The Semantic Development of Five French Suffixes in Middle English
CHAPTER 7 The Suf fix -al in Middle English 167
Chapter 7 The Suf fix -al in Middle English 7.1. History and Morphology 7.1.1. History Jespersen states that -al in English substantives derives from Latin third declension neuter endings -al/-alia, or from the adjectival ending -alis/- ale/-alia, pointing out that many nouns such as CAPITAL and PRINCIPAL were originally adjectives (1942: VI.383, 22.2.). Marchand’s account omits the nominalised adjectives. According to him, the nominal suf fix ‘-al (type arrival) forms sbs [substantives] of action chief ly from verbs of Latin or French origin’. He adds that ‘Neither the OED nor the gram- mars say anything convincing as to how -al became an English formative’ (1969: 236, 4.5.1.). Malkiel, however (1944: 80f f ), traces the English suf fix to three Old French endings, -al, -ail and -aille, which are included in my own categorisation below. 7.1.2. Morphological types If the nominalised adjectives are included, my ME sample in -al falls into six main morphological types. In addition to these main types back-formations appear, as in ASSAILE, formed on the verb assailen. Type 1, e.g. CARDINAL, is a nominalisation of the Latin adjective in -alis/-ale, which itself was formed on a Latin noun of the first or third declen- sion, the adjectival suf fix being attached to the stem of the oblique cases. The stem therefore does not correspond to any simplex English form. 168 Chapter 7 In Type 2, such as SACRAMENTAL, the adjectival suf fix is added to a latinate noun in French or English. In ME the type...
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