Exploring the Properties of English Lexical Affixes by Exploiting the Resources of English General-Purpose Dictionaries

Tvrtko Prćić


This paper proposes a new model for exploring the properties of English lexical affixes, based on exploiting the resources of English general-purpose dictionaries. Developed primarily for EFL university students and motivated by the highly inconsistent treatment of affixes in those dictionaries, this model builds around a heuristic self-study method and its accompanying bare-bones inferential dictionary (BBID), purposefully designed, produced and distributed as a guide to students' discoveries. The model has been devised so as to direct students away from affix entries in general-purpose dictionaries towards word entries which contain specific affixes and to lead students to discover the properties of target affixes by analysing corresponding source words provided in BBID. The exposition is divided into four parts, as follows: Section 1 brings some introductory, scene-setting remarks; in Section 2, essential and relational affixal properties are presented; in Section 3, the five major aspects of the new model are explained and exemplified: pragmatic reasons, main objectives, underlying principles, instructional material and real-life functioning; finally, Section 4 offers a summary and a critical assessment of the model and its BBID, together with a glimpse into their future.


lexical affixes; essential properties; relational properties; general-purpose dictionaries; bare-bones inferential dictionary; heuristic; self-study; English

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/29-1-1516


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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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