Infix (linguistics)

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In linguistics, an infix is an affix that is not attached to its base or word stem in the usual way , but is instead inserted into the interior of the stem. The definition of infixes is that the morphological structure of the word and the unity of the morphemes are not respected. Instead, infixes are inserted at purely acoustically defined places, e.g. B. after the first consonant of the word stem or after the first syllable .


In the Filipino language Tagalog , the infix -um- is used as an inflection morpheme for verbs and inserted after the first consonant of the word stem:

sulat "write-"
s um ulat “write / someone writes”.

However, no infix occurs when an affix among other affixes or tribes is in the word inside, such as in the German Partizipbildung: make on-/ on -Ge- makes . Here, ge is a prefix , as it leaves its base, the verb stem mach- intact, and precedes it completely. Unlike in the Tagalog example, the word auf-mach (en) is not a simple stem, but a separable combination of two morphemes. Accordingly, the stem mach has two prefixes in succession in the participle.

More examples of infixes:

  • Kharia : the nominalizer -nV- is inserted before the coda of the first syllable: gɔj "to die" - j "death", jib "touch" - ji ni b "touch"
  • Sanskrit : "Ich schirre an", yunájmi (from the root yuj- , 1st person singular present, -na- denotes an action in the present tense)
  • Lasisch : “I tear off”, bribs-are (from the root bris- , -b- is the sign of the 1st person present tense, which in other cases also appears as a prefix, as with b-dis-dare , “I laugh ")

Different terminology variants

In addition to the standard definition explained above, there are other uses of the term in some linguistic traditions. In Old Irish grammar , pronouns inserted between a verb prefix and the stem are traditionally referred to as "infixes"; in modern terminology, however, they are more likely to be classified as clitics . For examples, see Old Irish Language # Verbs .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Infix  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Thomas Payne: Describing Morphosyntax. A Guide for Field Linguists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK) 1997, p. 30.
  2. Mark Aronoff, Kirsten Fudeman: What is Morphology? 2nd Edition. Blackwell, Malden (MA) 2005, page 3. ( Memento of the original dated September 7, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Balthasar Bickel, Johanna Nichols: Inflectional morphology. In T. Shopen (Ed.): Language Typology and Syntactic Description. Volume III: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK) 2007, pp. 169-240. Manuscript version as pdf See page 32 of the manuscript version.
  4. Cf. Duden - The Grammar. 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim 2009, p. 136. Depending on the analysis, it may be viewed as part of a circumfix .
  5. Peterson, J .: A Grammar of Kharia: A South Munda Language. Brill, Leiden 2011.
  6. David Stifter: Sengoidelc: Old Irish for beginners. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse (NY) 2006, p. 123.