added to monosyllabic bases

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homotopy07

Senior Member
Japanese
-y is a noun-forming suffix with a variety of functions in contemporary English, added to monosyllabic bases to create words that are almost always informal. Its earliest use, probably still productive, was to form endearing or familiar names or common nouns from personal names, other nouns, and adjectives (Billy; Susie; birdie; doggie; granny; sweetie; tummy).
Whirly definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary (My emphasis added in green.)

Question: Is the green part a reduced non-restrictive relative clause?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Is the green part a reduced non-restrictive relative clause?
    This label seems perfectly normal to me, homotopy07. You might want to keep checking this thread for more opinions, however. There are a lot of grammatical terms floating around in the world, and other members may find some reason to reject the term that isn't obvious to me.
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thanks.:) Some people might use non-defining past participial clause instead of reduced non-restrictive relative clause.
    non-restrictive reduced relative clause

    Anyway, what matters to me is which of the following two interpretations is correct:

    (1) ... in contemporary English, which is added to monosyllabic bases to create ... (with a comma --- non-restrictive)

    (2) ... in contemporary English which is added to monosyllabic bases to create (with no comma --- restrictive)

    Can I rest assured that (1) is correct?
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The first interpretation seems more likely to me. I don't think that information about the use of the suffix to create informal words is essential to understanding the function of -y as a suffix.
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The first interpretation seems more likely to me. I don't think that information about the use of the suffix to create informal words is essential to understanding the function of -y as a suffix.
    Thanks.:)

    I have to ask about one of the grammar points that have been pestering my mind for years.

    Does the comma before a reduced relative clause always imply that the clause is non-restrictive? (I guess that it does not.)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Always is a troublesome word and one that it is just about impossible to prove unless you happen to have access to every sentence that every English-speaker has ever written. That said, I can verify that it is a customary practice to set off nonessential clauses with commas.
     
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