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Morphology, Part 1. HU2910 Summer 2011. What is morphology?. What is a morpheme? “the minimal unit of meaning”. What is morphology?. What is a morpheme? “the minimal unit of meaning” Which of these are morphemes? cat -s sen- (as in sentence ) un -.

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Morphology part 1

Morphology, Part 1

HU2910

Summer 2011


What is morphology
What is morphology?

What is a morpheme?

“the minimal unit of meaning”


What is morphology1
What is morphology?

What is a morpheme?

“the minimal unit of meaning”

Which of these are morphemes?

cat

-s

sen- (as in sentence)

un-


Why study morphology
Why study morphology?

to gain an understanding of

  • where our words come from


Why study morphology1
Why study morphology?

to gain an understanding of

  • where our words come from

  • what the properties of words are


Why study morphology2
Why study morphology?

to gain an understanding of

  • where our words come from

  • what the properties of words are

  • how parts of words add together to

    form meaningful separate words


Why study morphology3
Why study morphology?

to gain an understanding of

  • where our words come from

  • what the properties of words are

  • how parts of words add together to

    form meaningful separate words

  • how we build our mental stock of words


Why study morphology4
Why study morphology?

to gain an understanding of

  • where our words come from

  • what the properties of words are

  • how parts of words add together to

    form meaningful separate words

  • how we build our mental stock of words

  • how dictionaries are formed


Dictionaries
Dictionaries

Who makes them? How?


Dictionaries1
Dictionaries

Who makes them? How?

What do they include? Leave out?


Dictionaries2
Dictionaries

Who makes them? How?

What do they include? Leave out?

Are morphemes like un- and -ment in your dictionary?


Dictionaries3
Dictionaries

Who makes them? How?

What do they include? Leave out?

Are morphemes like un- and -ment in your dictionary?

Linguists call the “word list” of words and morphemes you know, and their attendant properties, the LEXICON.


Relationships between syllables and morphemes
Relationships between syllables and morphemes

Mississippi

- one (long) word,

- one morpheme in English,

- though two morphemes (big-river)

in Ojibwe


Relationships between syllables and morphemes1
Relationships between syllables and morphemes

Mississippi

- one (long) word,

- one morpheme in English,

- though two morphemes (big-river)

in Ojibwe

Compare:

Chicago ‘skunk place’ and

Wabash ‘it shines white’


  • tried

    one (short) word, two morphemes

    try + ed (with spelling change)


Morphological properties
Morphological properties

Free or bound?

un-disturb-ed

disturb

un-

-ed


Affixation
Affixation

prefix dis-, un-, re-

suffix -ly, -ment, -hood

= Most common word formation process in English


Affixation1
Affixation

infix

-damn-

Bontoc (Phillipines)

takbuh + -um- > t-um-akbuh

'run' (past) 'ran’

circumfix

a-com-in(g)

I’m acoming to get you (dialectal)


Affixation2
Affixation

root/stem (to which you add affixes)

tuck un-tuck-ed

respect dis-respect-ful-ly

spelling changes

un- happy -ly > unhappily


Derivational affixes
Derivational affixes

examples: un-, dis-, re-, mis-, in-

-ify, -ate, -tion, -ly


Derivational affixes1
Derivational affixes

examples: un-, dis-, re-, mis-, in-

-ify, -ate, -tion, -ly

- frequently change categories or meaning, e.g., N--> V


Derivational affixes2
Derivational affixes

examples: un-, dis-, re-, mis-, in-

-ify, -ate, -tion, -ly

- frequently change categories or meaning, e.g., N--> V

- typically affect semantic relations within word


Derivational affixes3
Derivational affixes

examples: un-, dis-, re-, mis-, in-

-ify, -ate, -tion, -ly

- frequently change categories or meaning, e.g., N--> V

- typically affect semantic relations within word

- typically affect only certain words within a class (unproductive)


Derivational affixes4
Derivational affixes

examples: un-, dis-, re-, mis-, in-

-ify, -ate, -tion, -ly

- frequently change categories or meaning, e.g., N--> V

- typically affect semantic relations within word

- typically affect only certain words within a class (unproductive)

- typically occur before inflectional suffixes (e.g.?)


Inflectional affixes 8 types
Inflectional affixes (8 types)

- do not change “meaning” or part of speech

- typically indicate syntactic or semantic relations between different words in

a sentence

- typically are very productive

- typically occur at margins of words


8 types of inflectional affixes
8 Types of Inflectional Affixes

-s plural dog-s

-’s possessive Chris’s

-s third singular (she) speak-s

-ing progressive walk-ing

-ed past tense walk-ed

-en past participle tak-en

-er comparative tall-er

-est superlative tall-est


Compounds
Compounds

Note how the stress shifts to the first syllable:

firetruck fíre + trúck > fíretrùck

blue-green blúe + gréen > blúe-grèen

wind tunnel wínd + túnnel > wíndtùnnel

but:

cream cheese créam + chéese?

or

créam + chèese?


More problematic morphemes
More problematic morphemes

-able

unconquerable

indestructible

What is -able (-ible, -ibil…)?

A free root (compounded)?

A bound root?


Separating morphemes
Separating morphemes

misdirection

mis- + direct + ion

Free/Bound B F B

Inflectional/Deriv. D - D

Prefix/Root/Suffix P R S

Spelling change - - -


For next time try
For next time, try:

fingernails

maladjusted

James

incomprehensibility


Open classes
Open classes

Open (usually "content" words)

Open to the addition of new items (the “dollar” words):

Nouns fax(es)

Verbs fax(ed)

Adjectives fax(able)

Adverbs ?fax(ly?)


Closed classes
Closed classes

Closed (usually "function" words)

Pronouns she, they, I, you

Conjunctions and, or, but, |

Determiners the, a, some

Prepositions in, by, from, to


Problematic morphemes
Problematic morphemes

cran-berry luke-warm

re-ceive re-mit

per-ceive per-mit

con-ceive com-mit

de-ceive

Bound roots?


Potential problems in morphemic analysis
Potential problems in morphemic analysis

PROBLEM 1:

Distinguishing parts of words that look like morphemes from actual morphemes

Clues:

separable meaning

meaning adds to the conglomerate meaning of the whole item


Issues in segmentation
Issues in segmentation

E.g.: hippopotamus

not: hippo + pot + amus (or hip + po)

note that hippo is a clipping of the whole word, not a separate morpheme

but: one morph (maybe two, considering hippopotam-i)


Another mis segmentation problem
Another mis-segmentation problem

e.g., standards

standard + s

not stand + ard + s


Problem 2 distinguishing homomorphs
Problem #2: distinguishing homomorphs

plural of ox: ox+en

NOT the same as the past tense of

take, take+en

un-reliable

not the same as understand, nor un+tie


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