Suffixes.—A suffix is a formative element added to a root (or to a stem) and standing between the root and the ending. Suffixes limit or particularize the general meaning of the root; but only in a few cases is the distinct meaning of the suffix known to us.
a. The origin of the Greek suffixes is often obscure; of those inherited from the parent language only some were employed to make new words; others were formed by Greek itself (productive suffixes). From the analogy of the modern languages we infer that some suffixes were once independent words, which, on becoming a part of a compound, lost their signification. Thus -hood, -head in childhood, godhead are derived from Old Eng. ‘hād,’ Gothic ‘haidus’ character, nature; -ship in ownership, courtship, comes from a lost word meaning ‘shape’; -ly in friendly from Old Eng. ‘līc’ body. So -ώδης meaning
Conversely, many suffixes, themselves insignificant, acquired a definite meaning by reason of the root with which they were associated.—Irrespective of its meaning, one word may serve as a model for the creation of another word; as
b. Many dissyllabic suffixes, due to a combination of the final letter or letters of the stem and an original monosyllabic suffix, adapt themselves to independent use. Cp.
c. Simple suffixes are often added to case forms or adverbs, thus producing,
by contamination, dissyllabic suffixes; as ἀρχαῖ-ο-ς
d. Many compound suffixes are formed by the union of two suffixes, new stems being created by the addition of a suffix to a stem, as: τηρ-ιο 851. 2, ισκ-ιο 852. 6, ισκ-ιδιο 854. See cross854.
e. Suffixes often show gradations: τηρ, τωρ, τερ, τρ ( cross36 N. 1) as in δο-τήρ, δώ-τωρ, δότειρα (out of δοτερ-ῖα)
Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].