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Systemic Linguistics: Core Linguistics. words are signs signifier = form = morphology (phonology) signified = meaning = semantics (pragmatics) combination.

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Presentation on theme: "Systemic Linguistics: Core Linguistics. words are signs signifier = form = morphology (phonology) signified = meaning = semantics (pragmatics) combination."— Presentation transcript:

1 Systemic Linguistics: Core Linguistics

2 words are signs signifier = form = morphology (phonology) signified = meaning = semantics (pragmatics) combination of words = sentence structure = syntax

3 Morphology: language types

4 analytic languages signal grammatical relationships by word position in the sentence (= word order) synthetic languages signal grammatical relationships by the shape of the words (=inflectional endings) 1500 years ago, English was much more synthetic than it is today. It has changed into a more analytic language

5 Morphology definition: morphology studies the smallest meaningful units, called 'morphemes' morpheme ≠ phoneme (pit vs. bit) morpheme ≠ word (blueberry, autobus) morpheme ≠ syllable (mo-ther)


7 types of morphemes: a) free morphemes: may occur on their own and are used freely according to the rules of sentence structure, for example 'boy', 'tree', 'church', 'go', 'leave', 'love'. b) bound morphemes (affixes): cannot usually stand alone but are attached to a free morpheme (= 'base'), e.g 're-', '-ed', '- s'.

8 types of bound morphemes: - prefixes (in-, re-) - suffixes (-dom, -ship) - infixes (heim-ge-kommen) - circumfixes (heim-ge-kehr-t)

9 morpheme, morph and allomorph morphemes are ideal abstract units, whereas the corresponding morphs can show some variation morphs are concrete manifestations of a morphome allomorphs are variations of morphemes /z/ in "dogs, beds" /s/ in "cats" /iz/ in "garages"

10 overview of the discipline



13 types of inflection a) declension of nouns, adjectives, and pronouns b) conjugation of verbs. derivational morphemes (affixes) are used for word formation



16 Word formation word formation processes a) derivation definition: a combination of a free and bound morpheme(s) - by far the most common word formation process in the production of new words

17 examples of derivation:

18 derivation: exceptions Cranberry morph(eme)s are bound morphemes which occur in only one derivation (or compound) but nowhere else: e.g. cranberry, inane, umpteen similar words (strawberry, inactive, thirteen) suggest that they are indeed morphemes cranberry morphs are relics of words which have died out in other uses

19 b) compounding definition: a combination two or more free morphemes German is notorious for long words (e.g. Weihnachtsbaumschmuckvertriebsorganis ationshandbuchverkäufer), compounds in English do not usually exceed two units

20 examples of compounding:



23 Endocentric compounds: the compound is an instance of the thing denoted by the last constituent (e.g. houseboat is a type of boat, boathouse is a type of house; a person who is seasick is sick) Exocentric compounds: the compound does not refer to an entity denoted by either constituent (a paleface is not a type of face, but a person who has a pale face)

24 examples of exocentric compounds: paleface, redskin, redneck, skinhead, bigfoot, pickpocket Copulative compounds: both constituents refer to the entity denoted by the whole compound. An owner-builder is both an owner of a house and its builder. e.g. singer-songwriter, bittersweet, deaf- mute

25 compounds need to be defined on several linguistic levels morphology (free morphemes) phonology (stress on the first element) semantics (unity)

26 minor word formation processes c) coinage: means the invention of totally new terms the most typical cases are invented trade names for a company’s product which become general terms for any version of that product (without initial capital letters) e.g. 'xerox', 'kleenex' or 'aspirin'

27 d) conversion: involves a change in the function of a word, e.g. when a noun comes to be used as a verb (without any reduction or change) E.g. ‘to paper a wall’ (paper) or ‘a must’ (from the verb ‘must')

28 e) acronymy: acronyms are formed from the initial letters of a set of other words acronyms are pronounced as single words, e.g. 'NATO', 'RADAR', 'LASER' (unlike in the case of 'CD', which is an initialism)

29 f) backformation: means a special type of reduction process: a word of one type (usually a noun) is reduced to form another word of a different type (usually a verb) E.g. ‘donate’ (from donation), ‘babysit’ (from babysitter) and ‘televise’ (from television)

30 g) blending: means a combination of two separate forms to produce a single new term. Blending usually involves taking the beginning of one word and joining it to the end of the other word E.g. ‘smog’, ‘brunch’ and ‘modem’

31 h) clipping: means that a word of more than one syllable (facsimile) is reduced to a shorter form E.g. ‘bus’, ‘ad’ and ‘bra’

32 i) borrowing: refers to the taking over of words from other languages English has adopted a great number of loan-words throughout its history E.g. ‘yogurt’ (Turkish) and ‘alcohol’ (Arabic)

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