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Morphology. The wordland. What is morphology ?. the study of the structure and content of word forms the part of linguist ic that deals with the study of words, their internal structure .

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what is morphology
What is morphology?
  • the study of the structure and content of word forms
  • the part of linguisticthat deals with the study of words, their internal structure.
  • It is also interested in how the users of a given language understand complex words and invent new lexical items.
  • It is thesubdiscipline of grammar.
what is lexicon
What is lexicon?
  • A collection of linguisticknowledgethatcannot be capturedbyrules
  • The collection of words--the internalized dictionary--that every speaker of the language has.
  • An understanding of therulesthatgoverntheformation of words
    • Similaritiesanddifferences in thebehavior of words
    • Thefunction of words
by the end of the class you will have the linguistic background to answer the following questions
Bytheend of theclass, youwillhavethelinguistic background toanswerthefollowingquestions:
  • What is morphology?
  • What is a morpheme?
  • How aremorphemesclassified?
  • How arewordsstructured in Turkish?
  • What is an allomorph?

Why is karşılıksızacceptable, but sevgiliksizoutrageous?

  • Whatmakesevdelerdifferentfromevlerde?
  • Why is evdemlerterrible, but dedemlerperfectlyfine?
  • Keywords:
  • Morphology
  • Morpheme
  • Freemorpheme
  • Boundmorpheme
  • Derivationalmorpheme
  • Inflectionalmorpheme
  • Morphemeordering
  • Allomorphy
the structure of words
Thestructure of words




two ways of analysing word structure
Twoways of analysingwordstructure
  • Through syllablestructure
  • Through morphemestructure
the gist here
Thegist here:
  • Simplycodingthesyllables of a word is not reliablewaytocodethemorphemes of thatword.
  • What is a morpheme?
  • What is thecriteriontoidentify a morpheme?
  • Morphemesarethesmallestmeaningfulunitsthatconstructwords in a language.
our examples are constructed in the following way
Ourexamplesareconstructed in thefollowingway:











eg g zc ler
Eg. gözcüler


Göz+ cü+ ler

Stem 1st morph. 2nd morph.

unit of grammaticalfunction

Organ of form NsfromNs not meangözanymore


  • Morphemesmighthavedifferentmeanings, functionsandmorphologicalstanding.
  • Althoughmorphemeandsyllableboundaries of a wordmaysometimesoverlap, lack of correspondencebetweentheseboundaries is common.
  • A singlemorphememay be composed of morethanonesyllable.
  • A singlesyllablemayincludemorethanonemorpheme.
in terms of their morphological stand ng morphemes in g zc can be classified into two groups
Interms of theirmorphologicalstand,ng, morphemes in gözcü can be classifiedintotwogroups
  • Freemorphemes
  • Boundmorphemes



Content morp.Functionalmorp.




Vspronouns, etc.


Affixation: theattachmentprocess of a boundmorphemetoanothermorpheme.

  • Affixes: theattachedboundmorphemes.
  • Roots: wordsthatare not affixed.
  • An overwhelmingnumber of roots in Turkisharemonosyllabic:
  • Morethanonesyllable in a root is alsopermissible:

Stem: the root or roots of a word, together with any derivational affixes, to which inflectional affixes are added.Theyaremorphologicallycomplex.

Eg. Yaş-lıstem





complex words are formed through 3 types of affixation in a language
Complexwordsareformedthrough 3 types of affixation in a language:
  • Suffixes: placedafterstem
  • Prefixes: beforestem
  • Infixes: withinstem
what about affixation in turkish
Whataboutaffixation in Turkish?
  • Sev-gi
  • Sev-gi-li
  • Sev-gi-li-ler


  • Anti-propaganda > propaganda
  • Gayri resmi > resmi
  • Bihaber > haber
  • Postmodern > modern
back to the case of g zc ler
Backtothecase of gözcüler

Göz- cü-ler


contentmorpheme: derived N from a N having a meaningdifferentfromthat of thestem

that is some suffixes can change both the meaning and the syntactic class of the stem
That is, somesuffixes can changeboththemeaningandthesyntacticclass of thestem

Derivation: a process of formingnewwordsbyusingboundmorphemes

Derivationalmorphemes: themorphemeswhichaddtoorchangethemeaning of a stemwordorthesyntacticclass of it.

Eg. Sat-ıcı

-ICI: a derivationalmorphemeformingNsfromNs

what other derivations are possible in turkish
Whatotherderivationsarepossible in Turkish?
  • Table6: examples of derivationalsuffixes
4 types of stems formed through derivation
4 types of stemsformedthroughderivation


Deverbal nominal stems: V > N

Deverbalverbalstems: V > V


Denominal nominal stems: N > N

Denominalverbalstems: N > V

other derivational suffixes in turkish note that some suffixes are more productive than the others
Otherderivationalsuffixes in Turkishnotethatsomesuffixesaremoreproductivethantheothers
  • V>N: Kaz-I, güldür-Ü, kay-AK, sev-ECEN, san-AL, diz-GE
  • V>V: dürt-ÜKLE, şaş-ALA, kaç-IN, ara-ŞTIR,

Considerthesemanticdifferences –(I)ş provides

  • Koşuş-: denotes an unorganisedmanner
  • Bölüş-, kırış-: denotes a sharedact
  • Kokuş-: denotestheintensity of a property of therootverb
other derivational suffixes in turkish note that some suffixes are more productive than the others1
Otherderivationalsuffixes in Turkishnotethatsomesuffixesaremoreproductivethantheothers
  • N>V: tür-E-, kara-R-, şakır-DA, göz-ÜK-, güneş-LEN-, haber-LEŞ-, kir-LET-, su-SA-
  • N>N: ana-Ç, sol-AK, yer-El, kök-En, dört-GEN,

Considersemanticdifferences –lIprovides:

  • Atlı, sevgili, hızlı, akıllı : denotestheattribute of something
  • Üniversiteli, köylü: indicates a personbelongingtoorcomingfrom
  • Üçlü, altılı: indicatesgroupsmade of itemscontainingthatnumber of objects
another productive suffix lik
Anotherproductivesuffix -lIk
  • NsfromNs, adjectivesoradverbstoindicate:
  • İyilik, çabukluk : thestaterelatingto a particularconcept
  • Askerlik, krallık: institutionalisation of theconcept
  • Gözlük, başlık: an objectassociatedwiththe body
  • Kitaplık, odunluk: a storageplace
  • Zeytinlik, mezarlık: a placewheretheentitydenotedbythe N is foundcollectively
  • Analık, evlatlık: a personwhoserelationship is analogoustothebloodrelation

(2) Adjectiveswhichindicate:

  • Dolmalık, elbiselik: suitabilityforthetype of entity
  • Günlük, aylık: periods of time
  • Ellilik: approximateage of a person

(3) Bir kiloluk, üç saatlik: expressweight, length, capacity, value, price.

is the lexicon composed of only free lexical morphemes and derivational bound morphemes
Is thelexiconcomposed of onlyfreelexicalmorphemesandderivationalboundmorphemes?


* Bu sınıf öğrenci hep öğretmen kız.

  • Whichnoun is thesubjectabove?
  • How aretheothernounsandtheverbrelatedto it?
modified sentence with grammatical inflection
  • Bu sınıfta öğrenciler hep öğretmeni kızdırırlar.


temporalstructure of event


Thesemorphemesdid not createnewwords but mark grammaticalrelations: inflectionalmorphemes.

Number, case, tense andagreementmarkersin Turkishareinflectionalmorphemes.

how different characteristics can combine in a single morpheme
How differentcharacteristics can combine in a singlemorpheme?
  • Let’s test «insan-lık» followingthecharttodiscovertype of themorpheme
another test to discover the type of the morpheme
Another test todiscoverthetype of themorpheme
  • Considertheuse of theinfinitive marker –mAk
  • Claim: whateverprecedestheinfinitive marker –mAkshould be considered as thestem; thereforeanything in it as derivational

Eg. Koşuş-tur-du

Theinfinitive form: koş-uş-tur-mak

Whatprecedes –mAk: koş-uş-tur


morpheme ordering

Whyareaandcarepossible but not b?

  • Kalınlaştırılmamışlardanmışmş
  • *Kalıntırlaş
  • kalınlaştırılmamıştanmışmışlar

! ConsideringthatTurkish is an agglunativelanguage, theorder of morphemes in a sentence is fixedandeachmorpheme is used in thepositionspecifiedfor it.

b)Ungrammatical: causative-DIr is usedafter -lAş

if the morphemes are in right order you can produce the followings grammatically
Ifthemorphemesare in rightorder, you can producethefollowingsgrammatically
  • öl-üm-süz-leş-tir-t-tir-il-e-me-yebil-in-en-ler-de-ki-ler-den-mi-ymis-ler-ce-sin-e
  • Gör-üş-tür-ül-e-me-ye de bil-iyor-mu-ydu-nuz?

*kes-ler-im vs kesimler

! Inflectionfollowsderivation as derivationalmorphemesaremorefirmlyattachedthaninflectionalones:

  • Root+Derivation+Inflection
turkish inflectional suffixes
  • nominal inflectionalsuffixes

Thosemarkingnumber, possession, case

Eg: çocuk- lar-ın- a

2. Verbalinflectionalsuffixes


root-voice-negation-tense/aspect/modality-copular marker-person marker-DIr

Eg. Otur-acağ-ım

nominal inflectional suffixes in turkish
Nominal inflectionalsuffixes in Turkish
  • pluralsuffix: -lAr
  • Possessivesuffixes: evim, evin, evi, evimiz, eviniz, evleri
  • Case suffixes:
    • Accusative: saray-ı
    • Dative: masa-(y)a
    • Locative: ev-de
    • Ablative: okul-dan
    • Genetive: çocuğ-un
  • Other nominal inflectionalmarkers:
    • ile (kedimle)
    • -ki (dünkü, odanınki)

Eg. arabanınkiyle

verbal inflectional suffixes in turkish
Verbalinflectionalsuffixes in Turkish
  • Voice suffixes
    • Causative: yap-TIR, piş-İR, çık-AR, çök-ERT
    • Passive: yıka-N, del-İN, yap-IL
    • Reflexive: giy-İN, sar-IN, ört-ÜN
    • Reciprocal: öp-ÜŞ, gör-ÜŞ
  • Negative marker: -ma, git-ME
  • Tense aspectmodalitymarkers:
  • Copular markers: (y)DI, -(y)mIşand –(y)sA (bırakmışTI, hastaYDI, yürümekteYMİŞler, evdeYMİŞler, koşuyorSAk, hevesliYSEk)
  • Personmarkers: (odamdayIM, kaçsaN, çalışıyorUZ)
what if more than one inflectional morpheme are used in a word
Whatifmorethanoneinflectionalmorphemeareused in a word?


  • Kitap
  • Kitap-lık
  • Kitap-lık-lar
  • Kitap-lık-lar-ım
  • Kitap-lık-lar-ım-da

!Theyalsocombine in a predictableorder.

Stem+plural+person+place marker

in the case of verbal inflections
Inthecase of verbalinflections:


  • Boya-dı-m
  • Boya-ma-dı-m
  • Boya-t-tı-m
  • Boya-t-ma-dı-m


(causative) + (negation) + tense + person

each suffix takes the preceding stem as the scope of its semantic and syntactic material
!Eachsuffixtakestheprecedingstem as thescope of itssemanticandsyntacticmaterial
  • Table 7: outerlayers of wordsareformedbyinflectional; innerlayersbyderivationalmorphemes
  • Allomorphs: thevariations of thesamemorpheme.
  • Everymorpheme has predictableallomorphs in complementarydistribuiton, in thatthaycannotappear in thesamephonologicalenvironment (*evlar, *işlar,*okuller, *otoler).


  • [ler] ev-ler, iş-ler, kütük-ler, söz-ler
  • [lar] okul-lar, sınıf-lar, kutu-lar, toz-lar
let s remember



how is the choice between e and a determined
How is thechoicebetween /e/ and /a/ determined?


In (8a), alltheprecedingstemvowelsarefront

In (8b), alltheprecedingstemvowelsarenonfront

! Front vowels + [-ler]

Backvowels + [-lar]

other patterns of distribution for some productive allomorphs in turkish
Otherpatterns of distributionforsomeproductiveallomorphs in Turkish:
  • Themorphememarkingreportedpast /-mIş/
  • Themorphememarkingdefinitepast /-DI/
  • Theagentivemorpheme /-CI/
  • First personagreement marker /-(y)Im/
the morpheme marking reported past mi
Themorphememarkingreportedpast /-mIş/
  • 4 allomorphs – appliestoVs

Conditionedbytheroundingharmony, thehighsuffix /i/

  • Backunroundedvowels + [-mış]
  • Front unroundedvowels + [-miş]
  • Backroundedvowels + [-muş]
  • Front roundedvowels + [-müş]
the morpheme marking definite past di
Themorphememarkingdefinitepast /-DI/
  • 8 allomorphs – appliestoVs


Consonantssharevoicingfeature: voicedcon.+/d/ vsvoicelesscon. + /t/


the agentive morpheme ci
Theagentivemorpheme /-CI/
  • 8 allomorphs – appliedtoNs –meansonemakingorselling N
  • Conditionedbyconsonantharmony in voicingandroundingharmony in bothbacknessandrounding
first person agreement marker y im
First personagreement marker /-(y)Im/
  • 4 allomorphs – marksthesubject of thesentence on predicativenounsandadjectives
  • Conditionedbyroundedharmony.
  • Thebuffer –y is insertedwhenthestemends in a vowel
  • What is morphology?
  • What is a morpheme?
  • How arewordsstructured in Turkish?
  • What is an allomorph?