LINGUIST List 11.1240

Fri Jun 2 2000

Qs: -ee Suffix in English

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  1. Anja Wanner, question: -ee suffix in English

Message 1: question: -ee suffix in English

Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 09:56:28 -0500
From: Anja Wanner <>
Subject: question: -ee suffix in English

I am interested in the distributional and functional properties of the -ee
suffix in English. It seems that there aren't many usualized -ee nouns, most of
them formed on the basis of latinate verb stems and referring to the GOAL of a
transaction (narratee, nominee, awardee). On the other hand -ee nouns seem
to be
used as a thematic contrast to derivations on -er/-or, in which case they refer
to the PATIENT argument and do not seem to underlie any morphological
restrictions (for instance, in linguistic texts people talk about binders and
bindees, kissers and kissees). When it comes to one-argument verbs, -ee
suffixation might be a criterion to differentiate between unergative and 
unaccusative verbs (escapee vs. dancer). Does anybody know any corpus-based
studies of the -ee suffix? 

Many thanks, 
anja wanner
university of wisconsin-madison
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