An infix is an affix inserted inside a stem (an existing word). It contrasts with "adfix," a rare term for an affix attached to the outside of a stem, such as a prefix or suffix.

Infixes in English

English has very few true infixes (as opposed to tmesis, see below), and those it does have are marginal. A few are heard in colloquial speech, and a couple more are found in technical terminology.

* The infix "‹iz›" or "‹izn›" is characteristic of hip-hop slang, for example "hizouse" for "house" and "shiznit" for "shit." Infixes also occur in some language games. The "‹ma›" infix, whose location in the word is described in Yu (2004), gives a word an ironic pseudo-sophistication, as in "sophistimacated, saxomaphone," and "edumacation."
*Chemical nomenclature includes the infixes "‹pe›," signifying complete hydrogenation (from "piperidine)," and "‹et›" (from " ethyl)," signifying the ethyl radical C2H5. Thus from the existing word "picoline" is derived "pipecoline," and from "lutidine" is derived "lupetidine;" from "phenidine" and "xanthoxylin" are derived "phenetidine" and "xanthoxyletin".

Infixes in other languages

While unusual in English, infixes are common in Austronesian and Austroasiatic languages. For example, in Tagalog, a grammatical form similar to the active voice is formed by adding the infix "‹um›" near the beginning of a verb. Tagalog has borrowed the English word "graduate" as a verb; to say "I graduated" a speaker uses the derived form "grumaduate".

Arabic uses a common infix, ‹ت› "‹t›" for Form VIII verbs, usually a reflexive of Form I. It is placed after the first consonant of the root; an epenthetic "i-" prefix is also added since words cannot begin with a consonant cluster. An example is اجتهد "ijtahada" "he worked hard", from جهد "jahada" "he strove". (The words "ijtihad" and "jihad" are nouns derived from these two verbs.)

In Seri some verbs form the plural stem with infixation of "‹tóo›" after the first vowel of the root; compare the singular stem "ic" 'plant (verb)' with the plural stem "itóoc". Examples: "itíc" 'did s/he plant it?' and "ititóoc" 'did they sow it?'.

Other processes called infixation

Tmesis is sometimes considered a type of infixation. It is found in English profanity, such as "fanfuckingtastic" and "absobloodylutely". However, it is often disqualified since the inserted element is a lexical word rather than an affix. See the article expletive infixation.

Sequences of adfixes (prefixes or suffixes) do not result in infixes: An infix must be internal to a word stem. Thus the word "originally," formed by adding the suffix "-ly" to "original," does not turn the suffix "-al" into an infix. There is simply a sequence of two suffixes, "origin-al-ly." In order for "-al-" to be considered an infix, it would have to have been inserted in the non-existent word "*originly." The "infixes" in the tradition of Bantu linguistics are often sequences of prefixes of this type, though there may be debate over specific cases.

The Semitic languages have a form of ablaut (changing the vowels within words, as in English "sing, sang, sung, song)" which is sometimes called infixation, as the vowels are placed between the consonants of the root. However, this interdigitation of a discontinuous root with a discontinuous affix is more often called transfixation.

See also interfix.

Glossing infixes

When glossing, it is conventional to set off infixes with , rather than the hyphens used to set off prefixes and suffixes: :"sh‹izn›it, saxo‹ma›phone, pi‹pe›coline"Compare::"origin-al-ly"


Alan C. L. Yu (2004) " [ Reduplication in English Homeric Infixation] "

See also

* Affix
* Interfix
* Transfix
* Tmesis
* Expletive infixation
* Clitic
* Tree traversal

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  • infix — INFÍX, infixe, s.n. Element fonetic (de obicei consoană) care se inserează în rădăcina unui cuvânt şi are o valoare morfologică. – Din fr. infixe. Trimis de valeriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  infíx s. n., pl. infíxe Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004 …   Dicționar Român

  • Infix — In*fix , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Infixed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Infixing}.] [L. infixus, p. p of infigere to infix; pref. in in + figere to fix: cf. F. infixer. See {Fix}.] 1. To set; to fasten or fix by piercing or thrusting in; as, to infix a sting,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Infix — steht für: Infix (Linguistik), ein Wortbildungselement, das in die Wortwurzel hinein gestellt wird Interfix, ein Affix, das zwischen Morphemen eingefügt wird Infix (Theoretische Informatik), in der Theorie formaler Sprachen eine Teilfolge von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • infix — [in fiks′, in′fiks΄; ] for n. [ in′fiks΄] vt. [< L infixus, pp. of infigere, to fix or drive in: see IN 1 & FIX] 1. to fasten or set firmly in or on, esp. by inserting or piercing 2. to fix firmly in the mind; instill; implant 3. to place (an… …   English World dictionary

  • Infix — In fix, n. 1. Something infixed. [R.] Welsford. [1913 Webster] 2. (Grammar) An element that is inserted into the body of an elemt which it threby modifies, as a letter within a word. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Infix — (lat.), in das Innere des Wortstammes eingefügtes grammatisches Element; s. Flexion …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Infix — (lat.), ein grammatisches Element, das in das Innere eines Wortes eingeschoben wird …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • infix — index embed, fix (make firm), inculcate, inject, instill, plant (place firmly) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • infix — infixion /in fik sheuhn/, n. v. /in fiks , in fiks /; n. /in fiks /, v.t. 1. to fix, fasten, or drive in: He infixed the fatal spear. 2. to implant: to infix a habit. 3. to instill (a fact, idea, etc.) in the mind or memory; impress. 4. Gram. to… …   Universalium

  • infix — I. transitive verb Etymology: Latin infixus, past participle of infigere, from in + figere to fasten more at fix Date: 1502 1. to fasten or fix by piercing or thrusting in 2. to impress firmly in the consciousness or disposition 3. to insert (as… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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