Page 1 Page 2 57 THE ADJECTーVE SUFFーX

Title
The Adjective Suffix-Y in Present Day English
Author(s)
Oba, Kiyoshi
Citation
金沢大学教養部論集. 人文科学篇 = Studies in Humanities by the
College of Liberal arts Kanazawa University, 1: 57-77
Issue Date
1964-02-28
Type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
Text version
publisher
URL
http://hdl.handle.net/2297/39199
Right
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http://dspace.lib.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/dspace/
57
THEADJECTIVESUFFIX-Y
IN
PRESENTDAYENGLISH
KiyoshiOBA
1.INTRODUCTION
ItiswellknownthatinpresentdayEnglishtherearesomealive
suffixesandotherdeadsuffixes.Andasfortheadjectivesuffixesstill
availableforthecoiningofnewcompounds,Kennedypointsoutasfollows
inhisCurrentEnglish:
一
一
−
AdjectivesuffixesfromAnglo-Saxon:
-ed,-ful,-ish,-less,-y
AdjectivesuffixesfromFrench,Latin,Greek:
-able,-ible,-an,-ian,-ese,-esque.
Amongthoseintheabove,Ithinkthemostinterestingis-y,though
−
ithassomeothercompetentrivalsinformingadjectives,thatis,-ly,
-like,etc.Anditiswiththis-ysuffixthatthispaperisconcerned・It
−
willnotbeseldomthateverybodyhasfeltaparticularinterestinthe
functioningofthe-ysuffixintheEnglishlanguage,becauseitseemsto
−
playapeculiarpartintheinformalspeech.Then,howcanweseewhat
iswhatwiththesuffix?Whatshallbeourmaterialswemaymakean
approachto?Allthatthepresentwritercandoistopickupalmostall
thewordswiththeSLsuffixinthetwokindsofdictionary---thecommonEnglishdictionaryandtheAmericantheSaUrUSofslangbyBerryand
VandenBark,inthehopethatthelistofthewordswith-ysuffixcanbe
−
ascompleteaspossible・Wehavedividedthemintotwogroups:inthe
wordlistNo・Iareincludedallthewordswhichcannotbefoundinthe
commondictionary,andinthewordlistNo.IIarethosewhicharereceived
intheordinaryvocabulary・Thismethodwillbeinaccordancewiththe
factthattheEnglishlanguagehasadoublevocabulary.(cf.E.H.Sturtevant:IntroductiontoLinguisticScience)
ay︲
58
KiyoshiOba
WordlistNo.I.
batty
beddy
benny
bevy
biddy
biggidy
biggie
clatty
clockie
clubby
clucky
clunky
coachy
cokie,-y
colly-molly
ecc1e
coochy
extry
coony
y
biffy
clatchy
vソ
barmy
clashy
e
ballyhooray
O . ●
clvvle,-y
y
bally
●
v︾
bacty
●
clggle
、vご
Sn、K
ary
chumpy
伽伽町伽眈伽胸仙岬岬舳
・1
0d
0d
0d
Od
u
d
d0
d0
d0
d0
d0d
arfy
y
arky
・岬皿卿岫蜘︾鋤此・岬珈卿町唖唖卿伽岬蜘卿珊
aggie,-y
0
OOrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuu
可,可,利,利,司り刺,可,可,司り利,司り利,可,可,可,勺,利,可,︲,可,
affy
crappy
faggotty
cricky,-ey
fakery
●
crlmny
f
a
l
l
y
cruddy
fanny
b
i
l
l
y
cuffey
feisty
binny
curbie
femmie
bigotty
bitsy
cadey
cushy
fetchy
bitty
cabbie,-y
cuties
ficety
bitty-witty
cally
blackie
cavvoy
daffy
finky
blacky
charley
darby
fisty
blanky
cheapies
daunsy
flappery
blashy
chesty
debbie
flappy
blasty
chicky
dicty
flippy
blimy
chinny
diddiey
flooey
blocky
chippie
dindy
floozy
blowzy
chirky
dissey,-sie,-ey
floppie
bonnie
chronny
dishybilly
flunkey, -y
fingy
TheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
folksy
grundy
Javvy
●
59
lindy
foney
gudgey
Jawy
lippy
fooey
guffy
Jazzy
lizzy,-ie
●
●
footy
guessy
Jess1e
l
o
l
l
y
forgey,-y
gussy
jiggety
looey
franky
O
gyppery
freshy
frowy
fudgy
●
glggle
looky
jittery
lucy
● ● ●
hanky
JIzzle
●
harpie
Joggy
luey
lunky
● ●
Jowery
hickie,-y
junlfy
●
gaby
hinkty
gaboney
hinky
katy
gaggery
hippies
keeley
gammy
hippy
kelly
gaz1zzy
hissy
keptie
gazoony
hoity-toity
kewie
gazuny
homey
kewpie
genavy
homie
kibitzie
gifty
hubbie,-y
kicksy-wicksy
gilhooley
huffy
kissie
glumpy
humpsy-dumpty
knolly
goldie
hunkie
e
hey-hey
y
fuzey
州卿伽.畔・皿.町仙叩柳叩川・睡畑
Jole
e︲eyy肥yyy
harpy
、、m、m、m、m、m、、
fuffy
goney
hunky
laggy
nassy
gooby
hushie
lampsy-wampsy
nertsy,-zy
lamby-wamy
nlnny
gooey
●
gooney
ibsy-wibsy
lammie
nitsky
grabby
icky,iky
larry
nitty
grampy
inchy
lasty
nlxy,-ey
grandy
indeedy
leggery
nobby
grlpey
itty
lenty
nubby
l
i
f
t
y
nudie
limpsy
nutsy
grousy
grouty
jakey
●
60
oday
KiyoshiOba
putchy
skeery
spuddy
skewy
squidgy
skinchy
staky
queenle
skippy
stiffie
quickie
skwuzzy
stinky
quinky
slappy
stoody
slidy
strippie
slimy
studie
okie-dokie
opry
quashie
●
orty-warty
pasy
pathy
patsy
rally
pecky
rannle
slinky
stuggy
pewy
rebelly
slithy
swanky
phewy
ricky
slobby
sweeny
phoney,-y
rlngy
sluggy
swicky
picky
rocksy
slumpy
swIngy
pipwy,-ie
roughie
smitty
swishy
pluggy
roughy
smokey
swoshy
poddy
roxy
snazzy
pogey,-ie
rubery
snitzy
●
●
●
poopie
ruffie
snlvvey,-1e
tappy
poopy
runty
snooky
teddies
snooty
t
e
l
l
y
powie
pratie
sabby
snoozy
thickie
prernle
s
a
l
l
y
snorky
thoisty
premy
scatty
snottie
thrilly
preppy
schizy
snotty
tibby
prlmpy
schnozzy
snouty
tinpotty
prlssy
shally-shilly
sobby
tittery
profy
sheetie
soddie
tittie
prossy
shinney
sody
titty
prosty
shivy
sorty
toney,-y
pruny
shickey-ackey
soShy
topplety
spady
toppy
pudgicky
●
slmpy
pudgy-wudgy
slppy
spendy
toughie
punky
sistie
spoofy
towny
purty
sIzy
sposhy
toxy
●
ー
tally
●
TheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
WOOZy,−ey
wuzzy
yappy
UK
y
C
a
w
veddy
■口■ユ●勺■ユ●■■具●口■具
uppity
y
yey
1
q
gy
e
1q
nn
S
wwww
twitchy
y即yy
水、改叱
1,.、・1、1
W
www
twirly
e・にV︾
tripy
艸仙町珊町伽仙蚊
aaaeee刊、詞n
W
wwwwwww
trachy
61
yawny
yesty
yieldy
ylppy
youngie
velly
WordlistNo.II.
acey-ducey
beany
buddy
chirpy
aery
beefy
buffy
choosy
agey
beery
bulky
choppy
alry
billowy
buncny
christmas(s)y
algy
bloody
burly
chummy
alky
blowy
bushy
chunky
almondy
boaty
busy
churchy
alrighty
bluey
butty
c1v1es
angry
bonny
any
bony
apsay
booby
archy
bookie
arty
booky
auntie
boozy
awry
boshy
● ●
baddie,-y
brawny
baldy
breezy
balmy
bricky
bampy
brolly
barkies
browny
beamy
bubby
V︾
brainy
My町仙町叩州咽川畑剛珊州川.四
backy
aa
aa
勺c
、利c
、可
、c
.、c
。、
、画
、利
御n
C
cac
c
c
c.c
c
c、C
bossy
clammy
classy
cloudy
clumpy
clumsy
cocky
comfy
conky
cootie
cooty
corky
corny
coxy
cozy
crabby
KiyoshiOba
62
faulty
crafty
dodgy
feathery
cranky
dolly
fiery
cranny
donkey
f
i
l
l
y
crazy
dopey
filthy
creamy
dotty
fishy
creepy
dovey
fizzy
crlmpy
dowdy
flankey
gabby
croppy
downy
flashy
gamey
crusty
doxy
flatty
gassy
cuddy
dozy(dummy)
flaxy
gausy
fleshy
gawky
flighty
giddy
flimsy
gilly
f
l
i
r
t
y
girlie,-y
floppy
glary
flossy
glassy
flowery
gleamy
daddy
fluffy
gloomy
dandy
fluidy
glossy
cuffey
curdy
curliewurly
cutie,-ey
cuties
cutty
darky
easy
flukey,-y
gluey
davy
earthy
foamy
goody
dearie
edgy
foggy
goofy
derby
eely
foxy
goosey,-y
dewy
eerle
fretty
gosslpy
dickey
empty
freshy
grammy
d
i
l
l
y
every
f
r
i
l
l
y
granny
dingie
extry
frisky
gravy
yyyy
WM
蛇
、枕
af
af
af
af
a
f
frothy
greasy
frosty
greedy
frowy
greeny
frowzy
grlmy
frumpy
gritty
fuggy
groovy
dingy
dinkey
dippy
dirty
ditty
dixie
岸
yyyyy率
y
血
、
串
帥
璽
uf
uf
uf
uf
uf
u
f
dizzy
姻珊州町唖叩蜘呵
r
rruuuuu
可q可。詞.可q勺。利q勺.詞。
cracky
myⅣy
y舵yy
TheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
itchy
leery
leggy
guilty
lengthy
gussy
jerky
limey
gusty
jokey
lipy
gypsy
joey
limy
johnny
lofty
hairy
joky
looby
hammy
jolty
loony
handy
jowly
loopy
happy
juicy
loppy
hardy
jumpy
lousy
lovey
hasty
hayseedy
kinky
lumpy
hazy
kitty
lushy
heady
knacky
lusty
healthy
knobby
hearty
knotty
heavy
dyn
ky
d
d
a1
a1
a
l
h
i
l
l
y
hoody
hooky
lardy-dardy
hoppy
larky
horny
lassie
horsy
lathy
humpty-dumpty
laughy
husky
lazy
huzzie
leafy
V・
hefty
囎叩珈珈苅剛山岬岬測町仙町
aaaaaaeeee、1・1、1
m
m、m、m、m、m、m、
lucky
●一口■4
kiddy
e
haughty
leaky
●■■ユ
jaunty
S
gushy
2r
lemong
y
jady
O
gulpy
伽・︾卿山皿叫川測伽川川仙・咋町岬卿皿伽杣測卿山
●
1m
O、
Om
OO
Om
O、
um
uu
u、
y
m1
m・
、1
m・、
、O
mO
、O
mO、
、u
mu
、u
mu、
grumpy
63
namby-pamby
nancy
nanny
nappy
natty
naughty
navvy
needy
nervy
1cy
leathery
mlmlny-plmlny
netty
inky
ledgy
minny
nifty
KiyoshiOba
plpy
no1sy
pithy
nosy,-ey
plx1e,-y、
nutty
plaguy
racy
plashy
ralny
oary
plucky
ranty
oily
plummy
ratty
oniony
pocky
ready
oofy
poddy
reddie
ooky
podgy
reedy
poky
reeky
polly
rickety
poppy
righty
possy
rlmy
popsy-wopsy
risky
porkie,-y
ritzy
portly
rocky
posy
r
i
l
l
i
c
k
y
potty
rookie
preachy
roomle,-y
pretty
rooty
prexy
ropy
prlssy
rosy
prlvy
roughie
prosy
rowdy
pudgicky
rummy
pudgy
rumpy
pudsy
rusty
puffy
rutty
●
l
pulpy
salty
puny
sandy
pursy
sappy
y
l
l
punchy
ySe
ー
y
V︾
plnny
qulnsy
l
nlppy
pussy
y的
y館町皿町叩y珊町皿叫叩呵岫
町邸W町叩川畑yW町yyy肋
州麺如剛唖町吐蝿卿乱吋唖酔酔・唖川和知啄畑畑畑畑舶畑畑畑舵MⅢⅢM趾加
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
plppy
仙町町加吋町W町卿山伽伽州卿川川町呵町卿伽
aa
ap
ap
ap
ep
ee
ep
・p
1p
・p
l
p
pa
pa
pa
pa
pap
pe
pe
pe
pe
pep
nighty
y
yh
ay
el
64
T
h
e
A
d
j
e
c
t
i
v
e
S
u
f
f
i
x
y
i
n
P
r
e
s
e
n
t
d
a
y
E
n
g
l
i
s
h
65
shoppy
snuffy
stingy
teeny
shortie
soapy
stocky
testy
shorty
softy
stody
tetchy
showy
soggy
stony
thawy
sicky
sonnle
stormy
thirsty
silky
soppy
streaky
thready
s
i
l
l
y
sorry
strengthy
thrifty
sIsy
soupy
stretchy
throaty
skilly
spady
stringy
thorny
skimpy
speedy
stubby
thundery
●
skinny
splcy
stuffy
tidy
slangy
splashy
sturnpy
tinny
slaty
splurgy
sturdy
tipsy
sleasy
spongy
sugary
tittie
sleeky
spooky
sulky
tittuppy
sleepy
spooney,-ey
sultry
toady
slimy
sporty
sunny
toddy
slippery
spotty
surgy
tolly
slippy
sprucy
swampy
toothy
sloppy
spumy
swarthy
tootsy-wootsy
smarmy
spunky
swashy
topsy-turvy
smarty
squashy
sweaty
torchy
smelly
squeaky
sweetie
tottery
smoky
squiffy
snlutty
squirrely
tabby
tousy
snaky
starchy
tacky
towery
snappy
starry
taffy
trashy
snatchy
steady
taky
tricksy
sneaky
stealthy
talkie
tricky
sniffy
steamy
talky
tubby
snlppy
steppy
tasty
tufty
snoopy
sticky
tattery
tuny
snorty
steepy
tawdry
turfy
snowy
s
t
i
l
l
y
techy
touchy
●
KiyoshiOba
66
velvetyweedywinywormy
viewywettywintrywoundy
●
vinywheelywiry
●
whiffywl
is e y y e a s t y
wallywindywishy−washyyellowy
wartywhippywittyyenny
warywhiteywitty-bittyyoungie
washywifeywoody
wavywilly-nillywoollyzany
waxywilywordyzinky
wealthywindyworthyzippy
weary
Beforewegofurther,letushaveageneralideaofoursubjectmatter.
(1)O.JespersensaysinhisMEG(PartVI,13.2):
Thisending(-e,-ey,-ie)isofdifferentorigin.Itisused:
1)asasubstantivalsuffixtoformnexus-words,
2)asanadjectivalsuffixtoformadjectivesfromsubstantives,
adjectives,andverbs,and
3)asadiminutiveandhypocoristicsuffixaddedtosubstantives,and
inellipticalformsofSunstantivesandadjectives.
Andasforthe-yinadjectiVes_:
13.3.1.-yinadjscorrespondstoOE-ig.Someoftheoldwordsare
一
nowisolated:dizzy,giddy,empty,merry,pretty,etC.,butothersarestill
feltasderivedfromsbs:bloody,crafty,icy2mighty,misty,speedy,etc.
InMEandModEinnumerablenewadjshavebeenformedonthesame
p
a
t
t
e
r
n
:
b
u
s
h
y
,
f
l
o
w
e
r
y
,
n
e
e
d
y
,
d
i
r
t
y
,
d
r
e
a
m
y
&
エ
n
o
i
s
y
,
r
a
c
y
,
t
h
r
o
a
t
y
,
e
t
c
.
"Newderivativestendinalargemeasuretobecolloquial,undignified,or
trivial''(NED).
Fromthelargenumberofwordscoinedafterl800,Ishallgiveafew
rareronesonly(inchronologicalorderwithfirstdateinNED):gggggX
-
(1816Nurseryrhyme:goosery,gooseygander),oniony(1838;Sherriff),
J
a
l
m
o
n
d
y
(
1
8
4
7
;
M
a
n
n
i
n
)
,
g
l
U
g
X
(
1
8
5
0
)
,
l
e
m
o
n
y
(
1
8
5
9
;
M
o
r
l
e
y
)
,
虫
里
旦
墜
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■D
一 一 一 一
■ _ - ‐ ■
(1864),hgiLy(1867),jumpX(1869),painW(1870;Aumonies),jg型璽(1873;
■■■■■■■■■■■■■
一
■■■
Maugham),gircussy(1876),些聖聖竺且Z(1882,Williamson),聖里Z(orig.
■■■■■■■■■■■■■
ー
f
r
h
e
A
d
j
e
c
t
i
v
e
S
u
f
f
i
x
y
i
n
P
r
e
s
e
n
t
d
a
y
E
n
g
l
i
s
h
67
KiyoshiOba
68
(3)NEDsays:
1.Thegeneralsenseofthis-ysuffixis$havingthequalitiesof'or
@fullof'thatwhichisdenotedbythesb.towhichitisadded,asiEX=(1)
ofthenatureof,havingtheappearance,hardness,coldness,slipperiness,
tranparency,etc.ofice;(2)fulloforcoveredwithice.InOE・therewas
averylargenumberofsuchadjs.,manyofwhichhaveacontinuoushistoryfromtheearliesttimestothepresentday;inthecaseofsome,
however,e.g.gLaXEL__iEL_gmXL_wintrXLthereisasignificantgapinthe
evidence,whichsuggeStsthattheymayhavedroppedoutofuseandhave
beenformedafreshlater.Therearesomenoteworthyinstancesofnew
formationsinlateOE.,e.9.4ohtigDOUGHTYreplacingaXUa_a」"g
DUSTY,聖型碆SNOWYreplacing里幽/lic&ToseveralOE.adjs.inユ皇
therewereparallelformationsin-iht,asjSig,_isihticy,gandig,sandillt
s
a
n
d
y
,
t
h
o
r
n
i
g
,
t
h
o
r
n
i
h
t
a
n
d
虫
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suffixleftfreerscopeofdevelopmentfortheformsin-ig
InME.thenumberofthesederivativesdoesnotseemtohavebeenat
firstgreatlyincreased;thefollowingfreshcoinagesareexemplifiedfirst
fromtextsbeforel300,dready,fiery,frighty,hairJL(cf.OE.h"riht),Egg,
旦
型
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areoccasionalparasyntheticcompounds,assortleuibshort-lived.Theadditionofthesuffixtonon-nativesbs・isatleastasearlyasthel3thcent.,
e・g・里エ辿旦intheAncrenRiwle.Thefourteenthcent.,esp.thelater
half,wasprolificinnewformations;tothisperiodbelongangry,bushy,
e
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smoky,sweaty,andmanymore・Thesixteenthcent・wasalsoaprolific
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isl5thcent.),mialy,saUCy,sUgary,viny,woollX,yeasty.Others,suchas
b
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thel7thcent.
Laternewderivativestendinalargemeasuretobecolloquial,
undignified,ortrivial,asbumpy,dumpy,flighty,hammy,liney,loopy,
lumpy,lungy,messy,oniony,treey,verminy,viperyjsomearefromverbs,
asdangly.Contextually,theapplicationoftheadj.maybenarrowedin
一
一
=
anydirection,aSmoUSX=(1)resemblingamouse,(2)quietasamouse,or
(3)infestedwithmice.Asense$addictedto(cf.3),asinbooky,doggy,
horsy,isofmoderngrowth.
1850THACKERAYContrib・toPunchWks、1900VI.163Grizzelhad
■■■■■■■■■■■■■
broughtmeanonionyknifetocutthebread.1869Mrs.WHITNEYWe
Girlsii,Bedsteadsandwashstandsandbureaus-theverythingsthatmade
up-stairsloOksoverybedroomy.1891M.MURIELDOWIEGirlinKarP.
Xi・144Fretworkbracketsandcrystaldanglythings.
TheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
69
2.Inthl5thcent,ifnotearlier,certainmonosyllabicadjs.wereex-
tendedbymeansofthissuffix,app.withthedesignofgivingthemamore
adjectivalappearance,e.9.聖里f.聖呈竺l里旦Zf."n._Themajorityof
suchwordsaroseinthel6thandl7thcent.;examplesare:bleaky,chilly"
COOly,dusky,fainty,haughty,hoary,lanky,palyadj.l, plumpy,SLighty,
Slippery,stouty,swarty,thicky,vasty・Inthisapplicationthesuffixhas
notinfrequentlycometoexpressmuchthesamenotionasTiSh;thisis
particularlysowithcolourepithets,asblacky,yellowy,andesp.whenthese
areusedquasi-advb.,asgreeny-blue,bluey-green,redy-broW型.
3.Asearlyasthel3thc.thissuffiXbegantobeusedwithverb-stems
toexpressthemeaning:inclinedoraptto'dosomething,or!givingocca-
sionto'acertainaction;intheAncrenRiwlealonewehaveSlibbri,
sliddri,aluggi,slummi.Chaucerhasユ些旦y=soporific.Inthel6thcent.
arosechoky,drowsy,slippy,■S止眺y;laterwefindblowy,clingy,flOaty,
quavery,rollicky.Theimmediateetymonofsuchadjs・cannotalwaysbe
ascertained.
4.Fromtheearlyyearsofthel9thcent.thesuffixhasbeenusedstill
morefreelyinnonce-wordsdesignedtoconnotesuchcharacteristicsofa
persOnorthingascallforcondemnation,ridicule,orcontempt;hencesuch
adjs.asbeery,catty,churchy,jUmpy,_neWs唾penr,_IliggY,_timy.
Withalltheaboveexplanationsbytheauthorities,itseemstherere-
mainsnothingtoaddto,butwecanneverignoreafinedifferencebetween
endingsandsuffixes.TheendingSimplyshowsthepartplayedbythe
individualwordinasentence,whilethesuffixeshavelittletodowith
thefunctiontheyhaveinsyntax.Thesuffixeshaveasortofalgebraic
valueplussomething・Itistruethatinsomewordslike!heavy,'thesuffix
-yhasmeltedsodeepintothebodyofthewordthatitneedssomespe-
cializedeyetodepictitsexistence.Andstilltheaffectivepartofthe
wordresidesinit,i、e・inamorphologicalelement,thoughitdoesnotin
itselfcallforthanyspecialidea・Havingthisfactinview,wewillbegin
withthestructuralanalysisofthethewordswiththesuffix.SX.
II.STRUCTURALANALYSIS
Broadlyspeaking,wecanconcludebygoingthroughthewordlistNo.
IandNo・IIthatthecombinationoftherootwordsandthesuffix-ycan
beexpressedintheformulaeasfollows:
1)nounorverb-I--y=noun
70
KiyoshiOba
2)nounorverb+-y=adjectiVe
3)adjective+-y=adjective
Herewemustnotforgetthatthedecisiveelementofthepartsofspeech
isnotthemorphemeofeachword,but.thefunctionitplaysinasentence,soweshouldn'tputtoomuchemphasisonthisdiscrimination・All
thatwecansayforcertainisthatthesuffix-ycanbeaddedtotheshort
rootword・Speakingfromanotherangle,thelengthywordsorthosewith
someprefixhesitatetohavethesuffix−yappendedtothemselves.Truly,
aseverybodyknows,therehasbeenintheEnglishlanguageastrongten-
dencytowardanalysisundertheinfluenceofFrench・Andinspiteofthat,
thesuffix-yisstillclingingtotheoldGermanicsythetictendencyto
formacompoundbyparataxix・Perhapsnobodycantellwhichofthetwo
willwintheraceintheend,synthesisoranalysis・Butwecansayat
leastthismuch:thesuffix-y,onaccountofitsshortness,ispreserving
theoldGermanictrendtomakecompoundsnotbytheanalyticmethodbut
bythesyntheticone.TheEnglishspeakingpeopleneverfailtomakethe
useofthisconvenientsuffix・Therearesomepeoplewhogosofarasto
saythattheEnglishlanguagecannotsurvivewithoutsuffixes.(ShortHistoryofEnglishWords:B.Groom)Theconfirmationcanbefoundin
SimeonPotter(OurLanguage,p.87)whosays"…thetideofanalytic
tendenciesinEnglishisontheturnandthatthelatentsyntheticqualities
ofourheterogeneouslanguageareoncemoreassertingthemselves・The
rhythmictransitionsfromsynthesistoanalysisandfromanalysistosynthesisarethesystoleandthediastoleofhumanheartinlanguage・・・
OEnglish',asSapiracutelyremarked,@isonlyanalyticintendency・RelativelytoFrench,itisstillfairlysynthetic,atleastincertainrespects.'In
theresuscitationofoldaffixesandinthecreationofnewonesEnglishis
showingthesesyntheticpowers.”
Anotherthingtobenotedisthattherearetwooppositetendenciesin
anylanguage,i、e・economyofspeechandexpressiveness.Jespersensays
(SelectedWritings,p.391):
@Inlinguisticchangesweseetheconstantinterplayoftwoopposite
tendencies,oneofanindividual,andtheotherofasocialcharacter,one
towardseaseandtheothertowardsdistinctness.
TheformeriSthetendencytotakethingseasyandtofollwtheline
ー
TheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
71
ofleastresistance---tosayitbluntly,anoutcomeofhumanindolenceor
laziness・Thedesiretosavetimeandtroubleleadstoslackandslovenly
articulation,whichinextremecasesdescendstomeremurmuring,andin
anotherfieldtoaslipshodstyle,throwingoutvaguehintsandindefinite
suggestions,thusimplyingratherthanexpressing・Theoppositetendency
isanefforttobeclearlyandpreciselyunderstood,andtomakeasvivid
andconvincinganimpressionontheheareraspossible;eacharticulationis
thereforemadeslowlyanddistinctly,andgreatexertionismadetochoose
themostlucidandforcibleexpression(<lemotpropre').Inextremecases
thismayleadtopompousnessandover-emphasis.,
Expressivenessbeingaimed,theconveniencebythesuffix-yisoneof
themorphologicalfacilitieswhichnobodycandeny・Thefactisthatmost
changesonearthareproducedinattentivelyandthatinspeechweusually
donottakesodeliberatelytimetopickandchoosethewordswearegoing
toemploy,sothatthislittlebuthandydeviceisexactlyansweringthe
purposeatthemoment.Itisjusttheverysubstitutionfortheadjectival
phrasesandclauses.
Inconnectionwiththis,itmustnotbeoverlookedthat,insteadofa
greatmanylearned-sounding,longmouth-fillingepithets,theseshortand
plainwordswith-yarecloselyfollowingthelineofmonosyllabismor
m
o
n
o
s
y
l
l
a
b
i
c
t
e
n
d
e
n
c
y
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n
E
n
g
l
i
s
h
・
S
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f
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s
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,
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x
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s
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l
f
i
s
asteptopolysyllabism,while,comparedwithlongpolysyllabicwords,the
shortwordswith-ymaybesaidtobeworkingtowardsmonosyllabism.
ThethirdpointworthmentioningisthatthesuffixgXshowssomelike
anddislikeinamalgamationaccordingtothenatureofsound・Tobemore
concrete,thewordsbeginningwith/o/and/e/and/i/lettersarecompara-
tivelyraretotakethesuffix二XsTociteallofthem,theyare:
WordlistNo・I:
eccie,extry,ibsy-sibsy,icky,inchy,indeedy,itty,oday,okie-dokie,
opry,orty-warty.
WordlistNo、I1:
easy,edgey,eely,eerie,empty,every,inky,itchy,oary,oily,oniony,
oofy,ooky.
Itseemsthatthecaseisalittledifferentwiththesoundcombination
ofthewholeEnglishvocabulary・Therepetitionofthesevowels,however,
canbefoundinpropernamessuchas:
Elmie,EIsie,Emmie,Erie,Essie,Etyy,Evy,Ezieetc.
72
KiyoshiOba
Veryoftenitisquiteimpossibletoindicateanyreasonwhysuchandsuch
acombinationdoesoccurandanotherdoesnot・Thereisnoaccounting
forit.Asforthedetailswehavetowaitforanotherresearch.
Closelyrelatedwiththis,wecannoticethat,unliketheothersuffixes,
the-yisalmostalwaysdoingwithoutprefixesandmostlyitgoeswith
monosyllabicorshortwords.Itlikesstandingbyitself・Perhapsthisis
duetothefactthatmonosyllabictendencyisaffordingenoughroomfor
syntheticwordcreation,thoughwehavesuchanextremeelaborate
i
n
s
t
a
n
c
e
a
s
i
n
c
o
m
弓
p
r
e
h
e
n
字
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y
,
w
i
t
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i
t
s
r
o
o
t
h
e
n
a
n
d
e
i
g
h
t
a
f
f
i
x
e
s
−
andinfixes.
Thefourthstructuralfeatureistheclippingofaword,whichis
c
h
a
r
a
c
t
e
r
i
s
t
i
c
a
s
w
e
l
l
a
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o
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t
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m
.
E
v
i
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m
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p
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o
g
y
ofwordscanbediscussedfromthetwostandpoints---lengtheningand
shortening.(DictionaryofAmericanSlang,compiledbyH.Wenthworth
andS.B.Flexner,IntroductiontotheAppendix.)
Andshorteningconsistsof:
Frontclipping(=aphesis)…(con)fess
Backclipping(=apocope)…memo(random),pub
Backformation…toush(fromusher)
CombinationofFront&Backclipping…tec(fromdetective)
AbbreviationandAcronyms…1.0.U・
Ofalltheabove,bothfrontandbackclippingareparticularlydueto
theeconomyofspeech,aslmentionedbefore,whichoriginatesinthe
indolenceonthepartofspeakers・Itisnowonderthatweshouldcutoff
theunstressedfrontsyllableasin(to-)backy,(a-)mend,and(a-)wayward
etc.,regardlesswhethertheclippedpartisaprefixornot.Comparedwith
front-clipping,back-clippingshowsapeculiarity,thatis,the-yor-ieis
一
一
employedasasubstitutionfortheclippedelement.
Ex・bacty=bacteriologycomfy=comfortable
brolly=umbrellaeccie=economics
@Assoonasenoughsyllablesaregiventomakethewordintelligible,'
peopleseemtofeellazy,producingwhattheycallstumpwords・Perhaps
theycannothelp,forconscience'sake,appendingthe/i/soundasacom-
pensationfortheirnegligence・Anyhowlthinkwecantracethisusage
backtothediminutive-yandfartherbacktothe/i/soundsymbolism,
6
frheAdjectiveSuffix-yinPresentdayEnglish
79
Anotherinterestingquestioniswhetherthereisinspeechanypreferrencetoanyoneofthetwo,or,whichismoreinfluencialinfunction,front
clippingorbackclipping・AsfarasourwordlistNo・IandNo・IIshow,
wehavethefollowingresult.
Theinstancesoffront-clipping:…5
Theinstancesofback-clipping:.・・20
Theproportionbetweenthetwomaybesuggestingsomethingofgeneral
trendinusage.
III.SEMASIOLOGICALANALYSIS:
Generallythechangeinmeaningisoffivekinds:
Generalization
Specialization
Metaphor
Degradation
Elevation.
Whenthechangeinmeaningisdiscussed,itisusuallywiththehistoricalchangeinanyspecificsinglewordthatweareconcerned・Butour
pointhereistoexaminethechangeofmeaning,especiallyadegradingone,
producedbytheadditionofthesuffiX=X,irrespectiveofetymon.Itis
becausetherehaveappearedforthelastfewcenturiesalotofwords
whichhavenoascertainedetymologybuthavesomeexpressivepower.
Thefirstthingwenoticeinourworti-listsisthatthewordsendingin
-yhaveaderogatoryorslightlycontemptuoussense,comparedwiththose
-
withotheradjectivesuffixes.Itwillbewellunderstoodbythefew
examples:
manly,orderly,shapely・…..…noisy,nosey,smelly,moody
Inshort,thewordswiththe-yaregenerallyrelatedtothedarkside
−
ofhumanworldratherthanthebrightside・Thisseemstoshowthat
humannatureismuchmoreinterestedinthedarkerandthetwisted
things・Inotherwordswefeelastrongermentaltention,whenwearenot
satisfiedandhappy・Anyhowthereexistsinussomecertainpsychological
reasonforthisphenomenon.
Andevenwhenthewordsthemselvesareamelioratinginmeaning,
sometimestheyseemtocarryatouchofderisivetonewiththem.GGoody'
[email protected]'(comparedwith$bookish')willbeenoughfortheillustration.
戸
KiyoshiOba
76
thehearers,andnotnecessarilyhavereputableauthoritybehindthem・And
stillwehavelittledifficultyinmakingouttheintendedconcept・The
commonestofthemare:
g
a
d
g
e
t
,
d
i
b
b
i
e
,
d
i
d
d
i
e
,
d
i
t
t
y
,
d
o
d
i
d
i
d
d
i
e
,
,
d
o
n
i
c
k
y
,
f
l
i
n
d
i
e
,
h
i
c
k
y
,
j
i
g
g
i
e
,
thingsbobby,what-cha-ma-call-'em,etc.
Hereagainthe/i/soundisdominantamongthem.
IV.CONCLUSION
Bywayofconclusionwemayaddsomefewpointsoutstandinginour
subjectmatter.AllthroUghthispaperwehavekeptoureyechieflyon
thestructuralandsemasiologicalaspectofthesuffix=X.
Structurally,weprefershortwordstolongones・Itisclearthatthis
suffixispreservingtheoldsynthetictendencyremainingintheEnglish
languageandatthesametimesatisfyingthecurrentlinguistictasteof
monosyllabism・ReallyandSeeminglythelife-speedisgettinggreaterand
greatertoday,andspokenEnglishisgrowingthegrowthofitsownin
parallelwithwrittenEnglish.AndthealiveandProlificsuffixes--ly,
-y,-ish,-like,-looking(cf・Stylisticstudyonthehyphenatedwordsinthe
<AppleTree'byJ・Galsworthy,bythepresentwriter,1950)-alltheseare
copingwitheachothertorisetothedignityofthemostfavoredsuffixin
theEnglishvocabulary・Fromtheviewpointofutility,themostpromising
ofallisthe-y,becauseitisluckyenoughtogoalongthelineofstrong
monosyllabictendencyinEnglish,makinganeasierwayforitssurvival.
Trulyitisoneofthefeaturesofmodernprosethatboththerhythmof
ordinaryspeechandthedevicesbysuffixes,includingtheZXandother
formativeones,areworkingwithadegreeofco-operation.Thankstothe
shortnessofthiseasyandsimplelinguisticcontrivanceunderconsidera-
tion,wecansparealotoftroubletoweighthewordsinexpressingour
mindimpromptu・Itisreallyoneofthelinguisticaccessorieswhicheverymanonthestreetshouldanddoeswearallthetime・Webelieveitwould
makeforthestandardofliteraryexcellenceofthecommoncolloquial
speechofthegreatilliterate.
Semasiologically,itisthedifferencebetweendenotation andconnotationthatmatters・Besidesbeingcloselyalliedtosocial changesand
s
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