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Morphology, Part 1. September 24, 2012. For Starters. The “Turing Test” Conceived by the English mathematician/philosopher Alan Turing (1912-1954). Turing developed much of the theoretical groundwork for modern-day computing machines.

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morphology part 1
Morphology, Part 1

September 24, 2012

for starters
For Starters
  • The “Turing Test”
  • Conceived by the English mathematician/philosopher Alan Turing (1912-1954).
  • Turing developed much of the theoretical groundwork for modern-day computing machines.
  • He also worked on cracking enemy codes during World War II.
  • The Turing Test: don’t ask whether or not a machine can “think”; ask whether or not it can fool someone into thinking it’s human in a natural language conversation.
  • Check out ELIZA: http://psych.fullerton.edu/mbirnbaum/psych101/Eliza.htm
another explanation
Another Explanation
  • Pronoun Types:
  • SubjectiveObjectiveReflexive
  • She Her Herself
  • He Him Himself
  • etc.
  • If the subject and object of a sentence both refer to the same person/thing, the object pronoun must be reflexive.
  • Ex: I like myself.
  • Compare:
    • She sees herself (in the mirror).
    • vs. She sees her (in the mirror).
another explanation1
Another Explanation
  • The main verb in each sentence determines the subject of the verb “like”:
  • For “appear”, the subject of “like” is the subject of the main clause.
    • Jen appeared to Mary to like herself.
    • Jen appeared to Mary to like her.
  • For “appeal”, the subject of “like” is the object of the main clause.
    • Jen appealed to Mary to like herself.
    • Jen appealed to Mary to like her.
half of the story
Half of the Story
  • First: a Simpsons-based Quick Write
  • Second: remember what we learned last time…
  • Human beings can be creative with language because:
    • We know the rules for putting sounds and words together to form sentences.
  • Patterns (Sentence = Noun + Verb)
  • Patterns of Patterns (Recursive sentences)
  • These rules = the grammar of the language we know.
  • Q: What else do we need to know to be a competent speaker of a language?
the rest of the story
The Rest of the Story
  • We need to know what units can be put together by the rules of grammar.
    • Including: the units of a sentence
    • color, green, idea, sleep, furious, brown, dog, odor, bark, angry, large, lizard...
  • These units = the lexicon of the language we know
    • From Ancient Greek: lexikon “dictionary”
    • lexis = “word”
  • Remember: language is discrete.
slide9

Knowledge of Language

Lexicon

UNITS

ragamuffin (N)

rotund (Adj)

rutabaga (N)

etc.

Grammar

RULES

1) Sentence = Noun + Verb

etc.

what s in the lexicon
What’s in the Lexicon?
  • Generally speaking, the lexicon contains:
    • all the words in the language you know
    • the building blocks of grammatical sentences
  • Note, however:
    • not only do lexical items differ from language to language: (tree, Baum, arbre)
    • …but one person’s lexicon might be different from another’s
  • It also happens to be a bit tricky to define exactly what a “word” is…
words words words
Words, words, words
  • Here’s a working definition--words are the smallest free form elements of language:
    • They do not have to occur in a fixed position with respect to their neighbors.
  • Example words:
    • bird cycle talk happy
    • birds recycle talked happiness
  • Example “non-words”:
    • “-s” “re-” “-ed” “-ness”
  • The “non-words” cannot stand on their own--
    • They have to be attached to something else.
morphemes
Morphemes
  • Words consist of one or more morphemes.
  • Morphemes
    • = the smallest meaningful unit of speech
    • = a string of sound(s) that carries some information about meaning or function.
  • An example (non-word) morpheme: [-s] = plural marker
  • Note the pattern:
    • bird birds
    • dog dogs
    • cat cats
    • cow cows ...etc.
plural formation
Plural Formation
  • Plural nouns in English are formed by rule:
    • Singular noun + [-s]  Plural noun
  • So: plural nouns contain two morphemes:
    • the singular noun (e.g., “bird”)
    • the plural marker (e.g., “s”)
  • The rule for putting them together is a word-formation rule.
  • Q: Are “bird” and “birds” two different words?
    • Do we need two different entries for them in the lexicon?
language model version 2 0
Language Model, version 2.0

Grammar

RULES

Lexicon

MORPHEMES

[bird]

[-s]

Word-formation rules

Singular N+ /-s/  Plural N

morpheme types
Morpheme Types
  • Free morpheme: a morpheme that can stand on its own
    • bird toast
    • cycle happy
  • Bound morpheme: a morpheme that must attach to another morpheme
    • -s -er
    • re- -ness
  • Another distinction:
    • simple words contain only one morpheme
    • complex words contain more than one morpheme
simple and complex
Simple and Complex

simple

complex

language model version 3 0
Language Model, version 3.0

Grammar

RULES

Lexicon

MORPHEMES

[-s] [bird]

[re-] [cycle]

Bound Free

Word-formation rules

Singular N+ /-s/  Plural N

roots and affixes
Roots and Affixes
  • Bound morphemes are also known as affixes
  • Affixes attach to roots in word-formation rules
  • Ex. 1: “birds”
    • root = [bird] + affix = [-s]
  • Ex. 2: “recycle”
    • affix = [re-] + root = [cycle]
  • Affixes which precede the root are known as prefixes
  • Affixes which follow the root are known as suffixes
infixes
Infixes
  • When affixes are inserted into the middle of a root, they are known as infixes.
  • Bontoc (Phillippines):
  • fikas “strong” fumikas “to be strong”
  • kilad “red” kumilad “to be red”
  • fusul “enemy” fumusul “to be an enemy”
  • Can this sort of thing happen in English?
  • Abso-freakin’-lutely!
    • (but it’s not particularly common)
circumfixes
Circumfixes
  • In some languages, there are even circumfixes.
    • Circumfixes attach both before and after the root.
  • Chokma (Oklahoma)
  • chokma “he is good” ikchokmo “he isn’t good”
  • lakna “it is yellow” iklakno “it isn’t yellow”
  • palli “it is hot” ikpallo “it isn’t hot”
  • German
  • lieb- “love” (root) geliebt “loved”
  • frag- “ask” (root) gefragt “asked”
hand in hand
Hand in Hand
  • Note: affixes are always bound morphemes.
  • In English, roots tend to be free morphemes.
  • However, this is not always the case--
  • For instance: blueberry, blackberry…
    • but: cranberry, huckleberry, raspberry.
  • What do [cran-], [huckle-] and [rasp-] mean?
  • Bound roots in English are called cranberry morphemes
    • (technical term)
cranberry morphemes
Cranberry Morphemes
  • Cranberry morphemes are bound root morphemes.
    • They have no independent meaning.
    • They also have no parts of speech
  • Some deceiving examples:
  • perceive, receive, deceive
    • -ceive?
  • infer, refer, defer
    • -fer?
  • commit, permit, submit
    • -mit?
  • Also: the liberation of cran?
conjugation
Conjugation
  • In many languages verbs are conjugated by adding affixes specifying person and number to a bound root form.
  • Italian: parlare “to speak”
  • SingularPlural
  • 1st Io parlo “I speak” Noi parliamo “We speak”
  • 2nd Tu parli “You speak” Voi parlate “Y’all speak”
  • 3rd Lui parla “He speaks” Loro parlano “They speak”
  • Lei parla “She speaks”
  • Note: the root form /parl-/ never appears on its own, without an ending.
bases or stems
Bases (or Stems)
  • Once an affix has attached to a root morpheme, it forms a base…
    • to which other affixes may attach.
  • Example:
    • boy (root) + -ish (suffix) = boyish
  • Round two:
    • boyish (base) + -ness (suffix) = boyishness
  • Another example: black (root) + -en = blacken
  • Round two: blacken (base) + -ed = blackened
  • In some linguistic circles, bases are called stems.
lexical categories
Lexical Categories
  • Important: we know that word-building takes place in stages because specific affixes are particular about what kinds of words they can attach to.
  • A quick and dirty review of lexical categories (parts of speech):
  • Nouns
    • semantically = people, places, things
    • dog, cat, bike, person, planet, ball, etc.
  • Verbs
    • semantically = actions, sensations, states
    • run, kick, scratch, scream, bite, walk, be, have, etc.
lexical categories reviewed
Lexical Categories, reviewed
  • 3. Adjectives
    • semantically = properties or qualities
    • happy, sad, angry, funny, clear, fuzzy, ugly, etc.

4. Prepositions

    • semantically = spatial relationships (pre + position)
    • to, for, of, with, out, in, above, below, etc.
  • 5. Adverbs
    • semantically = properties or qualities of verbs and adjectives
    • often, seldom, rarely, purely, frequently, etc.
  • We’ll talk about these again when we get to syntax…
quiz time
Quiz Time
  • Which affixes are being attached in the following sets of words?
  • Which lexical categories do those affixes attach to?
  • Which lexical categories are formed by adding the affix?
  • uncertain, unhappy, untrue
  • exactly, profoundly, deeply
  • moralize, vandalize, sermonize
  • deconstruct, decode, derail