International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Word formation: the Description of the Nyakyusa Derivation and Inflection
Nichodamus Robinson

This paper describes Nyakyusa, by examining the extent to which affixation is attested and making a distinction between inflection and derivation. Studies show that the distinction between them is not clear. There is a blurred distinction between derivation and inflection based on the morphology of the noun. The noun class prefixes are inflectional since they mark person and number contrast and the same prefixes are derivational since they derive new nouns with various degrees of semantic relationship to the original noun. Therefore, it seems to be difficult to draw a clear demarcation between derivational and inflectional affixes based on the morphology of noun in Nyakyusa. However, based on the morphology of the verb, several affixes can be analyzed as inflectional while others are derivational. The pre-root and some post-root affixes of the verb are inflectional since they mark tense/aspect and polarity while most post-root affixes in slot 7 are derivational.

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