Proceedings of the 14 th Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium 2013 in Halle an der Saale
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.