Proceedings of the 14 th Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium 2013 in Halle an der Saale
Edited By Anne Ammermann, Alexander Brock, Jana Pflaeging and Peter Schildhauer
Usage, Status, and Function of Stand-Alone Ish
This paper looks at a recent and remarkable phenomenon in the history of English morphology: the development from a bound derivational suffix (-ish) into a seemingly free morpheme (Ish). The first part of this paper will give a very brief overview of the diachronic development, the present-day English usages, and the meanings of -ish. The second part concentrates on the usage of ish as a free morpheme used utterance initially as in: A: That’s interesting. B: Ish.. The focus lies on the function and usage of ish in present-day English (PDE) as well as on the question whether and in how far ish can be considered a free morpheme at the present stage of its development, thus identifying different types of stand-alone ish with a varying degree of independence.