Prefixes and Suffixes for "Robot" and "Feral"

Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2005 04:41 pm
Hello. What are real prefixes and suffixes in the English LAnguage that mean "feral" and "robot"?
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Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2005 05:47 pm
I can't find any entries (nor, quite frankly, reasons) for "feral" prefixes or suffixes. As for robot, your use of "real" suggests you've probably dismissed "robo" (as prefix) and "bot" (as suffix) for lack of dictionary entries. It's just a matter of time.

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Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2005 12:32 am
I'm a bit confused here. I was under the impression that the prefixes and suffixes of English are, by and large, fixed grammatical additions. I think English is losing some but I don't think new ones are being added though I may well be wrong.

Rather than add a specific 'word' meaning, they add a more general meaning.

Add ize/ise to adjectives to make a verb -> special > specialize

Add in/im to adjectives to make an opposite -> mature > immature

Add al/ous/able to nouns to make an adjective -> music > musical

and so on.
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Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2005 12:07 pm
I understand what you are saying, but this too shall pass. In a general grammar sense, (and I'll mention only prefixes for the sake of economy) prefixes are affixes attached to the front of a word to produce a derivative word or an inflected form. More strictly--from the OED:
1. Gram. A verbal element placed before and joined to a word or stem to add to or qualify its meaning, or (in some languages) as an inflexional formative: strictly applied only to inseparable particles, but more loosely including also combining forms, and independent words, esp. prepositions and adverbs, used in combination.
All prefixes were originally distinct words, which have been reduced to one or two syllables, and sometimes to a single letter, as be- in be-fore, over- in over-ween, a- in a-rise, y- in y-clept, etc.

Many of the 'robo' words listed in the linked article fail to meet the criteria of the strict grammar sense (and all of the 'bot' words); but find me an another term for these affixes that conveys their position relative to the base or root word and that suggests that they are shortened verbal elements, originating from distinct words, to be combined with independent verbal elements to produce a derivative word.

As a computer programmer, I often use a method for naming variables called Hungarian notation which involves the use of affixes placed before a variable name that is an abbreviation of a datatype. While this does not in any way produce a new word, I can't think of another term to define these affixes other than "prefix". I am not alone, yet this usage would not meet any of the definitions I've found.

From the Oxford University Press:


The dictionary is due to add a more generalized sense for 'prefix' and 'suffix' derived from it's current usage. In the meantime, I won't wait.
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Reply Tue 4 Apr, 2006 04:07 pm
Is "-con" a common suffix for "robot"?
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