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Words and their parts Morphology.

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Presentation on theme: "Words and their parts Morphology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Words and their parts Morphology

2 Objectives To introduce key concepts in the study of complex word analysis To provide a description of some of the morphological phenomena To illustrate methods used to derive and support linguistic generalizations about word structure

3 What is a word? The task of any language learner, including young children acquiring their language, is to figure out how to segment and analyze the talking noise around them into meaningful units – namely, words and their meaningful parts Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: “word is the smallest independent unit of language, or one that can be separated from other such units in an utterance”

4 Example: independence of the word tea
A. Which do you like better – cofee or tea? B. Tea.

5 Example Words can enter into grammatical constructions: phrases or sentences: A. Tea is good for you. B. She doesn’t drink tea. C. There are beneficial antioxidants in tea.

6 What is a word? Words are “usually separated by spaces in writing and distinguished phonologically, as by accent” Chinese doesn’t insert spaces between words in writing People who can’t read and speakers of languages without writing systems know what words are in their languages

7 What is a word? Phonology –an important role in identifying the boundaries bewteen words A. They walked past a GREENhouse B. They walked past a green HOUSE

8 What is a word? Examples Is phonology enough to disambiguate a word?
A. Tea’s good for you. B. That shop sells teas from around the world. C. I asked him not to tease the cat.

9 What is a word? Webster: words are “typically thought of as representing an indivisible concept, action, or feeling, or as having a single referent” Tease – different referent than teas Teas: -s – not an independent word – must be attached directly to an independent word whose basic meaning it is modifying (plural) Teas is one word, the –s ending contributes some additional information to its meaning

10 What is a word? Word – meaning, grammar, phonology
Word – the smallest grammatically independent unit of language Signs – arbitrary (e.g. water, acqua, eau, voda, Wasser, mizu (Jap.)

11 What is a word? The words of one’s language make up its lexicon
Lexicon – a kind of mental dictionary where words are stored

12 What is a word? Each word: several kinds of information (e.g. sleep)
How it is pronounced /sli:p/ What it means Grammatical contexts in which the word can be used: sleep – intransitive verb; can be found in compound words (e.g. sleepwalking and in idioms e.g. let sleeping dogs lie) Irregular: sleep/slept

13 What is a word? New words – continutally added
Meanings might change over time

14 What is a word? Study of word formation - not as much about the study of existing, listed dictionary words but the study of possible words in one’s language and the mental rules for constructing and understanding them Not all words are listed in the lexicon because the number of possible words is infinite Assignment: find new words in a magazine you have read recently

15 Morphology The branch of linguistics that studies the relation between meaning and form, within words and between words Morphologists describe the constituent parts of words, what they mean and how they may (and may not) be combined in the world’s languages The pairing of meaning with a form applies to whole words, like sleep, as well as to parts of words like the ‘past’ meaning associated with the ending -ed

16 Morphology Morphology applies within words (cat > cats) but it also applies across words, as when we alter the form of one word so that some part of it matches, or agrees with, some feature of another word: A. That cat sleeps all day. B. Those cats sleep all day.

17 Morphology All languages need a way to signal grammatical roles such as subject and direct object A. Brutus killed Caesar B. Caesar killed Brutus Lat. Brutus Caesarem occidit. Caesarem occidit Brutus Occidit Caesarem Brutus.

18 Morphemes Morphemes – the smallest units of language that combine both a form and a meaning Words – made up of morphemes Simple words – single morpheme (cat) Complex words – two or more morphemes (cats; unfriendly)

19 Morphemes Lexical (content words, open-class words)
Grammatical (function words, closed-class words)

20 Lexical morphemes (lexemes)
Lexical m. (lexemes): refer to things, qualities and actions Nouns (N), verbs (V), adjectives (A) Simple lexemes may serve as the root of more complex words

21 Grammatical morphemes
The glue that holds the lexemes in a sentence together, shows their relations to each other, and also helps identify referents within a particular conversational context E.g. Their maniacal little dog attempted to bite the mailman.

22 Morphemes Both lexemes and grammatical morphemes can be either free or bound Bound morphemes must be attached either to a root or another morpheme (-ed, -s; -al); free morphemes can stand alone (dog, bite)

23 Morphemes A morpheme performing a particular grammatical function may be free in one language and bound in another (e.g. English infinitive marker to (to win) – a free m.; French gagner: gagn- + -er)

24 Can you identify the morphemes?
The musicians reconsidered their director’s unusual proposal.

25 The forms of morphemes Sometimes the form of a morpheme systematically varies under certain conditions One of the most common factors influencing the forms morphemes take – phonology, or some aspect of the local phonological environment -s; peas, puffs, peaches 3 possible forms of the plural suffix for regular nouns in English; these variants are in complementary distribution and are called allomorphs

26 The forms of morphemes Allomorphy – may be conditioned by factors other than phonology Many languages - different verb classes which condition the form of affixes Italian: lavorare, scrivere, dormire . 3 different conjugation classes (lavoro, scrivo, dormo; lavorate scrivete dormite)

27 The forms of morphemes Semantic factors may play a role in determining how morphemes can be realized Prefix un- can attach to adjectives in the first column but not the second Unwell unill Unloved unhated Unhappy unsad Unwise unfoolish Unclean undirty

28 The forms of morphemes In a pair of words representing opposite poles of a semantic contrast (happy, sad) the positive value is usually the unmarked (or more neutral or normal quality), from which the more marked negative value can be derived by adding the affix un- Lexemes already containing the negative value often cannot take a negative affix

29 Neologisms: how are new words created?
Acronyms: AIDS < acquired immunity deficiency syndrome Alphabetic abbreviations: CD< compact disk Clippings: prof < professor Blends: camcorder < camera + recorder Generified words: xerox (<the name of the corporation that produces photocopying machines) Proper nouns (guillotine – named after its inventor, Dr. Joseph Guillotin)

30 Neologisms: how are new words created?
Borrowings: Direct (avocado – Aztec word) Borrowings: Indirect (grattacielo<skyscraper) Changing the meaning of words

31 Changing the meaning of words
Change in part of speech (people (N) > to people an island (V) Semantic extension (ship used for space vehicles; to digest an idea – one realm (ideas) described in terms of words from another realm (food) Semantic restriction (Narrowing) (meat = solid food) Semantic drift (lady<hlaf+dighe ‘kneader of bread’ Reversal of meaning (bad = ‘very good’ in Am. slang; terrific)

32 Some morphological operations in world’s languages
Affixation Reduplication Root change Suprasegmental change

33 Affixation The addition of a discrete morpheme either before, after, inside of, or around a root or another affix Most languages use some kind of affixing to indicate grammatical information about a word or its relation to other words Any form an affix attaches to - a base (or a stem) Affixes which attach to the left, or front, of a base – prefixes The simplest way to build word structure – to add suffixes or prefixes to derive a more complex word (e.g. uninterpretability)

34 Other types of affixation
Infix – an affix that is inserted inside a lexical root (Croatian balati – balavati; prokuhati < prokuhavati) Circumfixing – a two-part or discontinuous morpheme surrounds a root (e.g. past participles in German: ge-kann-t (‘known’): a one-to-one correspondence between a morpheme and a grammatical function

35 Reduplication Copying: sometimes, an entire word is copied, or just part of a word and sometimes part of the root is copied along with a fixed or prespecified morpheme Ilokano (Phillipines): Singpet ‘virtue’ agin-si-singpet ‘pretend to be virtuous’

36 Root change: Ablaut and suppletion
Ablaut – a grammatical change by substituting one vowel for another in a lexical root: fall fell; give gave Suppletion – nearly the entire root appears to have been replaced by a completely different form, leaving only the original root onsets: catch caught Go went - total suppletion – went shares nothing at all with go

37 Tone and stress Some languages use changes in syllable stress to indicate grammatical information Verb Noun con’vict ‘convict per’mit ‘permit

38 Two purposes of morphology: derivation and inflection
Derivational morphology creates new lexemes from existing ones, often with a change in meaning Inflectional morphology adds grammatical information to a lexeme in accordance with the particular syntactic requirements of a language Derivation and inflection often co-occur within the same word (e.g. dehumidifiers: 3 derivational operations and 1 inflectional operation (humid – humidify – dehumidify – dehumidifier – dehumidifiers)

39 Derivation Derivational affixes German: erb-lich (‘hereditary’)
French faibl-esse (‘weakness’) English sing-er Often: a category change: in German, -ung applies to verbs to derive a noun indicating a result (zerstör- ‘destroy’ > Zerstörung ‘destruction’)

40 Derivation Not all affixes can attach to any root: -er can only attach to verbs (to write > writer), -ist attaches also to nouns or adjectives (to type > typist) , -ian attaches only to nouns, especially of Greek origin (politician) Some affixes – very productive (-able: read>readable)) Some occur in only a small number of words and are not productive: -dom (kingdom, wisdom, boredom)

41 The meaning of complex words
readable - well written, good style A bill is payable – doesn’t mean that it can be paid but it must be payed If a theory is questionable, it doesn’t mean that it can be questioned but that it is dubious and suspect Meanings of many complex words – not merely composites of the meanings of their parts (semantic drift)

42 Compounding Concatenation of two or more lexemes to form a new lexeme
English: greenhouse, moonlight, download Identifying element: the head; its meaning and part-of speech category determine that of the entire compound English compounds – right-headed N+N toenail; N+A headstrong A+V blacklist

43 Zero derivation + compounding
Payoff, drawback, breakdown, pullover Since neither lexeme in the compound determines its overall grammatical category or meaning, these compounds are considered unheaded

44 Compounding: writing conventions
Often, the hyphen is used when a compound has been recently created (black-board) When it has gained a certain currency or permanence, spelled without a hyphen (black board) Spelled as one word (blackboard)

45 Inflection Person Gender Case Tense Aspect Mood

46 Person Distinguishes entities referred to in an utterance
1st person: speaker 2nd person: addressee 3rd person: a default category that refers to everything else Person – often combined with number

47 Person Agreement relations (most often S – V agreement)
Languages which distinguish grammatical persons require that a verb agree with its subject’s person feature, and occasionally with that of its object as well Subject-verb agreement helps to indicate which noun in a sentence is “doing” what; valuable in languages with free word order; English: fixed word order – only 1 inflectional agreement marker: 3sg -s

48 Number A grammatical property of nouns
Singular – plural (some languages also dual) Uncountable nouns cannot be pluralized (abstract nouns: carelessness, peace; non-individual material: milk, rice); a mass noun in one language may be countable in another: furniture – meuble/meubles

49 Gender Genus ‘kind, sort’
Gender agreement helps to indicate which adjectives, determiners etc. are associated with a particular noun In languages that mark grammatical gender, every noun is assigned to a class Masculine, feminine, neuter Sometimes: gender indicated on the noun itself: Sp. amigo – amiga; forms of the indefinite article un/una and the adjective americano/a agree with the gender of the noun

50 Gender In Bantu languages: noun classes (humanness, sex, animacy, body parts, size, shape) A noun acquires its gender either on the basis of its meaning or form

51 Case One of the most important functions of morphology is to distinguish the roles played by the various participants in an event Case indicates a noun’s relation to some other element in a clause or phrase Case marking – the relation of the noun to the verb (as its subject, direct or indirect object) or to another noun (possessive or locational relation)

52 Case: examples John gave Mary his sister’s old bicycle.
Gave – related to the giver (John), the gift (bicycle) and the recipient (Mary); two possessive relations: one between John and his sister (his) and between his sister and the bicycle (‘s) In languages that mark case distinctions these relations would be indicated by inflectional morphology Ivan je dao Mariji sestrin stari bicikl.

53 Tense All human languages have ways for locating situations in time –e.g. through the use of lexical expressions (yesterday, today, tomorrow); also: tense used to locate an event or state in relation to a point in time In simple tenses (past, present, future), the reference point is “now”, at the moment of speaking English – 2 tenses: past and non-past

54 Aspect Encodes whether an action is (or was) completed, ongoing, repeated (iterative) or habitual: John is painting the kitchen. John was painting the kitchen. John painted the kitchen.

55 Mood A grammatical category that expresses the speaker’s belief, opinion, or attitude about the content of an utterance Although often morphologically marked on verbs, mood really applies to entire clauses, to indicate whether the speaker thinks a proposition is true, or likely, or doubtful, or is something he wonders about, or hopes or wishes for

56 Mood Indicative - used for making declarative assertions
Interrogative – asking questions Imperative – giving commands Subjunctive – wishes, thoughts, hopes, doubts etc. Conditional – expresses what one would or should do Evidentiality – a degree of certainty or doubt about a proposition based on the kind of evidence available

57 Inflectional morphology
Noun inflectional suffixes Plural marker –s (girl – girls) Possessive marker ‘s (Mary – Mary’s) Verb inflectional suffixes 3rd person present singular marker –s (bake – bakes) Past tense marker –ed (wait – waited) Progressive marker –ing (sing – singing)

58 Inflectional morphology
Adjective inflectional suffixes Comparative marker –er (nicer) Superlative marker –est (the nicest)

59 Inflectional vs. Derivational morphology
Inflectional affixes never change the category of the base morpheme Inflectional suffixes follow derivational suffixes (modernize – modernizes) Derivational suffixes create new base forms (stems) that other derivational or inflectional affixes can attach to Semantic relations: inflectional affixes – the meaning of the morpheme and the meaning of the base + affix is regular (tree – trees); derivational affixes: the relation between the meaning of the base morpheme and the meaning of the base + affix – unpredictable (read – readable) Inflectional suffixes – paradigms (Lat. amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant)

60 Summary Morphology – concerned with the relation between form and meaning The basic unit that combines form and meaning – morpheme Lexemes (N, V, A)– serve as the root for additional morphological operations Grammatical morphemes signal a grammatical function Phonetic forms of morphemes can vary systematically; these variant forms - allomorphs

61 Summary Morphological operations: affixation, reduplication, ablaut, suppletion, compounding Two major functions: derivation and inflection Derivational morphology creates new lexemes from existing ones, with a change in a word’s lexical category or meaning Inflectional morphology adds grammatical information to a lexeme: person, number, gender, case, tense, aspect, mood

62 Key terms Ablaut Affix Agreement Allomorph anaphora Aspect Base Case
Compound derivation

63 Key terms Feature Gender Infix Inflection Lexeme Lexicon Mood Morpheme

64 Key terms Number Paradigm Person Prefix Reduplication Root Stem suffix

65 Key terms Suppletion Tense Word Zero derivation

66 Exercises 1. List three acronyms and state their origin
2. Invent 3 new compounds and state the meaning of each using the following words: Internet Cat Honor child

67 Exercises 3. What part of speech does the suffix –en attach to? What part of speech is the resulting word? In what way does –en change the meaning of the word it is attached to? red redden Black – blacken Mad – madden Soft – soften Sweet – sweeten Wide - widen

68 Exercises 4. What conditions must be true to derive the re- words in list A. What part of speech does it attach to? What is the resulting word? Why can you reshoot a movie but not an animal? A B Redo *rego Rewrite *recry Rework * resleep Recook *resit Rebuild *rechange

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