Three types of suffixes in French: Discarding the learned / non-learned distinction

J. Don, P. Sleeman, T. Westveer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Traditionally a two-way distinction is made in French between learned and non-learned suffixes, based on etymology. However, this distinction does not account for all suffixes. Furthermore, suffixes are traditionally considered as categorial heads, but some suffixes derive words of multiple categories. This paper proposes an alternative analysis of French suffixes, distinguishing three instead of two types, using a theory by Creemers et al. (2015) proposed for Dutch. In their analysis in the framework of Distributed Morphology, Creemers et al. distinguish three instead of two types of suffixes, proposing an alternative to Lowenstamm (2010). Starting from their proposal, we show that it is possible to distinguish three types of suffixes in French as well, accounting for the categorial flexibility of some suffixes, without resorting to the vague distinction between learned and non-learned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-47
Number of pages15
JournalLinguistics in the Netherlands
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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