The tail(ed) end of things: a study of suffixation in select mammal and bird names in insular Celtic
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Suffixation is the most common way of word-formation in Indo-European languages, and one of the several ways in which animal terms, lexical items that refer to specific animals, can be formed. In this thesis the process of suffixation will be examined through a corpus of Irish and Welsh mammal and bird names ending in one of the Irish suffixes -ach, -ech; -óc, -óg; -án or Welsh suffixes -og; -en, -yn. This thesis argues that these suffixes are attached to a base with a morphological and semantic motivation. The Irish suffix -ach, -ech and Welsh suffix -og, -iog are adjectival suffixes in origin, but adjectival derivations based on a noun or adjective can be substantivized and become substantival mammal and bird terms. The Irish suffixes -óc, -óg; -án and Welsh suffix -en, -yn do not have a clear morphological function, but they are employed to form substantival derivatives from adjectival or substantival bases. All suffixes are also connected on a semantic level: all examined suffixes correspond to three semantic categories as proposed by Paul Russell.