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Wordformation rules

The wordformation rules describe how new words are formed in German. Tables, examples and descriptions show clearly the regularities, the wordformation elements and the particularities of German wordformation.

In the description of each wordformation rule you will find a link to a list displaying all words that are formed by this particular wordformation rule. Example: Show all noun-to-noun derivations formed by the suffixation rule for ling.

The rules and the wordformation elements are divided into classes and subclasses according to type of wordformation as well as according to the word category of the base word and the derived word. You can access this information in various ways:
  • by looking up a word in the wordformation dictionary. Choose the option Wordformation in the pop-up menu of the search box and enter a word. The wordformation history of the word will be displayed. Links lead you to the Wordformation Rule by which the word was formed. Run example search with Agitation.
  • by searching a linguistic term such as "umlaut" or a wordformation element such as "heit". Choose the option All in the pop-up menu of the search box and enter the linguistic term or the wordformation element. As a result, you will see a list of links into the Glossary, Wordformation, Word Grammar etc. Run example search wit the suffix heit .

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