Malay affixes in Semelai


Affix function number of borrowed affixes


Information and examples are from Kruspe (2004: 64–69, 81–85, 206–208). This is a case of extreme compartmentalization of borrowed and native morphology since all native morphology is non‑concatenative, and all borrowed morphology is concatenative. In this sense, all borrowed affixes are related.


2 valency‑changing prefixes and circumfix

br‑ ‘middle voice’ (passivization of verbs, nominalization ‘have’ of nouns), e.g. br‑bɒy ‘be dug up’

p‑ ‘causative’ (used alternatively to non‑concatenative causative morpheme, with some roots only), e.g. p‑jʔjiʔ ‘to make dirty’


4 aspect prefixes, including one circumfix

tr‑ ‘happenstance’, ‘happen to x’ (used with roots or causative‑derived, or reduplicated roots from verbs), e.g. tr‑ca ‘happen to eat’

par‑ ~ pr‑ ‘excessive agent/performer’ (with verbs), e.g. par‑ca ‘one who eats incessantly, a glutton’

m(N)‑ ‘imperfective’ (derives intransitive verbs from nouns and imperfective verb forms from verbs), e.g. m‑nar‑deh ‘be denying’

b‑...‑an ‘collective’ (collective activity verbs from verbs), e.g. b<pa’loh>an ‘many people hiding together’


1 valency‑changing suffix

‑iʔ ‘applicative’ (increases valency, marks iterative aspect), e.g. glɔk‑iʔ ‘to laugh unkindly at someone’


1 nominalizing suffix

‑an ‘nominalizer’ (relatively infrequent), e.g. jʔjiʔ‑an ‘dirtiness, filth’