What is the ‘a-’ in ‘alive’?

It's alive!

‘It’s alive!’ we popularly exclaim of the vivification of Frankenstein’s monster. But once animated, the creature doesn’t have alife or isn’t aliving. Dr Frankenstein gave the creature life, we would say. He made it living. The -live, and its connection to life and to live, is clear, so what is that a- doing in alive? […]

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