2

I am writing a short summary of the Italian morphological system for my thesis.

I am struggling with how I should define certain morphemes using English.

Future –er- in “am-er-emo”.

Now, “-emo” is a suffix (a person-number marker).

Is “-er-” an infix, an interfix or a suffix?

And what about “-in-” in tavol-in-o?

Is it infix, an interfix or a suffix?

thanks

P.

  • Welcome to Italian.SE! – Charo Apr 25 '18 at 16:05
  • 1
    I am reluctant to send away people who ask good questions (we are rather question-starved here), but you might get a more authoritative answer at linguistics.stackexchange.com – Denis Nardin Apr 25 '18 at 16:08
3

This looks more like a question about English terminology than about Italian language, and as such it would be off topic. Italian grammar only considers prefissi (at the beginning of a word), suffissi (at the end) and infissi (in the middle);1 apparently – but this should be asked about in an English-language site about general linguistics (such as https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/) – this corresponds in English to the distinction among prefixes, suffixes, and infixes.

As for “interfix”, I admit I never heard about it and more than one English dictionary don't include it, but apparently, if we trust Wikipedia, it is “a phoneme which is placed in between two morphemes and does not have a semantic meaning”. With this definition, none of your examples is an interfix, since those strings of letters: a) are not single phonemes; and, more importantly, b) do have a semantic meaning. Indeed, -er- in ameremo characterises the future tense, while -in- denotes a diminutive form (tavolo = “table”; tavolino = “small table”).

1 See for instance the article “affissazione” in G.L. Beccaria, ed., Dizionario di linguistica, Einaudi.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.