Kim, Yookang. 2018. Remarks on Pleonasm in Old English Suffixation. English Language and Linguistics 24.2, 1-23. In some of Old English complex words combined
with one or two suffixes, there is found the relationship of synonymy between lexical elements, specifically between a base and a derivative, or between two co-occurring suffixes (e.g., æðel ‘noble’ vs. æðellic ‘noble’; god ‘god’ vs. godcund ‘divine’, godlic ‘divine’ vs. godcundlic ‘divine’). A suffix in such derivatives seems to be semantically-vacuous and morphologically-redundant; therefore, the attachment of the suffix gives rise to violations of morphological constraints against semantically vacuous operation (e.g., the Elsewhere Condition). This paper investigates OE derivatives displaying the synonymous relationship between their constituents, and discusses different types of suffix pleonasm. The results of this
study reveal that most suffixes involving pleonasm are also used as free words in OE, standing on a transitional stage of historical development. Due to their dual membership, the suffixes appear to be semantically obscure when they occur to some base words. I argue that suffix pleonasm is a process occurring to improve morphological or semantic transparency of the derivatives.
Key words: pleonasm, suffixation, Old English, grammaticalization, redundancy