Fossilization (linguistics)

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In linguistic morphology, fossilization refers to two close notions. One is preserving of ancient linguistic features which have lost their grammatical functions in language. Another is loss of productivity of a grammatical paradigm (e.g. of an affix), which still remains in use in some words.[1]

Examples of fossilization include fossilized morphemes and fossil words.


  1. The Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics, by Robert Lawrence Trask, p. 125