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An infix is an affix which occurs inside its base.


Sometimes the term infix is also used for adfixes that occur nonperipherally in a word, but not inside another morpheme. However, this usage of infix is usually regarded as erroneous.

"Now, shouldn’t we analyze -al in decolonialization also as an infix (after all, it occurs inside a word)? The answer is ‘no.’ True, -al occurs inside a complex word, but crucially it does not occur inside another morpheme." (Plag 2003:11)

Arabic infixes are vocalic patterns within so-called discontinuous morphemes, traditionally called roots. For example, the triconsonantal root {k..t..b} is the discontinuous morpheme, which carries the meaning of 'writing', into which a vocalic pattern such as {..a..a} can be infixed to give you /katab/ (a pausal form), meaning 'wrote'. In fact, the morphemic analysis of past verb forms in Arabic is more complex than it might overtly seem were we to add gender as yet a third morpheme.


The term infix is first attested in the last quarter of the 19th century.


Plag, Ingo. 2003. English word-formation. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Other languages

German Infix (de)