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Brief introduction to morphology

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1 Brief introduction to morphology
Morphology is the study of word structure and word formation processes in language.

2 Terminology A morpheme is the smallest meaning-bearing unit in a language. Free morphemes are independent words. Bound morphemes, called affixes, cannot stand on their own. Types of affixes: prefix attaches at front of word suffix attaches at end of word circumfix attaches around word infix attaches inside word

3 References for examples
Examples are either from our textbook or from Linguistics, second edition, by Akmajian, Demers and Harnish, MIT press.

4 Morphological processes
There are different kinds of morphological processes, in particular: inflectional morphology derivational morphology

5 English inflectional morphology
nouns plural marker: -s (dog + s = dogs) possessive marker: -’s (dog + ’s = dog’s) verbs 3rd person present singular: -s (walk + s = walks) past tense: -ed (walk + ed = walked) progressive: -ing (walk + ing = walking) past participle: -en or -ed (eat + en = eaten) adjectives comparative: -er (fast + er = faster) superlative: -est (fast + est = fastest)

6 Properties of (English) inflectional morphology
Inflectional morphology does not change grammatical category In English, all inflectional affixes are suffixes (they attach to the end of a word) Inflectional affixes are attached after any derivational affixes: modern + ize + s = modernizes (OK) modern + s + ize (NOT OK) modern + ize + s + able (NOT OK) Inflectional morphology carries a regular meaning transformation.

7 English derivational morphology
Derivational morphology can (but need not) change grammatical category. un + do = undo (both verbs) program + able = programmable (verb, adjective) Derivational morphology does not always induce a regular/predictable meaning change: there is “drift” fix + able = fixable (able to be fixed) read + able = readable (more than just “able to be read”) wash + able = washable (more than just “able to be washed”)

8 Concatenative vs. nonconcatenative morphology
Concatenative morphology combines morphemes by concatentation (prefixes and suffixes demonstrate this) Non-concatentative morphology combines in a non-concatenative manner circumfixes and infixes templatic morphology

9 Circumfix example German: sagen (“to say”)
ge-t (past particple circumfix) sagen + ge-t  gesagt (“said”)

10 Infix example Bontoc Igorot (Philippine language) English
kayu (“wood”) -in- (“product of a completed action) kayu + -in-  kinayu (“gathered wood”) English abso-bloody-lutely (emphasis)

11 Templatic morphology Semitic languages (Arabic, Hebrew)
stem (root), e.g. ktb (write) consonant-vowel (CV) template: CVCCVC (causative) vocalization: ui (perfect passive) Combination: consonants in stem map onto Cs in template, vowels in vocalization map onto Vs to yield surface form: kuttib (“will have been written”)

12 Example detail k t b C V C C V C  kuttib u i

13 Parsing refers to the recovery of structure from analysis of input
often refers to the processing of sentences can also refer to the processing of words Stemming refers to the recovery of a word stem given a surface form of the word: uncharacteristically = un + character + istic + ally

14 Lexicons One approach: list all words
difficult in English because some morphology is productive (applies to new words of language too): (table adapted from page 62 of text) STEM walk merge try map google text -s walks merges tries maps googles texts -ing walking merging trying mapping googling texting -ed walked merged tried mapped googled texted (?)

15 Issues Not only do some affixes attach to large numbers of stems,
they also attach to new words in the language spam, spams, spamming, spammed, spammer Idea: encode morphological rules to generate all forms of words from a minimal set of word stems.

16 Applications lexicons stemming generating correct surface word forms

17 Try it out! Try: kutib

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