Suspended affixation

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Suspended affixation refers to a situation where in a coordinate construction, an affix is omitted from one of the coordinands that another coordinand has, so that in a sense the affix has scope over both coordinands.

Examples

Turkish

Tebrik ve teşekkür-ler-im-i sunarım.
congratulation and thank-PL-1SG-ACC I.offer
‘I offer my congratulations and thanks.’

This could also be tebrik-ler-im-i ..., with no great semantic or pragmatic difference in this particular case. In contrast, in English it does make a difference whether you suspend or don't in cases like Laurel('s) and Hardy's films

Comments

This phenomenon was been much discussed in early morphological typology, most notably, in the Humboldt/Steinthal tradition, by Franz Nikolaus Finck in his Die Haupttypen des Sprachbaus (1910), where it is subsumed under the notion of “group inflection”. (What's nowadays called “phrase marking”, as opposed to “word marking”.)

Origin

The term “suspended affixation” was probably coined by Lewis (1967), and has subsequently found particular favour in Turkic linguistics (see further Kabak 2007).

References

  • Kabak, Baris. 2007.
  • Lewis, G.L. 1967. Turkish grammar.