Add a prefix to your verb: An (international) cookbook of word formation

  • Agata Kowalska-Szubert University of Wrocław
Keywords: word formation; comparative study; Polish; Dutch; complex forms; morphological equivalent; semantic equivalent


The word-formation process is like cooking. Like the ingredients of dishes, word-formation affixes blend together. Depending on what we blend with what, we will obtain a new semantic or inflectional unit. This paper is devoted to word-formation from a comparative perspective. On the basis of the selected lexical material, the author examines whether word-formation processes occur in a parallel way in various languages (in this paper we are dealing with one Germanic and one Slavonic language, thus representatives of two different language groups) and whether — on the basis of the compound analysis — it is possible to predict the form of a semantic equivalent in the other language. As this study is a pilot study, it doesn’t contain far-reaching and completely underpinned applications for the semantic equivalence of individual members of compound words in different languages. Nevertheless, the possibility of such equivalences cannot be excluded definitely.


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