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Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
Introduction to linguistic (6)
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Introduction to linguistic (6)

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  • 1. Introduction to Linguistic (6) Morphology
  • 2. Morpheme (1) • Morphology is a sub-discipline of linguistics that studies word structure. While words are generally accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, it is clear that in most (if not all) languages, words can be related to other words by rules. • Morpheme is a minimal unit of meaning or grammatical function.
  • 3. Morpheme (2) • We would say that the word reopened in the sentence The police reopened the investigation consists of three morphemes. One minimal unit of meaning is open, another minimal unit of meaning is re- (meaning again), and a minimal grammatical function is -ed (indicating past tense). • The word tourists also contains three morphemes. There is one minimal unit of meaning, tour, another minimal unit of meaning -ist (meaning ‘person who does something’), and a minimal unit of grammatical function -s (indicating plural).
  • 4. Free and Bound Morphemes (1) • From those two examples, we can make a broad distinction between two types of morphemes. • These are free morphemes, that is, morphemes which can stand by themselves as single words, e.g. open and tour. • There are also bound morphemes, that is, those which cannot normally stand alone, but which are typically attached to another form, e.g. re-, -ist, -ed, -s.
  • 5. Free and Bound Morphemes (2) • The free morphemes can be generally considered as the set of separate English word-forms. When they are used with bound morphemes, the basic word-form involved is technically known as the stem. • For example: undressed; un- (bound, prefix), dress (free, stem), -ed (bound, suffix), carelessness; care (free, stem), -less (bound, suffix), -ness (bound, suffix).
  • 6. Free and Bound Morphemes (3) • It should be noted that there are a number of English words in which the element which seems to be the ‘stem’ is not, in fact, a free morpheme. • In words like receive, reduce, repeat we can recognize the bound morpheme re-, but the elements -ceive, -duce, and -peat are clearly not free morphemes. • It may help to work with a simple distinction between forms like -ceive and -duce as ‘bound stems’ and forms like dress and care as ‘free stems’.
  • 7. Free Morpheme (1) • What we have described as free morphemes fall into two categories. • The first category is that set of ordinary nouns, adjectives and verbs which we think of as the words which carry the content of messages we convey. • These free morphemes are called lexical morphemes and some examples are: boy, man, house, sad, long, yellow, sincere, open, look, follow, break.
  • 8. Free Morpheme (2) • The other group of free morphemes are called functional morphemes. • Examples are: and, but, when, because, on, near, above, in, the, that, it. This set consists largely of the language such as conjunctions, prepositions, articles and pronouns.
  • 9. Bound Morphemes (1) • The set of affixes which fall into the ‘bound’ category can also be divided into two types. • The first is derivational morphemes. These are used to make new words in the language and are often used to make words of a different grammatical category from the stem. • The examples are: -ness changes the adjective good to the noun goodness, -ish in foolish, -ly in badly, and -ment in payment.
  • 10. Bound Morphemes (2) • The second set of bound morphemes contains what are called inflectional morphemes. Note that, in English, all inflectional morphemes are suffixes. • These are not used to produce new words in the English language, but rather to indicate aspects of the grammatical function of a word. Inflectional morphemes are used to show if a word is plural or singular, if it is past tense or not, and if it is a comparative or possessive form. • Examples are: the use of -ed to make jump into the past tense form jumped, and the use of –s to make the word boy into the plural boys, the -ing, -s, -er, -est and -’s inflections in the phrases Myrna is singing, she sings, she is smallest, and Myrna’s horse.
  • 11. Problems in Morphological Description (1) • What is the inflectional morpheme which makes sheep the plural of sheep, or men the plural of man? Which makes went the past tense of go? And yet another questions concerns the derivation of an adjective like legal. If –al is the derivational suffix, as it is in forms like institutional, then what is the stem?
  • 12. Problems in Morphological Description (2) • These problematic issues, and many others which arise in the analysis of different language, have not been fully resolved by linguists. • The relationship between law and legal is a reflection of the historical influence of other languages on English word-forms. The modern form law is a result of a borrowing into Old English from Old Norse, over 1,000 years ago.
  • 13. Problems in Morphological Description (3) • The modern form legal is a borrowing from the Latin form legalis (of the law). Consequently, there is no derivational relationship between the two forms in English, nor between the noun mouth (an Old English form) and the adjective oral (a Latin borrowing).
  • 14. Problems in Morphological Description (4) • In morpheme-based morphology, a null morpheme is a morpheme that is realized by a phonologically null affix (an empty string of phonological segments). In simpler terms, a null morpheme is an "invisible" affix. It's also called zero morpheme; the process of adding a null morpheme is called null affixation, null derivation or zero derivation.
  • 15. Problems in Morphological Description (5) • There are some cases in English where a null morpheme indicates plurality in nouns that take on irregular plurals. • sheep = sheep + -Ø = ROOT ("sheep") + SINGULAR • sheep = sheep + -Ø = ROOT ("sheep") + PLURAL • Also, a null morpheme marks the present tense of verbs in all forms but the third person singular: • (I) run = run + -Ø = ROOT ("run") + PRESENT: Non-3rdSING • (He) runs = run + -s = ROOT ("run") + PRESENT: 3rd-SING

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