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LIN 1310

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  1. LIN 1310 TOPIC 3 MORPHOLOGY

  2. MORPHOLOGY • Morphology is the study of the structure of words • Many words can be divided into meaningful subparts • These subparts are not necessarily words by themselves

  3. MORPHOLOGY • For example, ‘friend’ can become: ‘friendly’ ‘unfriendly’ ‘friendliness’ ‘friendship’ ‘friendless’ ‘friendlessness’ ‘befriend’ ‘befriended’ ‘user-friendly’ ‘friends’

  4. MORPHOLOGY • The sequences in blue added to the root ‘friend’ occur in lots of other words, where they have a similar meaning and/or function • For example: ‘likely’ ‘unlikely’ ‘loneliness’ ‘comradeship’ ‘luckless’ ‘lucklessness’ ‘bewitch’ ‘bewitched’

  5. MORPHOLOGY • Another example of a recurring sequence with more or less the same meaning are the following ‘phon’ words • phone phonologist allophone phonetic phonological telephone phonetician phonic telephonic phonetics phoneme euphonious phonology phonemic • ‘Phon’ seems to refer in some manner to speech

  6. Other parts of ‘phon’ words are found in other words telephone - telegraph - phonetics – cybernetics Note also -ing in going, seeing, eating mem- in memory, memorize, memorial, remember un- in unfamiliar, unclear, unrepentant, undue -s in dogs, cats, chairs, telephones, pens, shoes

  7. Notice that un- occurs at the beginning of the words and -ing occurs at the end English does not permit such forms as *ingeat *nesshappy *happyun *groupre *orizemem *sdog Thus, there appear to be rules governing the formation of words These rules make up the morphology of the language The subparts of words are called morphemes

  8. FACTS ABOUT MORPHEMES • Morphemes are minimal units of meaning or grammatical form in a language • Morphemes are not necessarily words on their own • Some words do consist of a single morpheme • These are monomorphemic or simple words (e.g. ‘dog’, ‘banana’) • Some words consist of more than one morpheme • These are polymorphemic words or complex • (e.g. ‘dogs’ = 2 morphemes, • ‘unhappiness’ = 3 morphemes)

  9. FACTS ABOUT MORPHEMES • Morphemes are not equivalent to syllables There are: one syllable morphemes (e.g. ‘dog’, ‘play’, ‘eat’) two syllable morphemes (e.g. ‘onion’, ‘table’) several syllable morphemes (e.g. ‘banana’) A morpheme may even consist of: a single sound segment e.g. plural ‘s’ in ‘hats’, ‘coats’, ‘cats’ and past tense ‘d’ in ‘played’, ‘dyed’, ‘dried’

  10. FACTS ABOUT MORPHEMES • A morpheme is a recurring sequence of segments with a constant meaning and/or function • Identify which of the following words contain the morpheme ‘un’ that reverses the meaning of many adjectives and verbs such as ‘undesirable’ or ‘undo’ • ‘blunder’ • ‘run’ • ‘under’ • ‘unhappy’ • ‘unsure’

  11. FACTS ABOUT MORPHEMES • A morpheme may have more than one pronunciation. allomorphs: alternative pronunciations of a morpheme EXAMPLES: The plural morpheme ‘s’ in English has three alternative pronunciations or allomorphs: [s] [z] [z] The definite article is pronounced either ‘a’ or ‘an’.

  12. Allomorphs • Allomorphs are alternative pronunciations of a morpheme. • Spelling is irrelevant. Allomorphs can share the same spelling, but still be pronounced differently. The three allomorphs of the English plural [ s ] [ z ] [əz ] are all written using an ‘s’, yet two of them are pronounced with ‘z’.

  13. Spelling Variants A morpheme can have two or more spellings in English. If the pronunciation remains the same, these are not considered allomorphs of one another. They are simply spelling variants of the same one morpheme. For example: hide and hid from ‘hiding’ are spelling variants of the same morpheme.

  14. CATEGORIES OF MORPHEMES • Distributionally, morphemes are of two general types: Free or Bound Morphemes Free morphemes • free morphemes can stand alone as simple words Example: ‘dog’, ‘house’, ‘run’, ‘banana’, ‘table’, ‘it’, ‘on’ • English has many free morphemes • some languages have very few free morphemes

  15. CATEGORIES OF MORPHEMES Bound morphemes • bound morphemes cannot stand alone as words • they must be attached to at least one other morpheme before they can occur in an actual utterance • Examples: -English plural ‘s’ and -past tense ‘ed’ • Languages differ from one another in what concepts they encode as free or bound.

  16. Bound or Free? • English marks the past tense of regular verbs with the bound morpheme ‘ed’ as in ‘they wait’ (present) ‘they waited’ (past) • Thai marks the past tense with a free morpheme ‘lЄЄw’ : • Boon thaan khaaw lЄЄw • Boon eat ricepast • ‘Boon ate rice’

  17. CATEGORIES OF MORPHEMES Affixes and Roots • as parts of words, morphemes can be affixes or roots • Roots serve as the core of words • Roots provide the primary meaning of words • Affixes are added to roots (or bases) and modify the meaning and/or function of a root

  18. Roots and Bases • The terms root and base are sometimes used interchangeably • However, their meanings are somewhat different. • Base refers to a form that an affix is added to. • Of course affixes can be added to roots. In such cases the root and the base are the same. • Affixes can also be added to a unit larger than a root. • Thus a base may also consist of a root plus another affix or affixes.

  19. Roots and Bases • In the word ‘lawful’, ‘law’ is both the root of the word and the base to which the affix ‘ful’ is attached. • We can diagram the structure of this word using a tree structure as follows:

  20. ‘law’ as base and root for ‘lawful’ A • N Af • law ful

  21. Roots and Bases • When we create the word ‘unlawful’ from ‘lawful’, the root is still ‘law’ • ‘law’ is still the base that we added ‘ful’ to • ‘lawful’ now serves as the base to which we add ‘un’ • This is depicted in the following tree diagram

  22. ‘lawful’ as base for ‘unlawful’ • A • A • Af N Af • un law ful

  23. Labeling word trees • Note that we label the nodes in tree diagrams according to the parts of speech of the root and the new words created by adding affixes to the root. • Thus ‘law’ is N for noun • ‘lawful’ is A for adjective • ‘unlawful’ is A for adjective

  24. unlawful • In the word ‘unlawful’, the root law provides the core meaning of the word. • ‘ful’ is an affix that changes ‘law’ from a noun to an adjective • ‘un’ is an affix which reverses the meaning of ‘lawful’ • This gives us a hint as to the function of some types of affixes.

  25. Consider the following when drawing a tree diagramming ‘blackened’: • What is the root? • What part of speech is the root? • What affix is added to the root? • What word does this yield? • What is its part of speech? • Does it serve as the base for another affix? • What is the part of speech of the word resulting from the addition of this other affix?

  26. blackened • The adjective ‘black’ is the root (and base) to which we add the suffix ‘en’ • ‘black + en’ is a verb. • The verb ‘blacken’ is the base to which we add the suffix ‘ed’. • ‘blackened’ is still a verb, as the suffix ‘ed’ does not change the part of speech of the base.

  27. Roots, bases and affixes • V • V • A Af Af • black -en -ed

  28. AFFIXES • Positionally, there are four types of affixes: 1.Prefixes 2. Suffixes 3. Infixes (and Trilateral Roots) 4. Circumfixes 1. Prefixes are added before the root, as in ‘redo’ 2. Suffixes are added after the root, as in ‘reader’

  29. Load on the affixes • In many languages, a word can have more than one prefix or suffix. • English example: ‘helplessness’ • Noun (N) base/root‘help’ + suffix‘less’ to yield the adjective ‘helpless’ • ‘helpless’ serves as the base for the suffix‘ness’ to yield the noun (N) ‘helplessness’

  30. 3. Infixes • Infixes are inserted into the body of the root • English does not have infixes • Below are some examples of infixes in Bontoc, a language spoken in the Philippines

  31. Infixes – Trilateral Roots • Trilateral roots consist of three consonants to which other elements, mostly vowels, are added or infixed • Trilateral roots are found in several Semitic languages, including Arabic • Example: Arabic root /k t b/ [ jiktib ] ‘he writes’ [ katab ] ‘he wrote’

  32. Tiers • The word structure of languages with trilateral roots are sometimes depicted in terms of tiers, rather than with tree diagrams.

  33. Tiers Af k a t a b root (‘write’)

  34. 4. Circumfixes • Circumfixes or discontinuous morphemes are added both before and after the root • Below are some examples of circumfixes in Chickasaw, a Muskogean language

  35. CIRCUMFIXES German also has circumfixes or discontinuous morphemes lieb ‘love’ verb root geliebt ‘loved’ or ‘be loved’

  36. CATEGORIES OF MORPHEMES • All affixes are, by definition, bound • That is, they always occur attached to another morpheme • In many languages, most of the roots are bound as well • That is, the grammar requires attaching some type of affix to them before they can be uttered as grammatical words • In English, most roots are also free morphemes or stand-alone words • English has a word-based morphology

  37. BOUND ROOTS IN ENGLISH • There are a few so-called bound roots in English They include: ‘ceive’ as in ‘deceive’, ‘receive’, ‘conceive’, ‘perceive’ ‘tract’ as in ‘retract’, ‘detract’, ‘contract’ ‘cest’ as in ‘incest’ ‘pris’ as in ‘reprisal’, ‘enterprise’ ‘gust’ as in ‘disgust’, ‘gustatory’ ‘gusto’

  38. BOUND ROOTS IN ENGLISH or MONOMORPHEMIC WORDS? • In every case, these so-called bound roots are attached to recognizable English affixes • This leads SOME to the conclusion that they are indeed roots • Other linguists consider words such as ‘receive’ to be monomorphemic.

  39. Oddball roots or monomorphemic words? • Consider that the meanings of all of the ‘bound’ roots in English are somewhat opaque or unclear to us today • Some of these words were borrowed ‘whole’ from Latin or Greek • Some roots, such as ‘kempt’ which forms the base in ‘unkempt’, have simply been lost.

  40. Oddball roots or monomorphemic words? • But the ‘ceive’ words are special. • For example, they have unique ‘cept’ allomorphs as in: • ‘receive’ ‘reception’ • ‘deceive’ ‘deception’ • So the jury is still out on this issue.

  41. BOUND ROOTS CAN REBOUND • Note the ambiguous status of the English bound root ‘cran’ • This first morpheme in the compound word ‘cranberry’ has recently been used to form a number of new words including ‘cranapple’ and ‘cranraspberry’ • So, is ‘cran’ bound or free? • (A compound word is made up of two or more roots.)

  42. FUNCTIONS OF AFFIXES • Affixes fulfill two main functions in virtually all languages • They are either derivational or inflectional

  43. Derivational - Inflectional • Derivational affixes form words that differ from the base in meaning and/or function. • Example: ‘un’ reverses the meaning of ‘happy’ • Inflectional affixes function to indicate syntactic or semantic relations between words in sentences • Example: they may indicate agreements between subject and verb : he eats or noun and adjective : la chica es pequeña ‘the girl is small’

  44. INFLECTIONAL AFFIXES • Each language has obligatory grammatical occasions that must be marked by an appropriate inflection • The following English and French examples are ungrammatical because they are missing inflections

  45. * The girl wait at the station yesterday. The girl waited at the station yesterday. * The girl wait at the station every day. The girl waits at the station every day. * Nous mange du chocolat. Nous mangeons du chocolat. * My dog is big than your dog. My dog is bigger than your dog.

  46. Languages may inflect for: gender: male, female or neuter noun class or numeral classifiers number: one, more than one or one, two (or dual), more than two person case tense animacy truth versus hearsay definiteness versus indefiniteness habitualness comparative etc…

  47. INFLECTION • Old English had a dual inflection for two of something • Below are some examples of Old English pronouns

  48. CASE • Case indicates the role of the noun (subject, direct object, etc.) in a sentence • Below are some examples of Latin noun case inflections

  49. CASE • Below are some examples of Old English noun case inflections • In Modern English, the only marked inflectional case for nouns is genitive ‘The boy’s truck’

  50. Modern English Case • Modern English pronouns retain some case marking. • For example: • I saw her (object case). • She (subject case) is very tall. • I was impressed by her (genitive case) height.