On the productivity of the Italian suffix -ista and the English -ist
This study compares the Italian suffix -ista with its English counterpart -ist in terms of productivity. While in English -ist is often used to designate a person who devotes himself to some science or branch of knowledge (linguist), or refers to an adherent of some creed, doctrine, or art (idealist), Italian -ista has extended its use to new meanings (e.g. supporter of a politician, an artist, etc.), and possible bases, from roots to phrases. Moreover, -ista has also extended its applicability to recent loan words and abbreviations, thus becoming more frequent than -ist and often corresponding to the -er suffix (e.g. shampooer vs. shampista) or nominal compounds (e.g. taxi driver vs. tassista) in the formation of agent nouns. The present contrastive (corpus-based and dictionary-based) analyses confirm that -ista is more productive than -ist in terms of possible bases and varied meanings, which have entered the Italian lexicon and are available for the formation of neologisms.
Keywords: Italian, English, suffix -ista , suffix -ist , productivity, neologisms
Published online: 14 January 2019
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