Morphology

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  • 1. Contrastive Morphology Morphology= the study of morphemes (combination of sounds, words, word stems, affixes– unit of language one up from phonemes) Morphemes = combination of sounds that make up words e.g. books = book+ -s
  • 2. English vs. Thai • English is an inflectional language. = adding inflection morphemes; showing grammatical info such as case, number, tense, gender. • Thai is an isolating language. (analytic language) = almost every word consists of a single morpheme, free morphemes- standing alone as a word.
  • 3. General morphological patterns of English and difficulty for Thais 1. Inflectional suffixes in English = creates a change in the grammatical function of a word (gender, number, tense) e.g. child-children show shows showed showing Many Thais have difficulty mastering this as Thai doesn’t have any such system.
  • 4. 1. Inflectional suffixes 1.1 Plural noun suffixes • Adding –s to the noun; causing a change in number. Can be pronounced differently /s/ /z/ /Iz/ /s/ after voiceless consonants /p t k f T/ e.g. lips, weeks, chiefs, myths /z/ after voiced consonants /b d g D m n N l h r w j/ e.g. cars hills homes dogs ideas wives /Iz/ after /tS S Z dZ s z / e.g. matches
  • 5. Difficulty for Thais • Thai has no plural noun inflection but has noun classifiers. • Thai people have a tendency to write: *I bought some book. *He owns two car. *There are 2 house in the wood. • Pronunciation: /s/ /Iz/ z/
  • 6. Test 1.) From the sentence “He gives his mom a kiss when he wants something.” The initial problem with this recognition and production of these affixes is phonological and not a morphological one.” Please explain this phenomenon.
  • 7. Difficulty for Thais Irregular forms e.g. man/men foot /feet goose /geese Zero morphemes e.g. sheep/sheep deer/deer How do we know if the noun is singular or plural?
  • 8. 1.2 possessive cases • Possessive singular • Possessive plural = apostrophe s e.g. /s/ wife’s student’s animal’s students’ /z/ school’s Jane’s /Iz/ houses’ judges’ Occur before the head noun e.g. the boy’s mother the animal’ s skin
  • 9. • Sometimes apostrophe s is replaced by of (of phrase) a city’s problem the problem of the city a team’s captain the captain of a team the Mayor’s responsibility the responsibility of the mayor • However, of phrase may sound gr. odd *the book’s cover the cover of the book *the table’s leg the legs of the table
  • 10. • /kHN/ is functioned as grammatical particle to show possessive. • Contrastive English and Thai The leg of the table (Thais delete “the”) *leg of table
  • 11. • What do you think of these sentences? 1.) the book of John. 2.) the car of my father. Activity: Think of the of phrase in English and Thai.
  • 12. Difficulty for Thais • The use of apostrophe s may confuse Thai people. • Of phrase in English are not applicable to every sentence.
  • 13. 1.3 Pronoun inflection • Subject pronouns in English have object pronoun counterparts. Subject Object Possessive adj Poss pronoun I Me My Mine You you Your yours We Us Our ours They Them Their Thiers He Him His His She Her Her Hers It It Its Its
  • 14. English vs. Thai 1. Thai has no inflections; neither subject or object. I like her She likes me
  • 15. 2. Noun determiner in Thai = /kHN/ /kHN/ can be deleted. This is different from English: My book Which one is easier for Thais? a. This book is yours. b. This is your book. Possessive pronouns are absent in Thai so some Thais find it difficult to master possessive pronoun, This book is yours It is easier to get, “This is your book.”
  • 16. Difficulty for Thais • The pronoun systems of English are more complicated than Thai. • May be difficult for some Thai people to understand why “I” becomes “me” if it is an object of the sentence. • Possessive pronouns are very problematic.
  • 17. 1.4 Verb inflection • English verbs can have many different forms. Simple form Show Have Want Go 3rd person singular Shows Has Wants Goes Past tense Showed Had Wanted Went Past participle Shown Had Wanted Went Present participle Showing Having Wanting Going
  • 18. Difficulty for Thais • Inflectional affixes showing past and present times or numbers are absent in Thai. • Thai students have a tendency to make mistakes when using English inflectional affixes. * She come here every day. * I come here every day last year. * She has see it somewhere.
  • 19. 1.5 Inflection in comparison of adj. and adv. • Comparison  comparative degree  superlative degree -er is used in English to mark the comparative forms of adj. and adv. -est is used in English to mark the superlative degree of adj. and adv.
  • 20. • In Thai, comparative degree is marked by the addition of words /kwA$/ more. • Superlative degree is marked by the addition of words /tH i^isu$t/ most Page 32 - Thai is less complicated than English in comparison of adj. and adv.
  • 21. Difficulty for Thais • Comparative and superlative in English is a system which is more complicated and irregular than Thai as Thai learners must internalize the following rules: 1. All one syllable adj. and adv. are marked with the –er inflection in the comparative and –est inflection is marked in the superlative.
  • 22. 2. All other forms are preceded by more…than in the comparative and most in the superlative. ‘than’ may be deleted in some cases. e.g. Pat is older than Kim. Who is older? 3. There are some exceptions in rule 2 e.g. good/better/best bad/worse/worst little/less/least much/more/most 4. Superlative forms are almost always preceded by the.
  • 23. Difficulty for Thais • Difficult to master the comparative and superlative forms. • Because there is no article in Thai, there is a tendency for Thai to delete ‘the’ from superlative forms in English. • Difficult to master its grammatical forms. From your experience of learning English, what mistakes do usually make when using comparative and superlative degree? Why?