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Reference document

Productive Versus Non-Productive Postbase

Rule #30

Before providing a list of common postbases in Nunavik Inuktitut, let’s introduce the notion of morphological productivity.

A productive postbase is a postbase that is used in the formation of new words. It is a living postbase.

A non-productive postbase is a postbase that it is not active in word-formation today. It is a dead postbase.


  • Nextender /vik ‘big’ (Nunavik, kuuvik)
  • Vextender +niaq- ‘to busy oneself at’ (ilinniaq-, niuvirniaq-)
  • Vmaker /ngu- ‘to feel an ache in’ (niaqu-ngu-, naa-ngu-)

Non-productive postbases should be learnt, but they don’t need to be represented in branching structures.

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