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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a means of making word forms and word bases from different roots. As a systemic phenomenon, suppletion is typical of Indo-European languages: examples are Russian ia-menia (“I”–“me”), Lithuanian aš-mane (“I”–“me”), and English “am”–“is.” Instances of suppletion also occur in languages of other genetic groups, for example, Afrikaans is-was (“are”–“was”), Turkish im-dir (“am”–“is”), and Finnish hyvä-parempi (“good”–“better”).

Suppletion in early periods of linguistic development (early suppletion) was caused by the establishment of lexical and grammatical linguistic categories. Later suppletion was caused by phonetic changes in roots and by semantic processes involving the attraction of different roots. The term “suppletion” is also used in a broader sense, to designate a means of word formation. Examples are French tomber-chute (“to fall”–“the fall”), Swedish stjäla-tjuv (“to steal”–“thief”), and English “good”–“well.”


Konetskaia, V. P. Suppletivizm v germanskikh iazykakh. Moscow, 1973. (Contains bibliography.)
Osthoff, H. Vom Suppletivwesen der indogermanischen Sprachen. Heidelberg, 1899.
Benveniste, E. “Un Fait de supplétisme lexical en indoeuropéen.” In the collection Beiträge zur Indogermanistik und Keltologie. Innsbruck, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Strong support for this analysis can even be found in some of the studies that have purported to show a connection between suppletion and some notion of closeness to the speaker.
To the extent that the inflectional paradigm provides a similar, though stronger, more grammaticalized matrix for a suppletive stem, it is perhaps not inappropriate to talk of suppletion of a base of a derived form as analogous to suppletion of the stem of an inflected form.
This section is useful in introducing the reader to linguistic terminology and methodology, such as internal reconstruction, suppletion, etc., through the prism of Hebrew.
In the domain of data that I am looking at in this paper, there seem to be at least six distinct ways in which direction can be encoded in the adposition/case domain: suppletion, marking, projection, government, reordering and identity.
And German family names have become synchronically analysable as signalled by root-modification (Moller differentiated from the common word Muller; and the "opaque" Stratz modified to the point of suppletion).
As a way of organizing and systematizing inflectional and derivational data, a description in terms of paradigms must deal with special cases, such as suppletion, gaps in derivational paradigms, defective inflectional paradigms and doublets or overabundance (Bonami & Strnadova 2018), among others.
Otherwise, natural gender is expressed by suppletion, or not expressed at all, e.g.
On comparative suppletion. Unpublished ms., University of Connecticut.
The attempt failed since the loss of eode coincided with the rise of a new sequence involving suppletion, ME go : wente : gone, with the preterite wente 'went' representing the native verb wendan 'turn'.
Likewise, the infinitive TB yatsi 'to go' and the agent noun TB ynuca offer clear evidence that the stem TB i-/yn- was shared by present and nonpresent stems (this fact is also borne out by the old past participle TA inu); the seemingly highly archaic suppletion, the details of which are not shared with Tocharian A, therefore appears to be of rather recent date.
Clark (1993) also investigated strategies adopted by children to express reversal and what she noticed is that in order to avoid suppletion children indiscriminately employ either a negative prefix un-, e.g.
Type I: Single locative verb (or suppletion under grammatical conditioning)