3. A CASE FOR CIRCUMFIXATION IN ENGLISH
Gift Chidi Onwuta, Ph.D – English Unit
School of General and Communication Studies
Michael Okpara University of Agricuture, Umudike. Nigeria
Ojinuka, Ngozi Helen – English Unit,
School of General and Communication Studies,
Michael Okpara Univertsity of Agriculture, Umudike. Nigeria
The study is an attempt to revisit the generalization that circumfixes are far-less common and productive in English than in other languages. The specific objectives of the study include: to highlight and establish the spread of circumfixes in English and determine the distinctive characteristics of circumfixes using descriptive research method. Data were generated through recorded verbal conversations and existing extant literatures in English grammar. Contrary to previous views, the study found that circumfixation is dominant, widespread, productive and a universal phenomenon in English as in many other languages. This affixational process, from the findings, is derivational, class-changing and category-preserving. Circumfixes apply on content (lexical) words and not grammatical words as found in some other languages. The study concludes that earlier generalizations about nonexistence and unproductivity of this affixational process were based on the traditional view of the phenomenon and not from the Binary Branching hypothesis.
Key Words: Morphology, Affixation, Circumfixation, English language.