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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Primary Suffixes

233. The words in Latin formed immediately from the root by means of Primary Suffixes, are few. For—

  1. Inherited words so formed were mostly further developed by the addition of other suffixes, as we might make an adjective lone-ly-some-ish. meaning nothing more than lone, lonely , or lonesome.
  2. By such accumulation of suffixes, new compound suffixes were formed which crowded out even the old types of derivation. Thus,—

A word like mēns, mentis, by the suffix ōn- (nom . ), gave mentiō, and this, being divided into men + tiō, gave rise to a new type of abstract nouns in -tiō: as, lēgā-tiō, embassy.

A word like audītor, by the suffix io- (nom. -ius), gave rise to adjectives like audītōr-ius, of which the neuter (audītōrium) is used to denote the place where the action of the verb is performed. Hence tōrio- (nom. -tōrium ), N., becomes a regular noun-suffix (§ 250 . a).

So in English such a word as suffocation gives a suffix - ation, and with this is made starvation , though there is no such word as starvate.

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