What can be gleaned from the structure of a word?
The article discusses the causes of the disappearance of the association of derivatives with a derivational base visible during diachronic and etymological research. These may include the following:
— disappearance or asubstantial change of the form of the word which is the basis for derivation;
— change of the meaning of the derivational base or the derivative;
— disappearance of the productivity of certain word-formative mechanisms (e.g. apophony);
— disappearance of certain word-formative means, e.g. prefixes, which causes the word that arises by this means to be interpreted as anon-compound word;
— obliteration of the original structure by phonetic changes which occur at the junction of morphemes;
— change of realia.
The particular causes of the changes are illustrated by examples derived from the Polish language.