Entry for English circumfix
I've had this entry stored at User:Doremítzwr/y- -t for nearly five years. I've recently been cleaning out my user page, which includes deleting subpages. However, I thought it best, for others' interest, that I move this one hither instead of deleting it:
Y-, perfective prefix + -t, past tense and past participle suffix (variant of -ed). Y- derives from Old English ge- — a prefix of many uses and of obscure meaning. By the time the Old English ge- mutated into the Middle English y-, its use was mostly restricted to forming past participles in conjunction with the past participle suffix -t (y- sometimes formed past participles in conjunction with -ed — as in the archaïc past participle of to bury, yburied — or with strong declension verbs — as in the archaïc past participles of to work and to clothe – ywrought and yclad). With time, the incipient y- -t fell into disuse, until the time of the writer Edmund Spencer, who resurrected it as a past participle for his faux archaïque style — a style imitated by other writers thereafter; this led to the coalescence of y- -t as a past participle circumfix with a distinct archaïc air to it.
- (archaic) Used to form past participles, the most well-known of which is the past participle of to clepe, “yclept”; cf.: German ge- -t.
- See also