From Teflpedia

-tion (/ʃən/), also sometimes spelt -sion or -cion or just -ion, is a noun suffix found in English and related languages.[1]

Common words include the nouns "nation", "ration", "action".

Form[edit | edit source]

  • After -scribe-, the B changes to a P. e.g. subscribe -> subscription.

Many -tion words can take the adjective suffix -al, e.g. "rational"; these may also the adverb suffix -ly, e.g. "rationally".

Many can also take the adjective suffix -ary, e.g. cautionary, revolutionary, missionary, and the adverb suffix -ly makes -arily e.g. "evolutionarily".

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

English polysyllabic nouns are typically stressed on the antepenultimate syllable, but words ending -tion are pronounced with the stress on the penultimate syllable. Why? Historically, -tion would have been pronounced as two syllables, but in modern English these two syllables have been reduced to one. This results in the penultimate syllable being the stressed syllable in a noun ending -tion, i.e. the syllable stress falls on the syllable before -tion and -tion is therefore itself always an unstressed syllable. The following patterns may be identified:

Syllable number Stress pattern Example(s)
Bisyllabic Oo action
Trisyllabic oOo pollution
Tetrasyllabic OoOo revolution
Pentasyllabic oOoOo pronunciation
Hexasyllabic OoOoOo capitalisation

Adjectives and adverbs containing -tion, with an adjective suffix and in the case of adverbs the adverb suffix -ly, the stress doesn’t change.

Words that don’t include this morpheme but are spelt -tion[edit | edit source]

Sometimes the spelling "tion" can be found in words that do not contain this morpheme, especially cation (/ˌkætˈaɪən/)[2] not */ˈkeɪʃən/.

References[edit | edit source]