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Morphology, Part 2 September 27, 2010.

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1 Morphology, Part 2 September 27, 2010

2 Mr. Burns Quick Write First off: a note on paying attention.
Is it realistic to portray Mr. Burns as having a dictionary inside his head?


4 Interesting Thoughts

5 Interesting Thoughts

6 The Last Word

7 In Our Last Episode Words and morphemes (meaningful “word parts”)
Word-formation rules Free and bound morphemes Simple and complex words Affixes and roots

8 Cranberry Morphemes Cranberry morphemes are bound root morphemes.
They have no independent meaning. They also have no parts of speech Some more examples: perceive, receive, deceive -ceive? infer, refer, defer -fer? commit, permit, submit -mit? Also: the liberation of cran?

9 Conjugation In many languages verbs are conjugated by adding affixes specifying person and number to a bound root form. Italian: parlare “to speak” Singular Plural 1st Io parlo “I speak” Noi parliamo “We speak” 2nd Tu parli “You speak” Voi parlate “Y’all speak” 3rd Lui parla “He speaks” Loro parlano “They speak” Lei parla “She speaks” Note: the root form /parl-/ never appears on its own, without an ending.

10 Bases (or Stems) Once an affix has attached to a root morpheme, it forms a base… to which other affixes may attach. Example: boy (root) + -ish (suffix) = boyish Round two: boyish (base) + -ness (suffix) = boyishness Another example: black (root) + -en = blacken Round two: blacken (base) + -ed = blackened In some linguistic circles, bases are called stems.

11 Lexical Categories Important: we know that word-building takes place in stages because specific affixes are particular about what kinds of words they can attach to. A quick and dirty review of lexical categories (parts of speech): Nouns =people, places, things dog, cat, bike, person, planet, ball, etc. Verbs =actions, sensations, states run, kick, scratch, scream, bite, walk, be, have, etc.

12 Lexical Categories, reviewed
3. Adjectives = properties or qualities happy, sad, angry, funny, clear, fuzzy, ugly, etc. 4. Prepositions spatial relationships (= pre + position) to, for, of, with, out, in, above, below, etc. 5. Adverbs = properties or qualities of verbs and adjectives often, seldom, rarely, purely, frequently, etc. We’ll talk about these again when we get to syntax…

13 Picky, Picky Affixes generally attach to a base with a particular lexical category. Examples: verb = [re-] + verb (“to do again”) recycle = [re-] + cycle reuse = [re-] + use adjective = [in-] + adjective (“opposite of”) insecure = [in-] + secure incomplete = [in-] + complete noun = [ex-] + noun (“former”) ex-wife = [ex-] + wife ex-president = [ex-] + president

14 Tricky Picky Other affixes attach to a base of a particular lexical category… And create a word of a different lexical category. noun = verb + [-er] sweeper = sweep + [-er] teacher = teach + [-er] verb = adjective + [-en] blacken = black + [-en] freshen = fresh + [-en] adjective = verb + [-able] desirable = desire + [-able] squeezable = squeeze + [-able]

15 Quiz Time Which affixes are being attached in the following sets of words? Which lexical categories do those affixes attach to? Which lexical categories are formed by adding the affix? uncertain, unhappy, untrue exactly, profoundly, deeply moralize, vandalize, sermonize deconstruct, decode, derail

16 Layers of Words Words that are formed through the addition of multiple affixes have a layered, or hierarchical structure. One (ugly) way to represent this structure is through bracket notation: [root] [construct] [[affix] + [root]] [[re-] + [construct]] (=base) [[base] + [affix]] [[[re-] + [construct]] + [-ion]] WORD reconstruction

17 Tree Structures In this class, we’ll primarily stick with tree diagrams to represent word structure. (because they look better and are easier to read) re construct ion un desire able Tree terminology: branches nodes: where two branches meet nodes represent constituents of the word

18 Building the Perfect Beasts
To accurately capture all of the facts of word formation… tree structures should represent the lexical categories of all constituents at each node in the tree. Noun Adj Verb Adj Aff Verb Aff Aff Verb Aff [re-] [construct] [-ion] [un-] [desire] [-able]

19 Test Case What should the tree diagram for “reassignment” look like?
Noun Verb Aff Verb Aff [re-] [assign] [-ment] 3. reassignment 2. reassign 1. assign deploy - deployment arrange - arrangement employ - employment, etc.

20 Another Test Case How about the tree diagram for “miscategorization”?
Noun Verb Aff Noun Aff Aff [mis-] [category] [-ize] [-ation] 4. miscategorization 3. miscategorize 2. categorize *miscategory 1. category Construe - misconstrue Appropriate (v) - misappropriate Play (v) - misplay confusion - *misconfusion

21 Ambiguity Some complex words can have more than one interpretation
Different derivations can result in different interpretations Example: “unlockable” Note: [un-] can attach to both adjectives and verbs [-able] attaches to verbs and creatives adjectives

22 Unlockable, part 1 Adj Aff Verb Aff [un-] [lock] [-able]
= not able to be locked

23 Unlockable, part 2 Adj Verb Aff Verb Aff [un-] [lock] [-able]
= able to be unlocked

24 Inflections vs. Derivations
Linguists draw another distinction among affixes: Inflectional affixes: mark grammatical properties (person, number, gender, tense, aspect) don’t change other aspects of meaning are required by rules of sentence structure create a new “word form” Derivational affixes: change meaning create a new word (typically) have clear semantic content may change the lexical category of the word

25 Inflectional Affixes There are precisely eight inflectional affixes in English: -s 3rd person wait --> waits -ing progressive wait --> waiting -ed past tense wait --> waited -en past participle eat --> eaten -s plural card --> cards -’s possessive dad --> dad’s -er comparative tall --> taller -est superlative weak --> weakest All of these are suffixes.

26 Inflectional Affixes Other languages can have a lot more inflectional affixes. Examples from French: parler “to speak” 1st person, plural: parlons “We speak” 2nd person, plural: parlez “You guys speak” Past tense: 1st person, singular: parlais “I spoke” 1st person, plural: parlions “We spoke” 2nd person, plural: parliez “You guys spoke” Plus many, many more. Note: Volapük. (

27 Derivational Affixes In contrast to inflectional affixes, derivational affixes: Create new words when they’re attached to roots Examples: re- cycle --> recycle de- code --> decode -y fish --> fishy -ize vandal --> vandalize Also: English has far more derivational affixes than inflectional affixes. For fairness’ sake:

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