Affixation and compounding in Hakka

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Ungsitipoonporn, Siriopen (2014)
  • Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
  • Journal: Dialectologia: revista electrònica
  • Subject: affixation; prefixes; suffixes; compound words; Hakka | afijación; prefijos; sufijos; palabras compuestas; Hakka

This paper aims to present the internal structures of words in the Hakka language. Similar to other languages, affixation and compounding are outstanding in Hakka. In general, prefixes and suffixes are bound morphemes which do not occur independently, but in Hakka they sometimes appear as independent forms. Apart from single words, identifying compound words is of particular interest. Compound nouns can be made up of two or three words (characters) which may be a noun, adjective or verb. The results found that some prefixes or suffixes have no meaning such as the prefix ʔa1 􀁛 which is used with kinship or address terms. The most interesting suffixes are used with animal gender (ku3 􀂿 ‘male’, ma2 􀃆 ‘female’, and kuŋ1 􀀰 ‘male’) and in some cases the meaning is not related to the gender of the animal but is merely a component of those morphemes. Such examples are kiɔŋ1 ma2 􀂞􀃆 ‘ginger’ and ha2 kuŋ1 􀂆􀀰 ‘shrimp’.
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