Morphology

prefix-root-suffix

  • Root: original meaning
  • Prefix: emphasize, direction or size
  • Suffix: property, meaning (sometimes)
  • Phonological change:
    • letter: vowel + consonant
    • vowel: a,e,i,o,u
    • semivowel: y,w
    • function: hyphen (i,u is the most common use) and no meaning
    • consonant: pronunciation is similar, and they can be replaced
      • voiced: suffix is often for verb (d,t,s)(e.g. scribe)
      • voiceless: suffix is often for noun or adjective (e.g. script)

The first three are the most important. Pronunciation change in English does not change its meaning, just extend in meaning, such as vinc and vict, they both mean winning, conquer.

80% of English vocabulary comes from foreign languages, and most of them are Latin.

English has a history of 2,300 years. In the course of historical development, its meaning will be gradually extended.

Word Matrix

English thinking:

  • Synecdoche: concrete things are often used to extend or represent the whole thing
    • bar(barrier) to represent the
  • Doubly consonant: British English often uses doubly consonant, American English often uses single consonant
    • traveller, traveler

Root

  • act: to do (e.g. action)
    • From Latin actus, agere
  • alt: tall
  • anim: life
  • astr: star
  • bar: bar, obstacle (e.g. embarrass, barrack)
    • From Latin barra
  • bal: the same as bar (e.g. balance, balk, baluster)
  • ban: the same as bar (e.g. abandon, banner, banquet, bank)
    • Italian banchi, the root of the Italian word for banks
  • carn: flesh (e.g. carnage)
  • cerebr: brain (e.g. cerebral)
  • cess: movement, migration (e.g. process)
  • chlor: chlor (e.g. chloroform)
  • circum: circle (e.g. circumscribe)
  • clude: to shut, close (e.g. include)
    • From Latin cludere, the more literal sense of “close, shut up, prevent access to”
  • col: column (e.g. coliform, col + i + form)
  • cribr: sieve, tube with holes (e.g. cribriform)
  • cruc: cross (e.g. cruciform)
  • cunei: cunei (e.g. cuneiform)
  • cuss: strike, hit, shake (e.g. percuss)
  • deme: people (e.g. pandemic)
    • From Greek demos
  • dent: a hollow area in the surface of something (e.g. dental)
    • From Latin dint
  • fall: downward movement (e.g. waterfall)
  • fame: fame, reputation
  • fect: doing (e.g. perfect)
  • fer: to carry, to bear (e.g. conference)
    • From Latin ferre
  • fine: end, limit, acme (e.g. define)
  • flu: the affects between objects (e.g. influence)
  • flux: the same as flu
  • form: shape, look, etc. (e.g. transform, formula)
    • It comes from Latin formare
  • half: half (e.g. halfway)
  • heal: heal (e.g. healthy)
  • high: high (e.g. highlight)
  • hu: clay (e.g. human)
  • hydr: hydrogen, water (e.g. hydrate)
  • ill: bad, from evil (e.g. illness)
  • image: copy, statue, picture (e.g. imagination)
    • From Latin imago
  • lat: take (e.g. relate, re + lat + ate)
  • land: land (e.g. motherland, fatherland, landmark, mainland)
  • late: late
  • log: language, symbol
  • low: low
  • manu: hand (e.g. manufactor, manuscript)
  • mark: mark
  • mit: send (e.g. submit, permit)
  • morph: form, shape (e.g. morphology)
    • From Greek morphe
  • neo: new (e.g. neonatal)
  • non: no (e.g. nonperformance)
  • graph: write, draw, measure (e.g. photograph)
    • From Greek
  • gress: walk (e.g. progress)
  • od: a way or manner (e.g. method, period, odograph)
    • Method from Latin methodus “way of teaching or going”, meta- + hodos, meth originally pursuit, a following after
  • ori: rise (e.g. oriented )
    • From Latin, the position that sun rising from.
  • out: out (e.g. outperform)
  • play: play (e.g. playbook)
  • please: please, aggreeable (e.g. unpleasant)
  • prehend: grap, grasp, arrest (e.g. comprehension)
    • From Latin, prehendere
  • press: press
  • put: think
  • poor: poor
  • rect: rect, right angle, a straight line
  • rive: shore, bank, break
  • rupt: to break apart (e.g. corrupt)
  • sci: to know (e.g. science)
    • From Latin scire/scientis
  • scribe: to write or something written (e.g. subscribe)
  • scribble: careless writing, drawing
  • script: the same as scribe
  • sect: seprate
  • short: short
  • smog: smog
  • spir: breath (e.g. spirit, conspire, inspire, expire)
  • spong: spong (e.g. spongiform)
  • st: stand
  • sist: the same as st
  • star: star
  • stat: the same as st
  • stin: the same as st
  • stem: the same as st
  • struct: build (e.g. construct)
    • From Latin, structura, from struere, the way an organization, system, market etc is organized or put together.
  • suit: to follow (e.g. suitcase)
    • From Latin sequi
  • sume: use up (e.g. consume)
  • swim: swim
  • tire: become weary, exhausted (e.g. overtire)
  • top: top
  • techn: art, skill (e.g. technology, techn + o + logy)
    • From Latin technicus, also from Greek tekhnikos
  • under: under (e.g. underline)
  • vi: road (e.g. via, obviate, obvious, previous, trivia)
  • via: the same as vi
  • vict win (e.g. victim)
    • The ancient Roman mythological character Victoria, goddess of victory.
  • vinc: overcome, conquer (e.g. convince)
    • It comes from Latin word vincere.
    • After Caesar put down the rebellion, he issued a three-V instrument, which is “Veni, Vedi, Vici”, and it means “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
  • vis: see (e.g. visit)
  • voc: voice (e.g. vocal, vocational)
  • voy: way, journey (e.g. voyage)
    • From French
  • watch: keep watch, be awake (e.g. watchdog)
  • way: way
  • wave: wave (e.g. waveform )

Prefix

  • a: off, of, away from (e.g. away, apart, ascribe)
    • From Latin
  • a??: emphasize (e.g. attention, apprehend)
  • ab: away, from, from off, down (e.g. abuse)
  • agri: relating to farming (e.g. agriculture, agribusiness)
  • agro: the same as agri (e.g. agrobiology, agro-industry)
  • al: all (e.g. alway)
  • bi: two (e.g. binary)
  • bi(o): relating to or using living things (e.g. biomedical)
  • circum: around, round about, all around, on all sides (e.g. circumstance)
    • From Latin adverb and preposition circum “around, round about,” literally “in a circle,” probably accusative form of circus “ring” (see circus).
  • con: with, together, the relation of two object/e2e, emphasize (e.g. confirm)
  • cor: same as con (e.g. corrupt)
    • The form used for con- before the letter r
  • contra: against or opposite (e.g. contraband)
  • counter: against, in opposition; in return; corresponding, (e.g. counteract, counterfeit)
    • from Anglo-French countre-, French contre-, from Latin contra “opposite, contrary to, against, in return,” also used as a prefix (see contra (prep., adv.)
  • de: opposite, remove, reduce (e.g. deform, deviate, describe)
    • used to add the meaning “opposite”, “remove”, or “reduce” to a noun or verb:
  • detrite: erosion (e.g. detrition)
  • dis: not or opposite
  • dys: bad, ill; hard, difficult; abnormal, imperfect (e.g. dysfunction)
    • From Greek dys-
  • e: outward (e.g. evict)
  • ecto: outside, external (e.g. ectoderm)
    • Word-forming element generally before vowels ect-
    • From Latinized form of Greek adverb ektos “outside, out of; free from; exempt”
  • electro: electrical, electricity (e.g. electrotechnics)
  • em: the form used for en- before b, m, or p (e.g. empower)
  • endo: inside, within, internal (e.g. endogenous)
    • Word-forming element from Greek endon “in, within”
  • hetero: other, opposite, different (e.g. heterosexual)
  • hypo: less than usual, especially too little (e.g. hypotherm)
  • in: not, emphasize, inside (e.g. invalid, inform, inland)
  • infra: below, under (e.g. infrastructure)
  • inter: between or involving two or more different things (e.g. internet)
  • intro: into, especially into the inside (e.g. introduce)
  • ir: used instead of in- before the letter r
  • is: separate, apart (e.g. island)
  • macro: extremely large
  • mal: bad
  • main: main (e.g. main)
  • magn: big
  • micro: extremely small (e.g. microphone)
  • mini: very small (e.g. minimum)
  • mis: miss (e.g. mistake, misinform)
  • mono: one, single
  • multi: multiple (e.g. multiform)
  • nano: nano (e.g. nanostructure, nanotechnology)
  • net: net (e.g. internet)
  • non: not, none = no one (e.g. nonformal)
  • ob: toward, against, before, near, across, down (e.g. obstruct)
  • omni: everything or everywhere, all (e.g. omnipresent)
  • over: over (e.g. overfly)
  • pan: all, every, whole, all-inclusive (e.g. pandemic)
    • From Greek pan-, combining form of pas
  • para: alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal (e.g. paramedic)
    • From Greek para-, before vowels, par-, word-forming element.
  • per: every, entire (e.g. perfect, perform)
  • pir: pear (e.g. piriform)
  • plat: small place (e.g. platform)
  • poly: multiple, entire (e.g. polytechnic)
  • pre: before, ahead (e.g. preformed)
    • From Latin prae-, before, ahead
  • pro: forward (direction)
    • It comes from Prometheus, who can predict the future.
  • pur: the same as pro
    • A variant of Latin pro “before, for” (see pro-)
    • The earliest form of the prefix in English, and it is retained in some words, but in others it has been corrected to Latinate pro-.
  • pyro: something related to fire (e.g. pyrotechnics)
  • From Greek pyr (genitive pyros)
  • quad: related to quantity of four
  • re: repeat
  • semi: half
  • sens: understanding or feeling of something (e.g. sense)
  • sent: the same as sens (e.g. consent)
  • soci: partner (e.g. social, soci + al)
  • sol: uninjured, in good health, safe (e.g. solid)
    • From Latin salvificus “saving”
  • sub: under (e.g. subway(Americanism, underway is british style), substructure)
  • super: above (e.g. superstructure)
  • therm: heat, hot, warm (e.g. hetertherm)
  • trans: across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond (e.g. transparent, transcribe)
  • tri: three (e.g. trivia)
  • un: not, one (e.g. uninformed, uniform)
  • uni: one, single, un + i (e.g. uniform)
  • use: use (e.g. usage)
  • vore: devour (e.g. devore)
  • zymo: make, brew (e.g. zymotechnics)
    • From Greek zymo-, branch of chemistry which deals with wine-making and brewing

Suffix

  • a: noun (e.g formula)
  • al: noun or adjective
  • ade: noun (e.g. barriecade)
    • Denoting an action or product of an action, via French, Spanish, or Italian, ultimately from Latin -ata, fem.
  • ase: noun, used in naming enzymes, from ending of diastase (biochemistry). (e.g. transcriptase)
  • age: noun, the same as ic (e.g. formage)
    • From Old French and French -age, from Late Latin -aticum “belonging to, related to,” originally neuter adjectival suffix
  • an: noun or adjective
  • ance: noun (e.g. performance, appearance, balance)
  • the action, state, or quality of doing something or of being something
  • ant: noun (e.g. informant, assistant)
    • Someone or something that does something
  • able: adjective
  • ability: noun (able + i + ty)
  • ar: nount same as -er
  • at: noun or verb (e.g. formate)
  • ate: verb or adjective or noun
    • Verb, make something doing (e.g. regulate, control somthing or make it regular)
    • Adjective, full of or showing a particular quality (e.g. affectionate)
    • Noun, job, rank, or degree of a particular quality/type/duty…
  • ation: noun (ate + ion)
  • ative: noun (ate + ive)
  • craft: noun, skill
  • crat: noun, governing (e.g. democrat)
  • cracy: noun, same as ocrat (e.g. e.g. democracy)
  • dom: noun, abstract suffix of state (e.g. freedom, random)
    • From Old English dom “statute, judgment” (see doom)
  • don: verb (e.g. abandon)
  • e: noun
  • ed: adjective
  • el: noun (e.g. barrel)
    • instrumental word-forming element, expressing “appliance, tool,” from Old English -ol, -ul, -el, representing PIE *-lo- (see -ule). In modern English usually -le except after -n-.
    • Suffix -al origins from here
  • en: verb, adjective or noun is rarely seen (e.g. barren)
  • ence: noun, refer to an action or series of actions (e.g. violence)
  • ent: (e.g. different)
    • Making adjectives from nouns or verbs, from French
  • er: noun, executor of an action
  • ess: noun, female (e.g. actress)
  • ette: noun, a small thing of a particular type (e.g. barrette, snackette)
  • fic: adjective, making, creating (e.g. scientific)
    • From French -fique and directly from Latin -ficus “making, doing”
  • hood: noun (e.g. likelihood)
    • state or condition of being, from old English
  • ia: noun, in names of countries, diseases, and flowers (e.g. Asia)
    • From Latin and Greek -ia, noun ending, in Greek especially used in forming abstract nouns (typically of feminine gender);
  • ible: the same as able (e.g. invincible)
  • ibility: noun (ible + i + ty)
  • ic: adjective, of, like, related to a particular thing
  • ics: noun, ic + s, the study of something (e.g. bioinformatics)
  • id: adjective, (e.g. solid, sol + id)
  • ile: the same as ible
  • ine: none (e.g. vaccine)
  • im: noun, meaning man (e.g. victim)
  • ing: adjective (e.g. fitting)
  • ion: noun (e.g. formation)
  • ish: noun or adjective, something of one place, quite
  • ism: noun, principle (something’s abstraction)
  • ist: noun, people, principle (e.g. formalist)
  • it: noun or verb (e.g. unit)
  • itude: noun (something’s abstraction)
  • ity: noun, related to a state or quality, i + ty (e.g. performatity)
    • Added to adjectives to form nouns
  • ium: noun (e.g. scriptorium, technetium, medium)
  • ive: adjective (e.g. active)
  • ise: verb (Americanism)
  • ize: verb (British Style)
  • istic: ist + ic (e.g. formalistic)
  • itis: noun (e.g. periodontitis)
    • An illness or infection that affects a particular part of your body
  • latry: noun, worship of (e.g. technolatry, bardolatry)
    • From Greek -latreia “worship, service paid to the gods, hired labor,” related to latron (n.) “pay, hire,” latris “servant, worshipper,” from PIE *le- (1) “to get” (see larceny).
  • le: noun, verb, repeat (e.g. scribble)
  • less: adjective, negation
  • logy: noun, study
  • ly: adverb
  • ment: noun, to show actions, the people who do them, or their results (e.g. government)
    • Used to form a noun from a verb
  • ness: noun (e.g. formlessness)
    • A quality or a condition (used to form nouns from adjectives)
  • nomy: subject
  • or: the same as -er
  • ory: noun, the same as ary (e.g. victory, formulary)
  • ous: adjective, refer to a quality or condition (e.g. numerous)
  • phile: noun, someone who likes something (e.g. technophile)
  • phobe: noun, someone who dislikes or hates something (e.g. technophobe)
  • ship: noun, abstraction (e.g. friendship)
  • some: adjective
    • Word-forming element used in making adjectives from nouns or adjectives (and sometimes verbs)
    • Meaning “tending to; causing; to a considerable degree,” from Old English -sum
  • ster: noun, a person who is associated with something (e.g. baluster, gangster)
    • Old English -istre, from Proto-Germanic *-istrijon, feminine agent suffix used as the equivalent of masculine -ere (See -er)
  • ty: noun
  • ul: adjective, the same as al (e.g. formula, form + ul + a)
  • ur: noun, the same as -er (e.g. voyageur)
  • ure: noun or verb (e.g. structure)
    • Suffix forming abstract nouns of action, from Old French -ure, from Latin -ura, an ending of fem. nouns denoting employment or result.
  • us: noun (e.g. exodus, humerus)

Composition

  • age: age, era, epoch (e.g. information-age)
  • anti: opposed to or against something (e.g. anti-virus)
  • based: based on something, base + ed (e.g. information-based, rule-based)
  • best: best (e.g. best-informed)
  • counter: anti (e.g. counter-reformation)
  • concent: concent (e.g. informed-consent)
  • cross: cross (e.g. cross-platform)
  • driven: driven (e.g. technology-driven)
  • ex: outward, before (e.g. ex-boyfriend, ex-president)
  • era: era, epoch (e.g. Victorian-era)
  • enhancing: enhance + ing (e.g. performance-enhancing)
  • fed: feed (e.g. formula-fed)
  • fecal: fecal (e.g. fecal-coliform)
  • fine: fine (e.g. fine-structure)
  • fitting: fit + ing (e.g. form-fitting)
  • forming: form + ing (e.g. star-forming)
  • free: free (e.g. free-form)
  • gathering: gather (e.g. information-gathering)
  • health: health (e.g. health-reform)
  • high: high (e.g. high-performance, high-technology)
  • ill: ill (e.g. ill-informed)
  • late: late (e.g. late-Victorian)
  • life: life (e.g. life-form)
  • low: low (e.g. low-performing)
  • long: long (e.g. long-period)
  • neo: new (e.g. neo-Victorian)
  • newly: new (e.g. newly-formed)
  • non: none (e.g. non-structural)
  • oriented: orient + ed (e.g. performance-oriented, technology-oriented)
  • paper: paper (e.g. construction-paper)
  • performing: perform + ing (e.g. best-performing)
  • post: after (e.g. post-conviction)
  • poor: poor (e.g. poor-performing)
  • processing: process + ing (e.g. information-processing)
  • related: relate + ed (e.g. performance-related)
  • related: related (e.g. technology-related)
  • rich: rich (e.g. information-rich)
  • self: self (e.g. self-instruction)
  • sharing: share + ing (e.g. information-sharing)
  • short: short (e.g. short-period)
  • social: social (e.g. social-structural)
  • style: style (e.g. Victorian-style)
  • total: total (e.g. total-coliform)
  • top: top (e.g. top-performing)
  • technology: techn + o + logy (e.g. information-technology)
  • well: well (e.g. well-informed, well-known)
  • welfare: welfare (e.g. welfare-reform)
  • wielding: wield + ing (e.g. hammer-wielding)