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Morphology, Part 2 September 26, 2012. Quick Write Thoughts Is it realistic to portray Mr. Burns as having a dictionary inside his head?

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Presentation on theme: "Morphology, Part 2 September 26, 2012. Quick Write Thoughts Is it realistic to portray Mr. Burns as having a dictionary inside his head?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Morphology, Part 2 September 26, 2012

2 Quick Write Thoughts Is it realistic to portray Mr. Burns as having a dictionary inside his head?

3 Quick Write Thoughts




7 In Our Last Episode Words and morphemes (meaningful “word parts”) Free and bound morphemes Simple and complex words Affixes and roots Word-formation rules Affixes attach to a root (or base) of a particular lexical category… and create a new word.

8 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]] WORDreconstruction

9 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) reconstructionundesire able Tree terminology: branches nodes: where two branches meet nodes represent constituents of the word

10 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 AffVerbAffAffVerb Aff [re-][construct][-ion][un-][desire] [-able]

11 Test Case What should the tree diagram for “reassignment” look like? Noun Verb AffVerbAff [re-][assign][-ment] 3. reassignment 2. reassign 1. assign

12 Another Test Case How about the tree diagram for “miscategorization”? Noun Verb AffNounAffAff [mis-] [category][-ize][-ation] 4. miscategorization 3. miscategorize 2. categorize *miscategory 1. category

13 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

14 Unlockable, part 1 Adj AffVerbAff [un-][lock][-able] = not able to be locked

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

16 Inflections vs. Derivations Linguists draw another distinction among affixes: 1.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” 2.Derivational affixes: change meaning create a new word (typically) have clear semantic content may change the lexical category of the word

17 Inflectional Affixes There are precisely eight inflectional affixes in English: 1.-s3rd personwait --> waits 2.-ingprogressivewait --> waiting 3.-edpast tensewait --> waited 4.-enpast participleeat --> eaten 5.-spluralcard --> cards 6.-’spossessivedad --> dad’s 7.-ercomparativetall --> taller 8.-estsuperlativeweak --> weakest All of these are suffixes.

18 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. (

19 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 -yfish --> fishy -izevandal --> vandalize Also: English has far more derivational affixes than inflectional affixes. For fairness’ sake:

20 Picky, Picky (last time) Inflectional affixes are always going to attach to a root with a particular part of speech. Plural noun = singular noun + “s” birds = bird + sdogs = dog + s Past tense verb = present tense verb + “ed” waited = wait + edtalked = talk + ed Comparative adjective = adjective + “er” taller = tall + ershorter = short + er Q: if both a derivational and an inflectional affix attach to a root, which will attach first?

21 The Relationship A: Derivational affixes will always attach before inflectional affixes do. Remember: derivational affixes create new words; Inflectional affixes just create new word forms. Examples: blackened, governments, *neighborshood Verb Noun AdjDAff. IAff.Verb DAff. IAff. black -en -edgovern -ment -s

22 A Note on Word Forms Morphologists use the term lexeme to refer to a group of related word forms. wait, waits, waited, waiting, etc. The canonical form of the lexeme is called the lemma. = the “headword” in a dictionary. Inflectional affixes relate a lexeme to its various forms. Derivational affixes relate one lexeme to another lexeme. lemma word forms different lexeme

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