ia901 2012 session three n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
IA901 2012 Session Three PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
IA901 2012 Session Three

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 48

IA901 2012 Session Three - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

IA901 2012 Session Three. Neologisms and word class Morphology : the study of word structure Morphology and phonology. A word about your assignment. TUTORIALS Please email me to book a tutorial when you have chosen an essay question (but don’t rush your essay choice).

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'IA901 2012 Session Three' - ranit

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
ia901 2012 session three

IA901 2012 Session Three

  • Neologisms and word class
  • Morphology : the study of word structure
  • Morphology and phonology


  • Please email me to book a tutorial when you have chosen an essay question (but don’t rush your essay choice).
  • Feel free to book a tutorial if you are having difficulty choosing a question.
  • I will happy to continue to respond to questions by email and see you for tutorials, but the support that I can offer will be constrained by time. I can’t be particularly helpful if you send me questions on the 2nd of December!
a word about reading

A word about reading

When reading texts on this module, ask yourself:

  • is it useful to me as a teacher?
  • is it useful to me as a postgraduate student?
a word about reading1

A word about reading

Discuss what you read!

a word about reading2

A word about reading

Which parts of the chapter on Morphology are most relevant to you as a teacher?



  • Morphology and word class
introduction to morphology

Introduction to Morphology

  • What is a word?
  • What is a morpheme?
  • What is morphology?




In 90 seconds, list as many words as you can think of which contain the three letters C-A-T together.

Now tick the words on your list that are related in meaning to


From Collins Cobuild Essential English Dictionary (1998):







And what about: catlike, catfish, catnap, catnip, catwalk

Or: cat’s eyes, cat food, catkin, cat-o-nine-tails

Or even: a game of cat and mouse


How can we define a word?

Do the hyphens in cat-o-nine-tails make it just one word?

Some people might write “cat food” as two words, some as one? Who’s right?

In spoken English, in the statement “we’ve run out of cat food”, will we hear a boundary between “cat” and “food”? What about when “cat food” appears in an exchange like “No, not dog food. I need cat food!”? Should this affect its status?

Would it help a learner to think of “a game of cat and mouse” as one word?


Are the following terms helpful in our quest to define a word?

  • orthographic
  • phonological
  • lexeme / lexical item
  • listeme
  • grammatical word
  • What do you understand by each of these terms?
  • Did anyone use the term “morpheme” to help explain any of the above?

What do you think of Katamba’s definition of a word as “the smallest unit that syntax manipulates”?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

That a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife is a universally acknowledged truth.

It is a truth lysaluniverseacdknowledge, that a single man in possioness of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

It is a truth d universe acknowledge al, that a single man in ion possess of a good fortune must be in ly want of a wife.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice



  • a) Morphemes are smaller units than words.
  • b) Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning in written English.
  • Which definition seems more useful to you?


  • A MORPHEME is “that part of a word which is endowed with psychological autonomy and is for the very same reason not further divisible”
  • (in Aronoff, M. 1994. Morphology by itself: Stems and Inflectional Classes. MIT Press)


Morphemes can be FREE or BOUND

CATS – 2 morphemes (morphs)

cat = FREE s = BOUND



Here’s something interesting (maybe):

fox, dog, sheep – 3 FREE MORPHEMES

But consider the plural forms:

2 foxes, 2 dogs, 2 sheep

-es and -s in foxes and dogs are BOUND MORPHEMES. They both denote that these are plural nouns. –es and –s are therefore ALLOMORPHS.

Is it helpful to think of the plural form of SHEEP having a ZERO MORPH?



  • So far, we’ve seen that cat, dog, sheep, and fox are all LEXICAL MORPHEMES. –s and –es are FUNCTIONAL MORPHEMES
  • sheep dogs
  • sheepdogsheepdogssheepish
  • Now we see DERIVATION in action. Here, word-formation is changing meaning or class:
  • sheep to sheepdog changes meaning
  • the affix –ish changes word class
  • the affix –s in sheepdogs is functional
  • The affixation of -s to dog and sheepdog exemplify INFLECTION.


-s and –es have SIMPLE EXPONENCE at the end of nouns. The morph realises a single morpho-syntactic feature (plural)

But consider the following:

-s in The fox wants to eat the sheep. The dog wants to protect the sheep. The sheep wants everyone to leave it alone.

What features are realised by –s in this examples?

The –s has CUMULATIVE EXPONENCE. It realises THREE features…what are they?

(third person, present tense, singular)


What allomorphs are used in English to make nouns plural?



internal change (apophony)

























How are the mophs –s and –es pronounced?


In English verbs, what are the roles of the morph –ed?

  • -ed has four roles. It forms:
  • - the past tense
  • - the perfect participle
  • - the passive participle
  • - verbal adjectives
  • But how many different ways is –ed pronounced?

Affixes and word stress

  • Where’s the stress in semi-circle, personality, refugee, mountaineer, Portuguese, cigarette, picturesque?
  • Where’s the stress in unpleasant, marketing, comfortable, anchorage, refusal, widen, wonderful, birdlike, powerless, hurriedly, punishment, happiness, poisonous, glorify, otherwise, funny, childish?
  • Where’s the stress in magnet and magnetic, advantage and advantageous, photograph and photography, proverb and proverbial, climate and climatic, perfect and perfection, injury and injurious, tranquil and tranquillity, reflex and reflexive?

Scott Thornbury (2005) Unovering Grammar : How to Help Grammar Emerge. MacMillan, p.18

One researcher, for example, found that learners pass through a stage when they tend to attach the ending –ing to action verbs, irrespective of tense. They seem to be using –ingsimply to mark the presence of a verb: I going work by bus; I eating every day Burger King, etc. Clumsy as this may seem, it marks an important step from using purely lexical means to using more grammatical ones. At first the -ingending is applied indiscriminately to all verbs. But over time, the learners in the study started to restrict the use of –ing to certain contexts, and mainly as a marker of ‘pastness’: Yesterday I no working. Other favoured contexts for –ing were in subordinate clauses (He the man who I talking him) and verbal complements, ie constructions where one verb follows another, egI want working and I can doing any job.

Why –ing? The researcher hypothesized that, of all the possible word endings in English, -ingis the most easily identified: it is a whole syllable and it is phonetically simple and regular. As grammaring processes start to emerge, -ing is a convenient tool for flagging ‘verbiness’, or, more specifically, ‘action’. At first, all verbs are flagged. Then the learner starts to discriminate between varying degrees of distance: present and past. The later use of –ing in the more relatively specialised contexts of pastness, subordinate clauses and verbal complements suggests learners are aware of the more grammaticized nature of these contexts and nee dto flag them accordingly. Not yet aware of how these specialized meanings are signalled, they use the all purpose –ing, as if to say “here be grammar”.



In morphology, we can work out the meaning of words we haven’t met before. However, we need to be careful. What’s the meaning of the following words:

- Seeker, writer, driver, cooker, looker?

Noncompositional words are therefore problematic. Consider the unfortunate wording of this sign in a Chinese hotel:

  • The lift is being fixed for next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.


Because conversion is common in English (nouns become verbs and vice versa), syntactic make-up may not reflect syntactic category, e.g. hoover, upmarket


Below are examples from essays by international students in response to a question about the differences between choosing a subject for undergraduate study, and choosing a subject for postgraduate study:

  • An interest subject give them more power to improve themselves.
  • Some of us think “no interest, no power”, which means they can’t study hard in a no-interesting major.
  • Some people have responsibilities to socialty.
  • It may not be too much to say that postgraduate students’ purposes are job.
  • A lot of prospective undergraduate students may tend to be based on their own interests to think about their studying fields.
  • The following example will be clear this.
  • That is a common phenomena for the Chinese student, when they are in an importanttimepoint in their life.
  • A subject field for undergraduate study provides easily opportunities for people to get well-paid jobs.
  • For the postgraduate students, no thing can’t more important than their interesting for the subject.
  • Some parents believe that if their relatives have a well-educated and a good career job, they probably want to this case for their children.
  • To what extent can analysis of morphological features of English help these students?

For Pinker, there is no correct answer – “how people pluralize an expression depends on how they tacitly analyse it: as a word or as a phrase”


How can we classify the morphemes from which these words are formed? How helpful is this classification?

next week corpora

Next week : Corpora

  • Neologisms and word class
  • Morphology : the study of word structure
  • Morphology and phonology