Talk:-i-

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This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that I think we should keep this in some form or another, provided convincing examples can be found of words so formed. —RuakhTALK 05:04, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I do know that you and your buddy think it should be kept; but as for everyone else, I doubt it. It is a letter added to help form compound words (at least, that's the trivial excuse used for creating the ridiculous entry.) Obviously, it isn't used as an "infix" wherever one pleases, with special meaning (as "infix" seem to mean in other languages.) Rather, someone mistakenly entered "-i-" in an etymology, instead of "i." Error upon error upon error...brilliant. --Connel MacKenzie 08:51, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I don’t know how "ridiculous" it is. Both the Random House and the American Heritage have entries for -i-, saying that it’s a connector typically used to make Latin-based compounds, as -o- is used for Greek compounds. I don’t see the errors either. It just needs to have the definition improved a little. —Stephen 10:37, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition] also lists both -i- and -o-. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:04, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Question: What are some examples of this in use? It's not hard to come up with neologisms made from -o- interfixation, like blogosphere and kissogram; but I can't think of a single one made from -i- intefixation. -- Visviva 10:26, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
For example, French-i-fy, cune-i-form. —Stephen 10:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
But that's as bogus as sense #2 under "-o-." Frenchify is French + -ify; I'm less sure about cuneiform, but it would be more parsimonious to treat it as cune- + -iform (cf. cuneate, cuneonavicular; coliform, fungiform). This thematic vowel may have functioned as an interfix in Latin, but it does not appear to do so in English. (That said, if a comparable scholarly consensus can be shown to exist here as in the case of -o-, I will happily abide by the judgment of the learned). -- Visviva 16:27, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, but -ify and -iform are formed from -i- + -fy and -i- + -form, respectively (granted, with lots and lots of reïnforcement from existing words which end in -ify and -iform).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr 18:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that. According to our entry for -ify, it's from the French (perh Old French?) -ifier ... which, it appears, derives in turn from the Latin -ificare. Similarly -iform is -- if I'm not mistaken -- from the NL -iformus (a, um). Of course, we can tie ourselves in knots trying to decide at what point such borrowed constructions cease to represent English word-formation rules; but the thing is, while -o- and perhaps -a- can be documented as in productive use for neologisms, I can't think of any case were -i- is used in this way. Thus claiming -i- as an English interfix seems problematic. -- Visviva 01:46, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. I’d like that etymology to be referenced, if it is correct. The COED [11th Ed.] gives the etymology for -form as:
  • from French -forme, from Latin -formis, from -forma ‘form’.
Also worth noting is that it gives as the headword:
  • -form (usually as -iform)
For me, it’s very clear that -i- is an interfix. In the same way that hypernym and genealogy show the existence of -o-, words like coryneform show the existence of -i-.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 10:43, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I made a bit of a mistake there. I lost my functional Latin skills a couple thousand years ago (eternal life is such a drag). The suffix was of course -iformis, the counterpart to -formis for cases where the root lacked a suitable final vowel. I don't have access to an OED over here, but -iformis is credited in MW and others as the root of the English -iform (via Middle French). So it seems from here that -iform and -ify are not cases of English interfixation, but are simply pre-interfixed forms brought over from Latin. I'm not sure about your examples -- "hypernym" is certainly a revealing error, but -logy in genealogy is a legitimate suffix, as is -form in coryneform. -- Visviva 11:47, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Both -i- and -o- are interconsonantal interfixes — which is why they do not occur in coryneform and genealogy ; hypernym was misformed under the assumption that the various -onyms were formed thus: “[prefix] + -o- + -nym”, whereas the -o- in -onym is not an interfix, but rather a part of the suffix.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:57, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Right... I thought you meant that "coryneform" and "genealogy" were misformations like "hypernym." (FTR, our genealogy entry indicates the word traces back to classical Greek, so it should come as no surprise that it is properly formed.) Can you show a case similar to "hypernym", where an "i" has been inappropriately dropped because it was mistaken for an interfix? -- Visviva 12:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that hypernym is evidence of -o-; rather, I'd guess that it's evidence of hypo-. —RuakhTALK 21:29, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

kept and heading linked, no consensus but precedent from -o- above. Conrad.Irwin 22:42, 13 April 2008 (UTC)