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16.3: More About the Suffix -ity

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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More About the Suffix -ity

1. You've seen that the suffix -ity regularly has a stressed short vowel in front of it. You've also seen that -ity is added to adjectives and bound stems to make nouns. Analyze each of the following nouns into stem plus suffix, showing any changes that took place. In the Stem column write “Adjective” if the stem is an adjective or “Bound” if it is a bound stem.

Noun Analysis: Stem + Suffix Stem
productivity productiv\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ity Adjective
necessity necess + ity Bound
quality qual + ity Bound
dignity dign + ity Bound
extremity extrem\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ity Adjective (Noun)
complexity complex + ity Adjective (Noun)
humility humil + ity Bound
capacity capac + ity Bound
quantity quant + ity Bound
publicity public + ity Adjective (Noun)

2. The suffix -ity has two other forms that are used in certain settings: -ety and -ty. Underline the forms -ity, -ety, and -ty in the following words:

\begin{align*}&\text{anxi\underline{ety}} && \text{feroc\underline{ity}} && \text{notori\underline{et}y} && \text{real\underline{ity}}\\ &\text{casual\underline{ty}} && \text{gai\underline{ety}} && \text{penal\underline{ty}} && \text{sanct\underline{ity}}\\ &\text{celebr\underline{ity}} && \text{intens\underline{ity}} && \text{pi\underline{ety}} && \text{simplic\underline{ity}}\\ &\text{certain\underline{ty}} && \text{liber\underline{ty}} && \text{pover\underline{ty}} && \text{soci\underline{ety}}\\ &\text{char\underline{ity}} && \text{loyal\underline{ty}} && \text{proper\underline{ty}} && \text{special\underline{ty}}\\ &\text{etern\underline{ity}} && \text{mental\underline{ity}} && \text{propri\underline{ety}} && \text{vari\underline{ety}}\end{align*}anxi\underline{ety}casual\underline{ty}celebr\underline{ity}certain\underline{ty}char\underline{ity}etern\underline{ity}feroc\underline{ity}gai\underline{ety}intens\underline{ity}liber\underline{ty}loyal\underline{ty}mental\underline{ity}notori\underline{et}ypenal\underline{ty}pi\underline{ety}pover\underline{ty}proper\underline{ty}propri\underline{ety}real\underline{ity}sanct\underline{ity}simplic\underline{ity}soci\underline{ety}special\underline{ty}vari\underline{ety}

3. Sort the twenty-four words into these three groups:

Words with ...
-ity -ety -ty
ferocity anxiety casually
celebrity gaiety certainly
charity notoriety liberty
eternity piety loyalty
ferocity propriety penalty
intensity society property
mentality variety specialty
reality
sanctity
simplicity

4. You know that -ity always has a stressed short vowel right in front of it. Is the vowel right in front of -ty stressed or unstressed? unstressed. Is the vowel right in front of -ety long or short? long. Is it stressed or unstressed? stressed.

5. What are the main differences between words in which we use -ity and those in which we use -ty? In words with -ity the vowel just before the -ity is stressed and short; in words with -ty the vowel just before the -ty is unstressed.

6. Here are the analyses of the words above with -ety:

anxiety = anxi + ety

propriety = propri + ety

notoriety = notori + ety

society = soci + ety

gaiety = ga\begin{align*}\cancel{y}\end{align*}y + i + ety

variety = var\begin{align*}\cancel{y}\end{align*}y + i + ety

7. What are the main differences between words in which we use -ity and those in which we use -ety? In words with -ity the vowel just before the -ity is stressed and short; in words with -ety the vowel just before the -ety is stressed and long and always spelled \begin{align*}{<i>}\end{align*}<i>.

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. Extreme, complex, and public have all acquired noun meanings as well as their original adjective meanings.

Items 6-7. Notice that all of the stems that take -ety end in \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*}<i>. Thus, the use of -ety rather than -ity enforces the contraint against <ii> in English: \begin{align*}^*\end{align*}anxiity, \begin{align*}^*\end{align*}propriity, etc. For more on the constraint against <ii> see AES, pp. 81-82.

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Grades:
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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CK.ENG.ENG.TE.1.Basic-Speller.16.3