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A Grammar of Interlingua

Alexander Gode & Hugh Blair IALA 1951

Word Building - derivation

Verbs from nouns and adjectives


VERBS are derived FROM NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES by means of the simple verb ending -ar or its compounded forms -ificar and -isar (-ficar and -sar after -i-). The distinction of meaning in derived verbs of these three types is harder to define than to sense.

For new formations the following points are to be borne in mind: The ending -ar may be said to have no meaning of its own; it merely indicates the verbal nature of the derivative. The specific meaning to be associated with that verbal nature is to be clarified by other factors. To illustrate: that guantar (from guanto 'glove') is not likely to suggest the ideas 'to render glovelike' (after the model of acierar 'to render steel-like' from aciero 'steel') or 'to slap with a glove' (after the model of martellar 'to beat with a hammer' from martello 'hammer') is not due to any signification of -ar but is simply a matter of common sense. New formations in -ar obtain their specific meaning through context, common sense, and often also through the simultaneous use of a prefix, as for instance in afratrar (from fratre 'brother'), where a- suggests approximation so that the verb will mean 'to make a brother or brothers of,' or in invinagrar (from vinagre 'vinegar'), where the prefix suggests immersion so that the verb will mean 'to put in vinegar.'

The meaning suggested by verb formations in -ificar is that of making a thing over into something it was not before. In one of its aspects the suffix -isar suggests likewise the idea of making but rather in the sense that a thing is made to assume a new state without losing its former identity. Thus petrificar 'to petrify' suggests an action which makes something into a stone that was something else while vaporisar 'to vaporize' suggests that a substance which does not change its identity is made into vapor. In new formations the distinction should be clearly observed. For instance, papirificar 'to make into paper' (from papiro 'paper') might have 'wood' as its object while papirisar 'to make into paper' would apply possibly to the bark of a tree which remains what it was but begins to have the appearance of paper.

  1. 'to make use of...; to apply, give, etc ... (to)' e.g.
    vulnere 'wound' > vulnerar 'to wound';
    new formation: anello 'ring' > anellar 'to ring, apply or give a ring to'; garage > garagiar 'to keep or put in a garage, to garage';
  2. 'to render ..., to make..., etc.' e.g.
    sic 'dry' > siccar 'to dry, make dry';
    new formation: folle 'mad' > follar 'to madden, drive mad'
    Note: On compound verbs formed with prefixes and -ar see above and §155, §163.
'to make, render...; to convert into ...' e.g.
ample > amplificar 'to amplify'; petra 'stone' > petrificar 'to petrify'
new formations: grasse 'fat' > grassificar 'to fatten'; glacie 'ice' > glacificar 'to ice, convert into ice'
Note: When applied to nouns, -ificar can be construed as adjectival suffix -ific plus -ar; e.g.
pace 'peace' plus -ificar or pacific plus -ar > pacificar 'to pacify.'
  1. 'to make into ...' e.g. pulvere 'powder' > pulverisar 'to pulverize';
    new formation: emulsion > emulsionisar 'to emulsionize';
  2. 'to apply...; to make use (of the principles) of .... etc.' e.g. Pasteur > pasteurisar 'to pasteurize';
    new formation: collodio 'collodion' > collodisar 'to collodionize';
  3. 'to render ..., to make ...' e.g. american > americanisar 'to Americanize';
    new formation: minime 'smallest' > minimisar 'to minimize'
    Note: Nouns in -ismo and -ista may often be construed as derived from verbs in -isar rather than from basic nouns or adjectives.
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