Наслеђе 48 (2021), стр. 71-86

АУТОР(И): Gordana S. Lalić Krstin


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DOI: 10.46793/NasKg2148.071LK


We are witnessing an increase in the number of formations with the verb-forming suffix -ify, the majority of which are names of websites, mobile apps or internet-based services, e.g. Androidify, Connectify or Fatify. The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the selectional behaviour of -ify in these new formations and determine whether there are any indications of some new trends.

The suffix -ify typically occurs with Latinate bases to form causative or inchoative verbs such as intensify or mummify (Bauer, Huddleston 2002; Plag 1999). The rivalry with -ize is mainly resolved by phonological constraints: -ize occurs after one or more unstressed syllables, while -ify is always preceded by a stressed syllable. This means that -ify attaches to either monosyllabic bases or polysyllabic bases stressed on the ultimate (Plag 1999, 2003). It is uncommon for neologisms with -ify to show stress shift (Plag 2003: 93). While some of the new formations are clearly compliant with these rules and tendencies, some are not. For example, there are some formations with non-Latinate bases (Dollify), some that require a shift of stress (Androidify) and some that attach to verbal bases (Distractify). By combining corpus search results (Corpus of Contemporary American English (Davies 2008-), Corpus of Global Web-Based English (Davies 2013), iWeb Corpus (Davies 2018-)), Google Play Store data and other sources (in particular Johnson 2014a), we investigate a list of 442 new words with -ify in order to ascertain whether the suffix -ify is changing as regards its selectional preferences described above.


English word-formation, causative suffix, -ify, neologisms, mobile app names


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