International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Infixation and the Predictive Reliability of Prosodic Boundaries
Paul C. Talley

This research concerns three separate aspects of English language infixation and why resulting prosodic boundaries may, or may not, be reliably predicted on a morphemic basis. The language process of infixation occurs when a letter or sound, or a group of letters or sounds, are added within a word, thus changing the meaning or function of the word accordingly. First, although infixation is less productive than the principal affixational forms of suffixation and prefixation, it still holds many linguistic paradoxes for interested researchers.Second, native English speakers marginalize their own use of infixation since its use is often expressly expletive, or deemed too novel for daily usage. English is unlike other languages,sinceinfixing does not serve a consistent purpose for both speakers and listeners. Third, speakers demonstrate a marked reluctance to use, or even a lack of familiarity with the infixational process, choosing to avoid its use entirely. The infixation process offers linguists a real theoretical window through which we can observe and attempt to predict the extent of morpho-phonological integration that takes place. Ultimately, the prosodic boundaries made during infixation may be determinable and become observable within the often subjective contours that are formed within the placement word.

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