Norman French affixes in Middle English


Affix function number of borrowed affixes


Information and examples are from Dalton‑Puffer (1996), see also Ciszek (2008) and Palmer (2009). Thanks to Sarah Menzel for help with the analysis. There are 8 derivational suffixes that are used on at least some Germanic stems in Middle English already (there are 10 others that are only attested in combination with Romance stems in Middle English and therefore not counted here).


4 abstract noun formation

‑age ‘abstract noun’, e.g. bondage

‑erie ‘abstract noun’, e.g. aldermanrie, husbondrie, loselry, outlawerie

‑ite ‘abstract noun’, e.g. scantetee

‑ment ‘abstract noun’, e.g. garnement


3 concrete noun formation

-ard ‘concrete noun’, e.g. niggard, dotard

-esse ‘concrete noun’, e.g. hunteresse

‑our ‘concrete noun’, e.g. worshippour, harpour


1 adjectivizer

‑able ‘adjectivizer’, e.g. spekable, knowable