pesa - money); bezekax - beehive (beze - bee)
       

  • -kef: boss/leader [kefa - boss]

    • navikef - captain (nave - ship); xaherkef - mayor (xaher - city)​

  • -krasi: government [krasia - rule, govern]

    • demokrasi - democracy​

  • -kum: cloth for specific purpose​​​ [kumax - piece of cloth] 

    • banyokum - towel (banyo - bath); mesakum - tablecloth (mesa - table)​; nasakum - handkerchief (nasa - nose); muntekum - napkin (munte - mouth)

  • -lar: collective group [lari - collection]

    • drevolar - forest (drevo - tree)​; insanlar - humanity (insan - human being); darsular - course (darsu - lesson/class); mumular - herd of cattle (mumu - bull/cow, ox); leksilar - vocabulary (leksi - word); menalar - dictionary (mena - meaning, definition); navilar - fleet of ships (navi - ship); yumawlar - plumage (yumaw - feather); dinalar - week (dina - day)

  • -logi: specialty, study of [logia - specialty]

    • biologi - biology (bio - life/organisms); sikologi - psychology (siko - mind)

  • -men: document [dokumen - document]

    • pasamen - passport (pasa - pass); ​xencumen - birth certificate (xen - born, xencu - birth)

  • -mon: element or part of a whole [mono - item, unit of a whole]

    • talujimon - snowflake (taluji - snow); watumon - period (watu - time); atexmon - spark (atex - fire)​

  • -mos: season [mosimu - season]

    • bardimos - winter (bardi - cold); bijamos - spring (bija - seed/sow); termomos - summer (garme - warm); xuhwamos - autumn (xuhwa - reap/harvest)

  • -sa: language; animal sounds [basa - language]

    • Globasa - Globasa (globa - world); Englisa - English (Engli - England); Espanisa - Spanish (Espani - Spain) ​

    • bwawsa - bark (bwaw - dog); myawsa - meow (myaw - cat); umasa - neigh (uma - horse); singasa - roar (singa - lion)

  • -so: meat [maso - meat]

    • mumuso - beef (mumu - bull/cow); kukuso - chicken (kuku - hen/rooster); swiniso - pork (swini - pig, hog); maciso - fish (maci - fish)
       

  • -ter: measuring device [meter - measure]

    • termojeter - thermometer (termoje - temperature); satuter - clock, watch (satu - hour)

  • -tis: inflammation (-itis) or pathology (-osis) [itis - inflammation]

    • artrotis - arthritis (artro - joint); sikotis - psychosis (siko - mind)
       

  • -tim: team, body [timu - team]

    • asosyatim - association (asosya - associate); komuntim - community (komun - communal); organistim - organization (organis - organize); jangetim - military (jange - war); krasiatim - government (krasi - rule/govern); ergotim - staff (ergo - work); oretim - audience (ore - ear/hear)  ​
       

  • -tor: -ator, machine, device [motor - motor/engine]

    • komputator - computer (komputa - compute); liftitor - elevator, lift (lifti - lift)​; woxator - washing machine (woxa - wash); taypitor - typewriter (taypi - type
       

  • -tul: tool [tule - tool]

    • eskritul - writing utensil (eskri - write); katatul - knife (kata - cut); yuxitul - toy (yuxi - play/game);
       

  • -xey: thing, substance [xeyu - thing]

    • yamxey - food (yam - meal, eat); kreaxey - (a) creation (krea - create); kostruixey - building (kostrui - build); medicixey - medication/medicine (medici - medicate/medicine, as a practice)

  • -yen: being (any living being or personified object), -ist, -er, -an [yene - being]

    • noun/verb roots: estudiyen - student (estudi - study); danseyen - dancer (danse - dance); mediciyen - physician (medici - medicate/treat); arteyen - artist (arte - art)​; alimyen - teacher (alim - teach);  polisiyen - police officer (polisi - police); yuriyen - lawyer/attoney (yuri - philosophy/science of law); poemayen - poet (poema - poem)

    • adjective roots: juniyen - young man/woman, gal/guy, teen to early 20s (juni - young)

    • nationalities: Italiyen - Italian (Itali - Italy); Mexikoyen - Mexican (Mexiko - Mexico)

    • physiciansdentaciyen - dentist (denta - tooth); sikociyen - psychiatrist (siko - mind); hewanciyen - veterinarian (hewan - animal); niniciyen - pediatrician (nini - child); pifuciyen - dermatologist (pifu - skin)

Compounds with Modifying Adjective/Adverbs

Many adjective/adverbs may be used to create compounds. The following list includes the most commonly used adjective/adverbs in compounds.

Root adjective/adverbs are typically attached to the main root word, creating compounds. On the other hand, derived adjective/adverbs with -li (leli and seli) are typically expressed as separate words, creating quasi-compounds. 

  • cuyo: main, chief, primary, arch-

    • cuyoangel - archangel (angel - angel); cuyodolo - main street (dolo - street); cuyoyawxe - master key (yawxe - key)

  • kwasi: quasi-, step-

    • kwasisodar ​- step-brother/step-sister (sodar - sibling)
       

  • fem-: female

    • femgami - wife (gami - spouse); femnini - girl (nini - kid/child); femixu - woman​ (ixu - adult, man/woman); femwango - queen (wango - monarch, king/queen)
       

  • leli: ex-, former

    • leli gami - ex-spouse (gami - spouse)​; leli presidiyen - ex-president (presidi - preside)
       

  • man-: male

    • mangami - husband (gami - spouse); mannini - boy (nini - kid/child); manixu - man (ixu - adult, man/woman); manwango - king (wango - monarch, king/queen)​
       

  • midi: mid-

    • midinuru - noon (nuru - daytime); midinoce - midnight (noce - night); mididayo - medium
       

  • seli (synonymous with the prefix se-): self-

    • seli bawey - self-defense (bawey - defense)
       

  • semi: half-; semi-, -ish 

    • semisodar - half-brother/half-sister (sodar - sibling); semikijawi - greenish (kijawi - green)
       

  • total: total, all-, pan-

    • totalglobali - world-wide​


Quasi-Compounds with Modifying Nouns

Compounds may not be formed by simply joining two nouns, the way English often does. Instead, they are formed by adding the suffix -li to the modifying noun. 

rukeli bao - backpack

xenculi dina - birthday

familli name - last name

kosmoli naviyen - astronaut
mobilli xuliyen - mechanic

Adjective Compounds
 

Noun quasi-compounds such as the above may be expressed descriptively through one of three methods. 

Method 1: One-word Compound 


One method to turn quasi-compounds into adjectives is by simply connecting the quasi-compound into one word and adding -li

xenculidinali hadya - birthday gift

Method 2: Prepositional Phrase with fe

The preposition fe can be seen as the equivalent of -li. Since -li is used for turning nouns into adjectives, fe may be likewise be used with quasi-compounds.

hadya fe xenculi dina - birthday gift (literally "gift of birthday")

Method 3: -mo 

Just as -li has a dual function (to derive adjectives as well as to generate noun quasi-compounds), -mo too has a dual function (to derive adverbs as well as to generate adjective quasi-compounds). 

xencumo dinali hadya - birthday gift

It is worth noting that when generating adjective quasi-compounds, -mo is attached to noun roots. For this reason, -mo replaces -li in the example above. On the other hand, when -mo is attached to adjectives, including derived adjectives with -li, an adjective/adverb-modifying adverb is created.  

 

Object-Verb Adjective Compounds

Object-verb adjective compounds may be formed using either Method 1 or 3 above. 

mogeliyamne ameba or mogemo yamne ameba - brain-eating amoeba 
 

 
 
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