The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Donner, Morton. "Derived Words in Chaucer's Language." 13 (1978): 1-15.
Chaucer uses original word derivations for a number of reasons such as rhyme, meter, parallelism, and translation. Primarily, Chaucer seeks to make his language work hard by creating or choosing exactly the right word. Chaucer also used prefixes like "un-" and suffixes like "-less" and "-ish" to create new words and sharpen his poetry. Gerunds, nouns formed from adjectives, and conversion nouns and verbs all contribute to the strength and impact of Chaucer's poetry.