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  1. #1
    Esperanza_ is offline Newbie
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    Default Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Like....the "god" in "godfather", and the "full" in "full brother" and "-in-law". How do you call these parts in the three examples? A root or a affix? or other term?
    I'm writing a paper about the compositions of English kinship terms. and i even can't clearly classify them....
    Help!

  2. #2
    charliedeut's Avatar
    charliedeut is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Esperanza_ View Post
    Like....the "god" in "godfather", and the "full" in "full brother" and "-in-law". How do you call these parts in the three examples? A root or an affix? Or is there another term?
    I'm writing a paper about the compositions of English kinship terms. And I even can't clearly classify them....
    Help!
    See my amendments above.

    Thank you for using a meaningful thread title.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. #3
    Esperanza_ is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Thank you........

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Esperanza_ View Post
    Like....the "god" in "godfather", and the "full" in "full brother" and "-in-law". How do you call these parts in the three examples? A root or a affix? or other term?
    I'm writing a paper about the compositions of English kinship terms. and i even can't clearly classify them....
    Help!
    I am not certain about the terminology, but here are some thoughts. "Godfather" is a compound noun formed from two nouns. Some would call "God" an attributive noun (acting as an adjective). In "full brother" there are two separate words, with "full" being an adjective modifying "brother". "In-law" is a bit tricky. It can be classified as a noun (standing alone) but that is from back formation from the compounds xxx-in-law. In the original compounds, "in law" is an adjective which is one of the few that are used only postpositively. Based on the previous, I wouldn't consider any of these to be affixes.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Esperanza_ View Post
    I'm writing a paper about the compositions of English kinship terms. and i even can't clearly classify them...
    If it's any consolation, this native speaker and fairly experienced teacher would not find this easy. I will just say that, for me, 'full brother' is not a natural expression. If it were I'd say that 'full' was an adjective.

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    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    If it's any consolation, this native speaker and fairly experienced teacher would not find this easy. I will just say that, for me, 'full brother' is not a natural expression. If it were I'd say that 'full' was an adjective.
    In AmE, we use full brother sometimes, particularly when a family has stepbrothers, half brothers and full brothers.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 05-Jul-2013 at 22:45. Reason: typo correction

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In AmE, we use full brother sometimes, particularly when a family has stepbrothers, half brothers and full brothers.
    Thanks.

    There is no doubt in my mind that 'full' is an adjective. I would hyphenate 'half-brother' and not hyphenate 'stepbrother'. I am not sure whether or not this makes any difference to the labelling. I am relieved that I am going on holiday in a couple of hours, and can leave the resolution of this to others.

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions of the composition of Kinship terms

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Thanks.

    There is no doubt in my mind that 'full' is an adjective. I would hyphenate 'half-brother' and not hyphenate 'stepbrother'. I am not sure whether or not this makes any difference to the labelling. I am relieved that I am going on holiday in a couple of hours, and can leave the resolution of this to others.
    Some dictionaries hyphenate half brother; others do not.

    Enjoy your holiday!

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