Comparison of suffixes and clitics with Esperanto equivalents

This is an old version of the section of the derivational morphology document which explains gzb's suffixes by comparison with the affixes of Esperanto. It's probably not going to be updated any more, but I'm leaving it here for those who know Esperanto and may find this an easier introduction to the derivational morphology than the main reference grammar.

Suffixes in gzb are different from most affixes in Esperanto. Mostly they don't have a meaning of their own, but a pattern for changing something else's meaning. So they can't stand on their own like E-o affixes can.

These don't change the grammatical category of a word.

ħafi-, -aĉ; disapproval attitude suffix
la-ĉj, -nj; affectionate attitude suffix
ķamoŝta, sankta; respectful attitude suffix
ba ambivalent attitude suffix
ŋa surprise, shock, awe attitude suffix
maindirect relationship; meta, recursive, self-referencing
sramore; comparative suffix (v, adj, adv)
ra -ad; repeated or intermittent action

For more on {-sra}, see the section on comparison in the grammar document.

The use of {-ra} is partly the same as that of Esperanto -ad, except that for the sense of continuous rather than repeated, intermittent action, I use compounds with the root {vĭj} (time-period) instead:

lju-ra-zô to read repeatedly
lju-vĭj-zô to go on reading, to read over an extended period

These, like {-rô} and {-ga} mentioned earlier, are idiomatic, like Esperanto "-um":

tôngeneralized class
cjajspecialized class

Zipf's law — things that one talks about more often should have shorter names. For some categories the specifics are talked about more often, for others the genera. For instance,

râm -> râm-tôn.

If one lives with a cat, or has friends who do, one talks/thinks more about cats than about animals in general.

grâm -> grâm-cjaj

One often talks about sending a message to someone; less often one has to specifically state that one sent an email.

θô -et; diminution of the root's meaning
źa -eg; augmentation of the root's meaning

These don't correspond exactly to E-o "-eg, -et" as in "domego, dometo". With substantial roots, their use resembles the use of "-et" and "-eg" in "rideto", "pordego". E.g., E-o "hometo", a small human; but gzb {mâ-θô}, subhuman, Homo habilis. But {mâ-ny}: a small human, a dwarf or child (Esperanto etulo). With quality and action roots their meaning is more straightforward.

These suffixes make the resultant word an adjective.

-bôquality-noun -> adjective
-tan-eca; vaguely similar to root
-zapri~a - having to do with root
-gô-enda, -inda; ought to have ~ done to it
-faj-ebla; able to have ~ done to it
-fwa-ig; inducing a state of ~, causing to do ~, turning obj. into a ~
-hôw-ig; attempting to induce or cause ~
-žar becoming ~
-kwathe color of ~
-dafull of ~, saturated or covered with it
pwĭm-da wet, saturated with water
-namade of ~
-žahaving ~
-talacking ~
-ĝa anti-, against, opposed to ~
ĝâ (human) law
ĝâ-ĝa anarchistic
-ðwa pro-~, in favor of ~, promoting ~
zuň-ðwa pro-life
wuŋ-ðwa in favor of private property

Here is a good place to explain what I meant earlier about how affixes can't stand alone in gzb. If this were Esperanto, {kwa} by itself would just mean "color". (gzb: {fu-θy}, light-element.) But, consider:

zym-zô fu-θy mĭ-i.
think-V.ACT light-element TOP-at
I think about color.

If I said:

zym-zô kwa mĭ-i *

it would mean: color-of-thinking [topic]. Poetical, but not a complete sentence. {-kwa} holds a pattern for forming meaning from meaning, not a meaning of its own.

{-ðwa} can be used with a person's name to form an adjective describing those who support them, e.g., believe them innocent when they are accused of something, or {-ĝa} to form an adjective describing those who oppose them or believe them guilty:

tĭm-fî'suň-bly ħy-pa š-i-ŋ, fraňs-wam i-ŋ
hundred-Earth-orbit 19-ORD after-at-inside France-NAME.P inside
draj'fîs-šam-ðwa pe draj'fîs-šam-ĝa tu-i sî'ðyr-ga-źa-môj.
people Dreyfus-NAME.F-pro and Dreyfus-NAME.F-anti AGT-at fight-METAPH-V.RECP
In the late nineteenth century in France, Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards fought intensely.
-sô-ema; tending to do ~ frequently, habitually
-ŝra-ema; likely to do ~ soon
vy will, intend, decide
vy-ŝra like to make up one's mind soon
ruŋ go, come, move
ruŋ-ŝra likely to go/come soon
mwĭl sleep
mwĭl-ŝra sleepy

The root takes on a verbish sense even if not an action root — one doesn't need to insert {zô} or another verb suffix. E.g., {vlym-sô}, tending to wear clothes, having a nudity taboo. {plĭ-sô}, tending to take pills. (Compare "gastema, librema, orema" in Esperanto.)

-rô eca; characteristic quality of (tangible noun -> adjective)

Another "um"-type suffix. It forms adjectives by picking out an interesting quality of the root concrete noun. {râm-rô}, independent. It can be metaphorical: {pwĭm-rô}, humble.

All these suffixes that form adjectives can also be used as adverbs. Really there's no distinction in form in gzb; if it comes after a noun or pronoun it's an adjective, if after a verb, an adverb.

These clitics are similar to the Esperanto correlatives, and form demonstratives, question- and relative-pronouns. (See the detailed treatment in the grammar document.)

kiu, kio (relative); who, which...
kiu, kio (interrogative); who, what, which?
tiu, tio (ĉe mi); this here
tiu, tio (ĉe vi); this, that
tiu, tio (for de ni); that yonder

These correspond to "mal" or "ne" in Esperanto. (Also compare {heŋ} (not), {źǒ} (please, no!), {bâ} (zero), and {-ta} (without).)

opposite, reverse, contradictory quality; reversive of action
fjaminimal nonzero degree of quality
θajother member of asymmetrical relationship; complement of pair; inverse of action

{cô} is used for scales that extend (for practical purposes) indefinitely in both directions. {fja} if there's an absolute zero, or a non-arbitrary zero point at the middle. Sometimes both can be used for different senses, e.g.

humprofunda; deep
hum-fjamalprofunda, neprofunda; shallow
hum-côalta, high
jâln warmth, heat
jâln-côcold (on human tolerances scale)
jâln-fjaat, near absolute zero; superfluid temperatures

{θaj} is used for inverses of actions, & for complementary, asymmetric relationships.

nĭm-θajmeaning, referent
rĭm-θajbe seen
twâlinterior angle
twâl-θajexterior angle

These are applied only to numbers and quantity-words.

glaNth time-period (year, hour, etc. by context)
paordinal, spatial/priority series position

These form nouns. Several of them correspond to the polysemous Esperanto -aĵ (thing, stuff) and -il (tool).

tǒj-eco, -ado, -o; nominalizer clitic
pwĭm-rô-tǒj humility
vâ-oŋ-tǒj eating
-ĉa-ilo; tool with which on does ~
šĭm-ĉa computer (algorithm-tool)
-hasubstance with which one does ~, which effects ~
šyj-ha soap (cleaning-substance)
-kar the stuff one typically does ~ to
lju-kar text
vâ-oŋ-zô to ingest (eat or drink)
vâ-oŋ-kar food and drink
kâj-kar trade goods
wlâm to graze, forage (of herbivorous animals, etc.)
wlâm-kar forage (n.)

Also the suffixoid root {ŋĭw}, a body part or faculty; between them {-ha}, {-ĉa}, and {ŋĭw} break up the polysemous "-ilo" terrain.

These suffixes form words for types of person, corresponding roughly to -er and -ist in English, -an and -ist in Esperanto.

-tla-isto (professional ~er, ~ist)
-pja-isto, -anto (amateur, hobbyist, volunteer ~ist)
-lô-ano, -ism-ano, -isto (follower of a leader, religion, philosophy)
vlym-ta naked (clothing-without)
vlym-ta-lô nudist
vlym-ta-tla stripper
krĭ-gjâ-pja conlanger
krĭ-gjâ-tla a conlanger who manages to get paid for conlanging
pĭw game, play
pĭw-pja gamer
ŋul guard, protect, defend
ŋul-tla police officer, security guard, bodyguard
ŋul-pja volunteer security guard (e.g. at an SF con); Eucharistic guardian
-zwa would-be ~, person who desires and strives to be(come) ~
tyrn-tla-zwa candidate for political office
fĭm-hôw-tla-zwa medical student
ħĭn- ř-ŋ - ruŋ-kě'ĝu- ħĭn-ta-zwa srǒ.
confine-place from-inside try-V.ACT go-secret-V.ACT several
Several would-be escapees tried to sneak out of the prison.

-ĵwa-ejo; place with lots of ~
šĭm-ĉa-ĵwakomputilejo; computer lab
-kô-ejo; place where one does ~
ðurm-kôlaborejo; workplace

Also the normal root word {tyn}, a place.

Comparable to the plural ending and collective suffix "-j" and "-ar" in Esperanto, I have:

dajgroup of similar things or mass of the same stuff in one place
zlathe whole set of similar things, not necessarily of common place or function

Also the suffixoid roots {cu}, a system, and {kwĭ}, a sequence; the clitic quantifiers {srǒ} (several), {reŋ} (many), {pen} (all), and of course many specific number morphemes.

mâ-zlathe human race
mâ-cucompany, church, club, etc.
mâ-kwĭa queue of people

These suffixes form verbs, and are discussed in detail in the grammar document.

careflexive verb
vanstative verb
active verb
môjreciprocal verb

The functions of the Esperanto transitivity-marking suffixes "-ig" and "-iĝ" are fulfilled in gzb by:

1. {ca} / {van} / {zô} distinction - e.g.,

šyj-vanpuri; be clean
šyj-zôpurigi; make clean
vlym-cavesti sin; get dressed
vlym-zôvestigi iun; dress someone

2. The state postpositions {jâ-i, jâ-o, jâ-ř}

ƥ mĭ-i šyj-bô jâ-i.
3 TOP-at clean-ADJ state-at
He's clean.
ƥ mĭ-i šyj-bô jâ-o.
3 TOP-at clean-ADJ state-to
He gets clean.
rě'tâ ĥy-i zuň-cô-bô jâ-o râm tu-i
rat PAT-at life-OPP2-ADJ state-to cat AGT-at
The cat kills the rat.

3. {-fwa} and {-hôw}

{-fwa} by itself corresponds to adjectival "-iga"; it is also commonly used with {-zô}, = "-igi". {-hôw} has no Esperanto equivalent. This slight variation on {-fwa} allows me to derive compounds for several concepts that Esperanto needs separate roots for. For instance, instrui != lernigi, kuraci != sanigi; but:

hyw-hôw-zôteach (attempt to make someone learn)
fĭm-hôw-zôtreat (attempt to make someone healthy)

4. {-žar}

zuň alive
zuŋ-cô dead
zuň-cô-žar death
rě'ĵy wife
rě'ĵy-žar marriage, getting married (of a woman)
rě'ĵy-tôn-žar marriage, getting married (of a couple)

These two suffixes correspond to Esperanto's polysemous "bo-":

-mla spouse of one's relative
-tôl relative of one's spouse
fru-mla son-in-law, daughter-in-law
tâ-mla brother- or sister-in-law (sibling's spouse)
kyn-tôl mother-in-law, father-in-law
tâ-tôl brother- or sister-in-law (spouse's sibling)

See other examples under "Kinship terminology".

These gzb suffixes have no Esperanto equivalent.

-ʝarotate 90 degrees around axis perpendicular to the direction of gravity
su-ʝalie down

-mameta, recursive, indirect
gynshape, especially polygon

-dô violation of standard ~
-ja in accordance with ~, fitting or suitable to ~
fĭm health
fĭm-ja healthy
fĭm-dô an unhealthy act or habit
žâj the moral law
žâj-ja moral, right
žâj-dô sin
ĝâ human law
ĝâ-dô crime, lawbreaking
ðâ logic
ðâ-dô paradox; inconsistency; illogic
ðurm work
vlym ðurm-ja work clothes

-hô qualities a ~ can potentially have
-ĵam the kind of thing that can have quality ~
-pôm derives evidentiality or attitudinal adverb from root word

The suffixes {-hô} and {ĵam} are a bit tricky, and admittedly less frequently useful than most of the other suffixes in gzb. {-hô} derives a word for the qualities a particular kind of thing can have. For instance, {mâ-hô} refers to all the qualities that people can have, or (in a linguistics context) all the modifiers that could appear modifying a word for person. E.g., intelligent, foolish, pious, angry, female, healthy, etc. {gâ-zuň-hô} refers to the qualities (or modifiers that refer to qualities) that living things in general can have — a superset of {mâ-hô} because {mâ} are a subset of {gâ-zuň}.

Nouns derived from adjectives with {-ĵam} refer to the set of things that can have the quality described by the root (or nouns that can be modified by such adjectives, in a linguistic context) — those things for which having that quality would not be a meaningless notion or a contradiction in terms, whether they actually have much of those qualities or not. For instance, {ĉâ-ĵam} refers to the set of things which might be described as intelligent — all thinking beings, human or otherwise — even if some particular ones would be more aptly described as stupid ({ĉâ-cô-bô}). {Φu-ĵam} describes all physical things (even those which actually have zero rest mass).

For {-pôm} and the use of evidentiality adverbs derived from it, see the relevant section of the grammar document.

-Φathing, stuff that's a result of action described by root
-ŋôchemical that's primary/active incredient of root substance

I think more often of tea ({těn'ju}) than of caffeine ({těn'ju-ŋô}), etc. Zipf's law again.

-vôname of glyph representing root
ĉu-vôthe numeral "2"
i-vôthe at "@" sign
cu-vôthe letter "c"

-šar form conjunction from root
vĭj-šar next, then (a while later)
nu-šar next, then (a moment later)
gân-šar because (as a result of) [less specific than than wǒj, ŝǒj, ʝǒj]
kujm-šar for, in order to

-baw derives phonemic terms from example words
šî'fy-baw fricative consonant

{-baw} derives a word for a type of phoneme from an example word that contains two or more phonemes that belong to that class. E.g. {kě'pâ-baw} signifies "stop (plosive) consonants". I'm not sure I'll keep this long-term because given gzb's morphophonology, it's hard to come up with sample words for all the categories of vowel.

All proper names are marked with a suffix indicating the kind of thing named.

-rampersonal name tag
-šamfamily name tag
-lamlanguage name
-wamplace name
-gamany other kind of name, e.g. company or product brand name

The distinct name suffixes allow me to unambiguously put names in the normal order for their native language, i.e. personal name + family name for English, family name + personal name for Hungarian, etc. Mostly these apply to foreign names and titles; however, they could apply to gjâ-zym-byn words which are used as names or titles, e.g. if a foreign name or title is translated rather than merely transliterated. For instance,

ĝĭm-ram hĭn'rij-šamJim Henry
kaloĉaj-šam kalman-ram Kálmán Kaloscay
šlâ suomi-wam-zaFinn (inhabitant Finnland-NAME.P-ADJ.R)
suomi-lamFinnish language
ĥrist-ķamChrist (after deleting the case ending from Greek "Xristos")
ĥy-lyl-ķamChrist (translating: PAT-oil-NAME.T, = annointed one title)

If {-šam} follows a family name that ends in a fricative, then an epenthetic schwa is inserted in pronunciation (though not in writing).

smĭθ-šam /'smIθ.ə.çɑm/

These Esperanto affixes have equivalents that in gjâ-zym-byn are regular root morphemes (or compounds). But in E-o there's not such a sharp distinction between suffix & root.

anto, into, ontotu
ato, ito, otoĥy
aĵo ŝĭw (stuff, substance), gâ (thing, object)
ejotyn (but see {-ĵwa, -kô})
eroθy (suffixoid root), gĭl (normal root)
ujo, ingomrâ "container", kyl "box", wĭm "bag"
-ar cu (suffixoid root) (also -daj, -zla)
-id fru
ĉef- cy
-ivsuŋ "know-how", ðu "ability"
-ologio{źĭ} study, {câŋ} experimental science, {ljâw} observational science
eks-šy, dân

Main {gjâ-zym-byn} index
Syntax and inflectional morphology
Derivational morphology
Abbreviations used in the interlinear glosses
My conlang page
My home page

Last updated September 2010