Kristin Ascoop, Torsten Leuschner
September 25, 2009
In this article we offer a comparative survey of word-forming elements in German and Swedish known as “affixoids”. A highly controversial topic in German linguistics, the notion of affixoid does remain useful given the position of the elements in question midway along the cline between compounding and derivation – so useful in fact that we feel it ought to be adopted into Swedish linguistics, where it is as yet unknown. After an overview of the main positions and issues in the debate over affixoids in German, we survey the corresponding elements in Swedish, point out some convergent and divergent tendencies in the two languages, and then compare a few selected affixoids in more detail. We end with some wider issues, focusing mainly on the advantages of the crosslinguistic perspective and on the idea that the relationship of affixoids with their respective “parent morphs” can be described in terms of grammaticalization.