17 May 2014


Prefixes in Malay are highly productive, so it is easy to create new words which others can immediately understand. This morning I heard about menasik, which is the meN prefix added to tasik ('lake'), so it means to walk around the lake. Or, in this case, to walk in the Tasik Lama recreational park, a popular hiking spot in the middle of BSB.

It shows also that people know the rules about affixation, as the initial /t/ gets omitted when the prefix is added, and everyone knows that even if they have probably never been taught it explicitly.

The only question I have about menasik is why the meN prefix is used, as verbs with this prefix usually have an object. I would have expected the ber prefix to be used instead, as verbs starting with ber are generally intransitive. But maybe the ber prefix is less productive than meN.