Adopted from Latin, ultimately of Greek origin. In English, the connective is found from the Middle English period in direct borrowings from Latin. Direct formations of English terms with the connective, always combining Greek or Latin roots, appear from the 16th or 17th century. From the 18th century, the suffix becomes productive in compounds where the second element is English. From about 1800, formations on all sorts of stems become common.
- A linking vowel inserted interconsonantally between two morphemes, to ease pronunciation, without contributing to the meaning. It frequently joins words of Ancient Greek origin but can also be used between modern terms and even abbreviations.
- extreme + -o- + phile producing extremophile
- speed + -o- + meter producing speedometer
- blog + -o- + sphere producing blogosphere
Designated in the USAN guidelines for non-proprietary names of monoclonal antibodies.
- -mab is the base suffix common to all monoclonal antibodies. (See that entry for full paradigm.)
- USP Dictionary of USAN and International Drug Names, U.S. Pharmacopeia, 2000
- A suffix-initial vowel (or linking vowel) inserted interconsonantally between the word stem and the suffix, to ease pronunciation, without contributing to the meaning.
Adopted from the thematic vowel in Ancient Greek, often used to form nominal compounds. In Ancient Greek, the connective suffix originates in compounds where the first member is thematic, such as (whence democracy), but was extended by analogy to other stems, such as (whence metropolis). The suffix was borrowed as a connective into Latin, mainly in compounds of Greek origin. The suffix becomes productive and forms new compounds in learned humanist Latin, from the 16th century. The connective is especially productive in connecting ethnonyms or geographical terms; genuine Greek stems include Gallo-, and Syro-, but most are of medieval or modern origin, productive from the 15th century, such as Anglo-, Graeco- or Latino-.
- (post-classical Latin) Suffix forming nominal compounds (such as gallograecus (“Gallo-Greek”), from gallicus (“Gallic”) and graecus (“Greek”)).