Thursday, August 30, 2018

Inspiration and perspiration, Part 6: The suffixes Eng. -(a)tion ~ Sp. -(a)ción (e)

[This entry comes from Chapter 10, "Inspiration and Perspiration", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]


English words that end in -tion and -sion


There are over two thousand words that end in ‑ation in English (2,587 by one count), quite a considerable number.[1] The vast majority of these words are Latin loanwords, not English creations by means of this Latinate suffix, and many if not most of them, have Spanish cognates. Indeed, this is one of the most noticeable sources of English-Spanish cognates, one which allows English-speaking learners of Spanish access to thousands of Spanish words with relative ease.

In addition, English typically has borrowed the corresponding verb along with the derived noun in ‑tion, such as inspire along with inspiration, and contemplate along with contemplation, something which makes the suffix quite ‘transparent’ (see above and Part I, Chapter 5). Latinate verbs in English come mostly in three flavors, all of them exemplified in Figure 119 above (cf. Part I, Chapter 5, §5.12.2):

·      those that end in ‑ate, such as contemplate and frustrate
·      those that end in (a silent) ‑e, such as inspire and explore (this includes many verbs in ‑ify, such as classify, and in ‑ize, such as organize); and
·      those that have lost all vestiges of an inflectional Latin ending, such as despair

Verbs that end in ‑ate in English were taken directly from Latin, since traditionally, when English borrows a Latin verb from written Latin, it borrows the past participle form, which often ends in ‑atus (in the masculine), and changes this ending to ‑ate, in order to match the ending of early borrowings of Latin verbs that were acquired through Old French. The other two types of Latinate verbs typically came into English through French, namely from an Old French infinitive. In Table 159 above, you can see that 3 of the 10 verbs we saw there end in ‑ate and 6 end in ‑e.[a]

In some cases, there is no matching verb for a ‑tion English noun. Thus, in English there is no verb *to nate that goes along with the noun nation (cf. Sp. nación). In Latin, the noun natĭo (acc. natĭōnem) was indeed associated with a verb, namely nāscī ‘to be born’, a deponent verb whose passive participle was nātus (its principal parts were nāscor, nāscī, and nātus sum). The Latin noun natĭō thus meant, first of all, ‘birth’, but also, by extension, ‘race, nation’.[b]

Other ‘orphaned’ English nouns that end in ‑ation (without a corresponding English verb) are caption (Sp. leyenda, pie de foto, título, subtítulo), question (cf. Sp. cuestión), section (Sp. sección), station (Sp. estación), and caution (Sp. cautela, precaución, prudencia, etc.). In the following table you can see a few more examples of such words that do not have a verb associated with them in English or Spanish, along with the Latin verb they were associated with.

English
Spanish

Latin
Pass. Part.
Infin.

function
función

functĭo
fūnctus
fungī
‘to perform’
station
estación

statĭo
status
stāre
‘to stand; to stay’
lotion
loción

lōtĭo
lōtus/ lăvātus
lavāre
‘to wash’
potion
poción

pōtĭo
pōtus
pōtāre
‘to drink’

The following is a list of what are probably the 660 most common English words ending in -tion (all derived from this Latin suffix). This list is extracted from one containing 835 words that are suitable for use in the game Scrabble (from The Free Dictionary). The words that have been removed are very uncommon words or those derived by prefixation from other words and whose meaning is highly predictable, such as resegregation and antipolution (very common and lexicalized words derived by prefixation have been kept, such as indisposition or dehydration, which are related to disposition and hydration). Some rare English words were kept on this list if they had common Spanish cognates, such as lection, oration, and natation (cf. Sp. lección ‘lesson’, oración ‘sentence’, and natación ‘swimming’).


abbreviation
ablation
abolition
abortion
absorption
abstraction
acceleration
acclimatization
accommodation
accreditation
accretion
acculturation
accumulation
accusation
acquisition
action
adaptation
adaption
addiction
addition
administration
admiration
adoption
adoration
adulation
aeration
affection
affirmation
agglomeration
agglutination
agitation
alienation
allegation
alphabetization
alteration
amalgamation
ambition
ammunition
amortization
amplification
animation
annihilation
anticipation
application
apportion
appreciation
appropriation
approximation
arbitration
argumentation
articulation
aspiration
assertion
assimilation
association
assumption
attention
attraction
attribution
attrition
auction
audition
augmentation
authorization
automation
automatization
aviation
bastion
calcification
calculation
calibration
cancellation
capitalization
capitulation
caption
carbonization
carnation
categorization
causation
caution
certification
cessation
circulation
circumlocution
circumscription
circumspection
citation
civilization
classification
coaction
coalition
cogeneration
cognition
collation
collection
colonization
combination
combustion
commemoration
commendation
commiseration
commotion
communication
compensation
competition
compilation
complementation
completion
complication
composition
computation
computerization
concentration
conception
condemnation
condensation
condition
confederation
configuration
confirmation
conflagration
confrontation
conglomeration
congratulation
congregation
conjunction
connection
conscription
consecration
conservation
consideration
consolation
consolidation
constellation
consternation
constipation
constitution
constriction
construction
consultation
consummation
consumption
contamination
contemplation
contention
continuation
contraception
contraction
contradiction
contravention
contribution
convention
conversation
conviction
cooperation
coordination
corporation
correction
correlation
corruption
creation
cultivation
damnation
deception
declaration
decomposition
deconstruction
decoration
dedication
deduction
defenestration
definition
deflation
deformation
degeneration
degradation
dehydration
dejection
delegation
deletion
deliberation
demagnetization
democratization
demolition
demonstration
demotion
denomination
denunciation
depletion
deportation
deposition
depreciation
deprivation
description
desensitization
desertification
desertion
designation
desperation
destination
destruction
detection
detention
determination
detoxification
deviation
devotion
dichotomization
dictation
diction
differentiation
digestion
dilation
dilution
direction
disarticulation
discoloration
discontinuation
discretion
discrimination
disinformation
disinhibition
disintegration
dislocation
disorganization
disorientation
dispensation
disposition
disproportion
dissatisfaction
dissertation
dissipation
dissociation
dissolution
distillation
distinction
distortion
distraction
distribution
documentation
domination
donation
dramatization
duplication
duration
dysfunction
edition
education
ejection
elation
election
elevation
emancipation
emotion
emulation
equation
erection
erudition
eruption
estimation
evacuation
evocation
evolution
examination
exasperation
excavation
exception
excommunication
excretion
execution
exemplification
exemption
exertion
exhaustion
exhibition
exhilaration
expectation
expedition
experimentation
expiration
explanation
exploitation
exploration
exponentiation
exposition
extinction
extortion
extraction
extradition
facilitation
faction
familiarization
fascination
federation
fermentation
fertilization
fibrillation
fiction
filtration
fixation
flotation
formation
fortification
foundation
fraction
ragmentation
friction
fruition
frustration
function
generalization
generation
gentrification
gestation
gesticulation
gradation
graduation
gratification
gumption
gyration
hallucination
hesitation
hospitalization
humiliation
hypercorrection
hyperinflation
ideation
identification
ignition
illumination
illustration
imagination
imitation
implantation
implication
importation
imposition
improvisation
inaction
inauguration
incarnation
inception
inclination
incubation
indemnification
indication
indignation
indisposition
individuation
induction
infarction
infection
infiltration
inflammation
inflation
information
inhibition
initiation
injection
injunction
innovation
inscription
insertion
inspection
inspiration
installation
institution
instruction
instrumentation
insulation
insurrection
integration
intention
interaction
interception
interconnection
interiorization
interpretation
intersection
intoxication
introduction
introspection
intuition
invention
investigation
invitation
irritation
isolation
iteration
junction
jurisdiction
justification
juxtaposition
lactation
lateralization
lection
legation
legislation
lenition
libation
liberation
ligation
limitation
location
locution
lotion
magnetization
magnification
maladaptation
malnutrition
manifestation
manipulation
masculinization
masturbation
mediation
medication
meditation
menstruation
mention
migration
miniaturization
miscegenation
misconception
modification
mortification
motion
motivation
multiplication
munition
mutation
mystification
narration
natation
nation
navigation
negation
negotiation
neutralization
nomination
nonfiction
nonintervention
notation
notification
notion
nullification
nutrition
objection
obligation
observation
obstruction
occupation
operation
opposition
optimization
option
oration
orchestration
organization
orientation
ornamentation
ovation
overconsumption
overpopulation
overstimulation
oxidation
participation
partition
pasteurization
penetration
perception
perdition
perfection
persecution
perseveration
personification
perspiration
petition
plantation
polarization
pollution
population
portion
position
postproduction
potion
precipitation
preconception
precondition
predation
predestination
prediction
predilection
predisposition
premeditation
preoccupation
preparation
preregistration
prescription
presentation
pressurization
presumption
prevention
prioritization
privation
probation
proclamation
production
prohibition
projection
promotion
pronunciation
propagation
proportion
proposition
prosecution
proselytization
prostitution
protection
provocation
publication
pulsation
punctuation
punition
purification
qualification
question
quotation
radiation
ration
rationalization
reaction
realization
recapitulation
reception
reciprocation
reclamation
recognition
recollection
recombination
recommendation
reconciliation
reconstruction
recreation
recrimination
redaction
redemption
redistribution
reduction
reflection
reformation
regeneration
registration
regulation
reincarnation
rejection
relation
relaxation
remediation
remuneration
rendition
renunciation
reorganization
repetition
replication
representation
reproduction
reputation
reservation
resignation
resolution
restitution
restoration
restriction
resumption
resurrection
retardation
retention
retribution
revalorization
revelation
reverberation
revolution
rogation
rotation
salvation
sanction
sanitation
satisfaction
saturation
secretion
section
sedation
sedimentation
sedition
seduction
segmentation
segregation
selection
sensation
separation
sequestration
sexploitation
signification
simulation
situation
solution
specialization
specification
speculation
starvation
station
sterilization
stigmatization
strangulation
stratification
subscription
substitution
suburbanization
suction
suggestion
summation
superimposition
superposition
superstation
superstition
synchronization
systematization
taxation
teleportation
temptation
termination
traction
tradition
transaction
transcription
transfiguration
transformation
transition
translation
translocation
transmutation
transportation
transposition
triangulation
tuition
unction
vacation
vaccination
valuation
variation
vegetation
ventilation
verification
vexation
vibration
violation
vocation
volition
workstation




The following list contains 166 common (non-rare) English words ending in ‑sion. The original list, from the same source, had 255 words. Some of these nouns end in ‑sion with only one s, but some of them have two s’s. The double s in these English words came from a Latin t+t, e.g. mission (from Lat. mit+t+us) or from a Latin d+t, e.g. cession (from Lat. ced+t+us).


abrasion
adhesion
admission
aggression
allusion
animadversion
apprehension
ascension
aspersion
aversion
cession
circumcision
cohesion
collision
collusion
commission
compassion
comprehension
compression
compulsion
concession
concision
conclusion
concussion
condescension
confession
confusion
contusion
conversion
convulsion
corrosion
decision
declension
decommission
decompression
delusion
depression
derision
diffusion
digression
dimension
discussion
disillusion
dispersion
dispossession
dissension
dissuasion
distension
diversion
division
effusion
egression
elision
elusion
emersion
emission
emulsion
envision
erosion
evasion
excision
exclusion
excursion
expansion
explosion
expression
expulsion
extension
extroversion
fission
fusion
hypertension
hypotension
illusion
immersion
implosion
imprecision
impression
incision
inclusion
incomprehension
incursion
indecision
infusion
intercession
intermission
intersession
interspersion
intromission
introversion
intrusion
invasion
inversion
lesion
mansion
manumission
misapprehension
misimpression
mission
nonaggression
obsession
occasion
occlusion
omission
oppression
overexpansion
overextension
passion
pension
percussion
permission
persuasion
pervasion
perversion
possession
preadmission
precision
preclusion
prepossession
pretension
prevision
procession
profession
profusion
progression
propulsion
provision
readmission
recession
reclusion
reconversion
recursion
regression
remission
repercussion
repossession
reprehension
repression
repulsion
resubmission
retransmission
retrocession
retrogression
revision
revulsion
secession
seclusion
session
suasion
subdivision
submersion
submission
subversion
succession
supervision
suppression
suspension
television
tension
torsion
transfusion
transgression
transmission
version
vision


GO TO PART 7



[a] The verbal ‑ate ending is quite common. Like we said, it comes from the Latin perfect passive participle suffixes of first conjugation verbs, masc. ‑ātus, fem. ‑āta, and neut. ‑ātum, which are equivalent to the Spanish past participle endings masc. ‑ado fem. ‑ada. By the time these words reached English from French, the final e in the spelling was already not pronounced. In fact, verbs with this suffix in Middle English were spelled ‑at, not ‑ate.

Note that besides the verbal ending ‑ate, there are three other ‑ate suffixes recognized in English, cf. Part I, Chapter 8, §8.5.3). This main alternative suffix ‑ate does not create verbs in English, but rather adjectives, such as affectionate or fortunate, or nouns, such as electorate, doctorate, or rabbinate. Note that these two ‑ate endings has a different pronunciation from the verbal ‑ate, namely [‑ət], instead of [ˌeɪ̯t], cf. the noun graduate [ˈɡɹæ.ʤu.ət] vs. the verb graduate [ˈɡɹæ.ʤu.ˌeɪ̯t]. For the nouns there is sometimes a Spanish cognate that ends in ‑ado, the descendant of the Latin suffix ‑atus, e.g. electorado, doctorado. (The noun and adjective apostate, cf. Sp. apóstata, is not derived from the past participle, but rather from Lat. apostata, a borrowing from Greek. It means ‘a person who renounces a belief or principle’, COED.) Finally, we should mention that in the field of chemistry, there is yet a third type of ‑ate suffix, used for nouns but pronounced like the verbal ‑ate, namely [ˌeɪ̯t]. It is found in words such as phosphate, chlorate, or nitrate. Its meaning is ‘a salt or ester, especially of an acid with a corresponding name ending in ‑ic’ (OD).

[b] The Spanish verb nacer ‘to be born’ comes from a Vulgar Latin, regularized version of nāscī, namely nascere. And the noun that refers to the act of being born is not nación, but rather the derived form nacimiento ‘birth’.

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