The Semantic Development of Five French Suffixes in Middle English
CHAPTER 10 Conclusion 255
Chapter 10 Conclusion 10.1. Purpose The aim of my study was to consider the possibility that each of these five latinate nominal suf fixes might individually af fect the general semantic profile of nouns which it forms. Even though all such nouns to a certain extent share a cluster of related meanings, I hoped to show that these mean- ings were not shared indiscriminately, but that each suf fix showed general preferences for certain semantic areas, both real-world and grammatical, which would be ref lected in the real-world semantics of the bases chosen to form words, and in the grammatical contexts in which the words were used. I have looked at two dif ferent kinds of sample. The first consists of approximately 1,000 first citations across suf fixes from the MED, of words chosen from a selection of texts and supplemented from the MED. The findings from these are summarised in Chapter 8. In Chapter 9 I compared these findings with the later use of words in these suf fixes (that is, many of the same ME words with others, plus later formations) in selected texts by Shakespeare. 10.2. Morphophonological restrictions In assessing the role played by semantics in suf fix choice, it will be necessary first to consider possible morphophonological restrictions on the forma- tion of words in these suf fixes. 256 Chapter 10 10.2.1. Category Three of the suf fixes, -ment, -ance/-ence and -ation, form nouns principally on verb bases; even opaque or unanalysable nouns such as...
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