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PARAGOGE

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PARAGOGE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:07 pm

• paragoge •

Pronunciation: -rê-go-jee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: The addition of a sound to the end of a word, as children do when they pronounce dog "doggy".

Notes: Paragoge is a member of a series of common word changes, including its antonym, apocope. Apocope is the chopping off the final sound of a word, as French does whenever coup "blow, overthrow of a government" is pronounced coo. The adjective for paragoge is paragogic and the adverb, paragogically.

In Play: Paragoge is characteristic of many languages. In Finnish, a paragogic is added to many borrowed words, e.g. bench became [i]penkki and imp became imppi. All Japanese syllables must end on a vowel or [n] so, when borrowing words from languages that allow syllables to end on consonants, Japanese adds a paragogic vowel, so that hotel become hoteru while baseball becomes besuboru, with two paragogic [u]s.

Word History: Paragoge comes to us via Latin from Greek paragoge "leading by, adding to the end", based on para "by, beside" + agein "to lead". Agein is a cognate of Latin agere "to make, do" from which we derive the English word for a doer, agent, not to mention actor, acorn, and acre. The same root may be found in Sanskrit ajati "drive" and ajirah "active, moving". (Let us add a final note of gratitude to Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, otherwise known as the Brazilian Dude in our Agora, for suggesting today's Good Word.)
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Postby tcward » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:36 am

My three-year-old daughter has recently taken to paragogic turns with her adjectives.

It is not unusual to hear her say something like "this one is biggerish..."

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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:01 am

Brazilians, as well as other peoples, are prey to paragoge when speaking English, which is full of consonant clusters. Brazilian tend to add an i to the end of words that end in a consonant, except r, s, x, n, or z*(or those that start with an s before a consonant), and wind up saying things like istar and biggi. Unfortunately (?) it's not only the Japanese and Finns who do that.

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*Brazilians tend to pronounce m and n in the same way, something resembling an English ng, so I never know whether my students are saying teen or team, them or then, etc.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:38 am

Istar would be more properly called prothesis.

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