Die Rolle der Konfixe in der modernen deutschen Wortbildung
The Role of Confixes in the Contemporary German Word Formation
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For more than twenty years now, confix has been a topic of great interest for linguists and it has become an indispensable part of the current research devoted to word formation with foreign elements. However, there are still contentious issues related to the problem of confixes that require more academic research and explanations. Contemporary linguists hold debates concerning the confix, its precise definition, classification and ways of distinguishing it from other word-forming formants. Confix plays a very important role in the contemporary German language. Nowadays, only foreign confixes are productive. They form new units of meaning as a result of being combined with native word-forming affixes and elements of compounds. Foreign confixes are also important from the point of view of communication, namely, they are productive in many languages. Additionally, the same formants are used in many languages, for example the formant -phob-, and this phenomenon certainly facilitates international communication. Julia Trunkwalter (cf. 2009: 300) believes that the term “confix” should be included in lexicons and dictionaries and considers it necessary to popularize the word outside scholarly circles, because foreign elements in the German word formation system are of great significance not only for linguists and non-scholars interested in language, but also for German language learners. The confix-related research belongs to the area of the latest German word formation scholarship and the steady influx of new ideas concerning confixes proves that language is constantly evolving, always demanding active interest from its users.
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