word part dictionary?

Drew Danielson andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Fri May 17 17:48:12 UTC 2002

Lynne Murphy wrote:
> --On Friday, May 17, 2002 1:31 pm -0400 sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> wrote:
> >> There is a small /Dictionary of word roots and combining forms/, Donald
> J.
> > Borror, N.P.Publications, Palo Alto, 1960. 134 pp. Lib.Cong.# 60-15564.
> >
> > This is principally intended to illuminate scientific language.  "Compiled
> > from the Greek, Latin, and other languages, with special reference to
> > biological and scientific names".
> > A. Murie
> There's also a textbook by Donald Ayers called _English words from Latin
> and Greek elements_  (University of Arizona Press, 1965), but it's not
> organised like a dictionary, nor do I think it's anywhere near complete in
> its coverage.  It was the text of a particularly easy and enjoyable summer
> course I took one year.  I was assigned to do a presentation on Latin and
> Greek roots in sewage terminology.  Don't ask me why...

OK, Why? :)

A lot of times it is the case that roots that are also free morphemes &
have individual entries in a conventional dictionary.  But I am thinking
of Latinate roots (and other roots of other derivations) for which
English has not retained the discrete primary morphemes, or for which
the free morpheme may have a significantly different meaning in
contemporary usage.

Like -

vent (n, v)

-sum[e|p]- (what? Lat. "sumere"; I-E "em-" as a 'proto-root', acc. AHD4)

As far as collocated particles, I am thinking primarily of
postpositional words that function in English in a sort of similar was
as separable prefixes do in Deutsch, and often cause those unsightly
clause-terminal "prepositions".  Like "try on" or "clean up", where the
particle changes the meaning of the root verb.

I am thinking of a dictionary that is alphabetically sorted by -root- or
by -ppp (postpositional particle).

Thanks for the pointers so far, please keep them coming!

 - Drew

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