In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns, adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs. Suffixes can carry grammatical information (inflectional suffixes) or lexical information (derivational/lexical suffixes). An inflectional suffix or a grammatical suffix. Such inflection changes the grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category. For derivational suffixes, they can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation.
Particularly in the study of Semitic languages, suffixes are called affirmatives, as they can alter the form of the words. In Indo-European studies, a distinction is made between suffixes and endings (see Proto-Indo-European root). Suffixes can carry grammatical information or lexical information.
A word-final segment that is somewhere between a free morpheme and a bound morpheme is known as a suffixoid or a semi-suffix (e.g., English -like or German -freundlich "friendly").
- Girls—where the suffix -s marks the plurality.
- He makes—where suffix -s marks the third person singular present tense.
- It closed—where the suffix -ed marks the past tense.
- De beaux jours—where the suffix -x marks the plural.
- Elle est passablement jolie—where the suffix -e marks the feminine form of the adjective.
- mein Computer—where the lack of suffixes is because its case, nominative, is "unmarked"
- meines Computers—genitive case
- meinem Computer—dative case
- meinen Computer—accusative case
- мой компьютер—where the lack of suffixes is because its case, nominative, is "unmarked"
- моего компьютера—genitive case
- моему компьютеру—dative case
- мой компьютер—accusative case
- за-туш-и-ть свечу—where first word has -и- suffix, -ть ending (infinitive form); second word with ending -у (accusative case, singular, feminine).
- добр-о-жел-а-тель-н-ый—добр- root, -о- interfix, -жел- root, verbal -a- interfix, nominal -тель suffix, adjectival -н- suffix, adjectival -ый ending (nominative case, singular, masculine).
- wárraidya "emu" — where the lack of suffixes is because its grammatical number, singular, is "unmarked"
- wárraidyalbili "two emus" — dual
- wárraidyarri "emus" — plural
- wárraidyailyarranha "a lot of emus", "heaps of emus" — superplural: 227–228
Inflection changes the grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category. In the example:
- I was hoping the cloth wouldn't fade, but it has faded quite a bit.
the suffix -d inflects the root-word fade to indicate past participle.
Inflectional suffixes do not change the word class of the word after the inflection. Inflectional suffixes in Modern English include:
- -s third person singular simple present tense
- -ed past tense and past participle
- -t past tense (weak irregular)
- -ing present participle and gerund
- -en past participle (irregular)
- -s plural number
- -en plural number (irregular)
Adjectives and Adverbs
- -er comparative degree
- -est superlative degree
Derivational suffixes can be divided into two categories: class-changing derivation and class-maintaining derivation. In English, they include
- -ise/-ize (usually changes nouns into verbs)
- -fy (usually changes nouns into verbs)
- -ly (usually changes adjectives into adverbs, but also some nouns into adjectives)
- -ful (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
- -able/-ible (usually changes verbs into adjectives)
- -hood (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
- -ess (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
- -ness (usually changes adjectives into nouns)
- -less (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
- -ism (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
- -ment (usually changes verbs into nouns)
- -ist (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
- -al /-ual (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
- -ish (usually changes nouns into adjectives/ class-maintaining, with the word class remaining an adjective)
- -oid (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
- -like (usually changes nouns into adjectives)
- -ity (usually changes adjectives into nouns)
- -tion/-ion/ation (usually changes verbs into noun)
- -logy/-ology (usually class-maintaining, with the word class remaining a noun)
- -ant (usually changes verbs into nouns, often referring to a human agent)
Altered Pronunciation in English
A suffix will often change the stress or accent pattern of a multi-syllable word, altering the phoneme pattern of the root word even if the root's morphology does not change.  An example is the difference between "photograph" and "photography." In this case, the "-y" ending governs the stress pattern, causing the primary stress to shift from the first syllable ("pho-") to the antepenultimate ("-to-"). The unaccented syllables have their ordinary vowel sound changed to a schwa. This can be a particular problem for dyslexics, affecting their phonemic awareness,  as well as a hurdle for non-native speakers.
Many synthetic languages—Czech, German, Finnish, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, etc.—use many endings.
- ^ Mead, Jonathan (1993). Proceedings of the 11th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Center for the Study of Language (CSLI). ISBN 978-1-881526-12-4.
- ^ Kremer, Marion. 1997. Person reference and gender in translation: a contrastive investigation of English and German. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, p. 69, note 11.
- ^ Marchand, Hans. 1969. The categories and types of present-day English word-formation: A synchronic-diachronic approach. Munich: Beck, pp. 356 ff.
- ^ Zuckermann, Ghil'ad 2020, Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond, Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199812790 / ISBN 9780199812776
- ^ Jackson and Amvela (2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary; An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p. 83
- ^ Jackson and Amvela (2000): Word, Meaning and Vocabulary; An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. London, Athenaeum Press, p. 88
- ^ Nancy K. Lewkowicz, "Pronouncing Longer Words: Don't Begin at the Beginning." Journal of Reading, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Dec., 1985), 226-237. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40029663
- ^ "Dyslexia Help: Success Starts Here." University of Michigan. http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/professionals/learn-about-dyslexia/diagnosing-dyslexia
- Media related to Suffixes at Wikimedia Commons