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Morphology: The
Words of Language
Ching-Fen Hsu
2013/9/24
Lecture 2
2013/9/24_2013/9/27
Introduction
• Words: important part of linguistic knowledge &
constitute components of mental grammars
• Without words we...
Mental Lexicon
• Mental dictionary lists unique phonological
representation, including spelling or
orthography, parts of s...
Content Words &
Function Words
• Content words: N (objects: children), V (actions:
build), Adj (attributes: beautiful), Ad...
Empirical Evidences
• Brain-damaged patients & SLI have difficulty on
function words (in, which) rather than contents
word...
Morphemes
• The minimal units of meaning or the most
elemental unit of grammatical form (morpho-
/morph- means “form”)
• M...
Formation of Words
• A single word may be composed of one or more
morphemes (see p. 38)
• A morpheme could be a single sou...
Discreteness of Morphemes
• Monomorphemic words: words represent a single
morpheme, finger (ㄨ fing + er)
• Meaning of morp...
Bound & Free Morphemes
• Morphological knowledge = knowledge of
individual morphemes + knowledge of rules
to combine them
...
Prefixes & Suffixes
• Prefix: affixes precede other morphemes, un-,
pre-, bi-
• Suffix: affixes follow other morphemes, -e...
Infixes & Circumfixes
• Infixes: morphemes insert into other
morphemes, e.g., Bontoc in Philippines, -um
inserted after 1s...
Roots & Stems
• Morphological complex words = root + affix(es)
• Root: may or may not stand alone as a word,
(1) painter, ...
Bound Roots
• Do not occur in isolation
• Acquire meaning only in combination with other
morphemes, receive, perceive, dec...
Rules of Word Formation
• Pure + ify = purify
• Simple + ify = simplify
• False + ify = falsify
• Adjective + ify = Verb
‘...
Exercise 4: P. 67
Write the one proper description
from the list under B for the
italicized part of each world in A
Derivational Morphology
• When bound morphemes are attached to a base, a
new word with a new meaning is derived
e.g., pure...
Derivational Affixes
• Desire + able = desirable (V to A)
• Dark + en = darken (A to V)
• Sweet + ie = sweetie (A to N) (p...
Inflectional Morphology
• Bound morphemes for grammatical function,
e.g., tense, person, number
• Never change grammatical...
Inflectional Morphemes
• Apply freely to every appropriate base, very
productive, plural –s (unlike derivational
morphemes...
Rich Inflectional
Processes
• German circumfixes: geliebt, ‘loved’ ‘beloved’
• Arabic infixes: kitáab ‘book’, kútub ‘books...
Exercise 2: P. 66
Divide the following words by
placing a + between their
morphemes
Hierarchical Structure
of Words• Morphemes added in fixed orders reflect
hierarchical organization of words
• Hierarchical...
Morphological Rules
• Adjective + al = adjective (p. 50)
egotistical + al = egotistical
fantastical + al = fantastical
ast...
Tree Diagrams
• Make explicit way that speakers represent
internal structure of morphologically complex
words in lgs
• Tre...
Rule Productivity I
• Some morphological rules are productive, e.g.,
verb + able = ‘able to be’, acceptable, laughable,
pa...
Rule Productivity II
• Verb + -er = ‘one who does’, examiner, analyzer,
hunter; comparative –er ‘more’, greedier, nicer,
p...
Exceptions & Suppletions
• Children learn regular rules first, plural rule, past
tense rule
• Irregular rules (suppletions...
Zero Phonological Shape
• Hit + past tense = hit, Yesterday you hit the ball
• Sheep + plural form = sheep, The sheep are ...
Lexical Gaps
• Accidental caps = well-formed non-existing
words
• Words are not presented but could be added in
lexicon wi...
Back-Formations
• New words enter lg because of incorrect
morphological analyses, peddler => peddle
(p.56)
• Delibrately m...
Compounds
• Flexible combinations in English (p. 57)
• When two words in same grammatical category,
compound will be in th...
Meaning of Compounds
• Is not always sum of its parts, blackboard (green?
white?), Redcoat (English soldiers? red coat)
• ...
Universality of
Compounding
• Common & frequent process enlarging
vocabulary of all lgs, French, German, Russian,
Spanish,...
Exercise 3: P. 67
Match each expression under
A with the one statement
under B that characterizes it
Morphological Analysis
• Case study 1: English (p. 61)
• Case study 2: Paku (p. 62)
• Case study 3: Michoacan Aztec (p. 63...
Exercise 5: P. 67
Part One + Part Two
Question?
Homework
Hand-in next week
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  1. 1. Morphology: The Words of Language Ching-Fen Hsu 2013/9/24 Lecture 2 2013/9/24_2013/9/27
  2. 2. Introduction • Words: important part of linguistic knowledge & constitute components of mental grammars • Without words we are unable to convey thoughts through lg or understand others’ thoughts • Without knowledge of lg, it’s impossible to tell how many words are in utterances • Knowing a word = knowing a meaning & pronunciation in mental lexicon • Sound-meaning relation is arbitrary, e.g., homophone (bear vs. bare; 新/心/欣/馨/薪/辛/ 芯), synonyms (sofa vs. couch; 拍手/鼓掌)
  3. 3. Mental Lexicon • Mental dictionary lists unique phonological representation, including spelling or orthography, parts of speech (grammatical categories, syntactic class) • We can form grammatical S & distinguish ill-formed S from well-formed S
  4. 4. Content Words & Function Words • Content words: N (objects: children), V (actions: build), Adj (attributes: beautiful), Adv (ideas we think about: seldom) • Open class words: new words are addable, e.g., facebook, blog, online • Function words: specify grammatical relations & have little or no semantic content, including possession (prepositions: in, of), articles (definite: the, indefinite: a/an), conjunctions (and, or, but), pronouns (it, them) • Closed class words: hard to add new words
  5. 5. Empirical Evidences • Brain-damaged patients & SLI have difficulty on function words (in, which) rather than contents words (inn, witch) • Slips of the tongue has been observed on content words but not function words, e.g., the journal of the editor => the editor of the journal • Children omit function words in acquisition, e.g., doggie (is) barking • Content words vs. function words play diff roles • Content words bear meanings • Function words connect content words into larger grammatical context
  6. 6. Morphemes • The minimal units of meaning or the most elemental unit of grammatical form (morpho- /morph- means “form”) • Morphology: study of internal structures of words & rules by which words are formed (morph- + -ology: branch of knowledge); refers to internal grammatical knowledge concerning word forms • Un- means “not” (see examples on p.37) • Phon- means “pertaining to sound” (p. 37) ㄨph- or pho- • Words have rule-governed internal structures e.g., uneaten *eatenun “not eaten” • Un- must be prefixed, not suffixed, as im-
  7. 7. Formation of Words • A single word may be composed of one or more morphemes (see p. 38) • A morpheme could be a single sound, atypical; a single syllable, childish; two syllables, lady; three syllables, crocodile; four syllables, helicopter • Morpheme: arbitrary union of sound & meaning • Morpheme: cannot be analyzed into smaller unit • Linguistic sign: sound vs. meaning
  8. 8. Discreteness of Morphemes • Monomorphemic words: words represent a single morpheme, finger (ㄨ fing + er) • Meaning of morphemes are constant • Identical form represents two morphemes (same form & diff meanings): singer, painter, worker, taller, nicer, prettier • Two morphemes have same meaning but diff forms: singer, songster, youngster (monster!) • Discreteness: decomposition of words into morphemes; fundamental properties of human lg; sounds=>morphemes=>words=>phrases=>S; diff from animal communication; important part of linguistic creativity, writable, (un)rewritable
  9. 9. Bound & Free Morphemes • Morphological knowledge = knowledge of individual morphemes + knowledge of rules to combine them • Free morpheme: morphemes that can stand alone, boy, desire, gentle, man • Bound morpheme: morphemes attached to a base morpheme, -ish, -ness, -ly, pre-, un-, trans- • Affixes: bound morphemes attach at the beginning, the end, in the middle, or both beginning & end
  10. 10. Prefixes & Suffixes • Prefix: affixes precede other morphemes, un-, pre-, bi- • Suffix: affixes follow other morphemes, -er, -ist, -ing, -ly • Languages differ in how they deploy affixation, e.g., English plural form: -s, -es (suffix); Isthmus Zapotec in Maxico: ka- (prefix) (p. 40) • Languages differ in what meanings they express through affixation, e.g., verb-to-noun in English (dance); suffix –ak in Turkish (p. 40); each other in English, -sh in Turkish (p. 40)p.41
  11. 11. Infixes & Circumfixes • Infixes: morphemes insert into other morphemes, e.g., Bontoc in Philippines, -um inserted after 1st consonant (p. 41) • Circumfixes (discontinuous morphemes): morphemes are attached to a base morpheme initially & finally, e.g., Chickasaw in Oklahoma, ik- + -o to indicate a negative morpheme (p. 42); German, ge- + -t to mean past participle of verbs, lieb ‘love’ => geliebt ‘loved’ or ‘beloved’
  12. 12. Roots & Stems • Morphological complex words = root + affix(es) • Root: may or may not stand alone as a word, (1) painter, reread, conceive, linguist (2) the form around which circumfix attaches, ikchokmo (3) the form into which infix is inserted, fumikas ‘to be strong’ • Hebrew & Arabic vary patterns of vowels & syllables on nouns & verbs, e.g., infixing vowels in ktb ‘write’ (p. 42) • Stem = root + affix (p. 42) • Base = any root or stem to which an affix is attached, system, systematic, unsystematic, unsystematical vs. unsystematically
  13. 13. Bound Roots • Do not occur in isolation • Acquire meaning only in combination with other morphemes, receive, perceive, deceive, conceive; permit, submit, admit, transmit • For English speakers, Latinate morphemes have no independent meaning • Their meaning depends on entire words in which they occur • Prefix + bound root morpheme: nonplussed, discern • Bound morphemes convey meaning only in combination, huckleberry (small, round, purplish blue), lukewarm (somewhat)
  14. 14. Rules of Word Formation • Pure + ify = purify • Simple + ify = simplify • False + ify = falsify • Adjective + ify = Verb ‘to make adjective” • Purify + cation = purification • Simplify + cation = simplification • Falsify + cation = falsification • Verb +cation = Noun ‘the process of making adjective” • How about ugly? • Ugly + ify = uglify? • Uglify + cation = uglification? • Morphological rules of English in combining words
  15. 15. Exercise 4: P. 67 Write the one proper description from the list under B for the italicized part of each world in A
  16. 16. Derivational Morphology • When bound morphemes are attached to a base, a new word with a new meaning is derived e.g., pure + ify = purify ‘to make pure’ purify + cation = purification ‘the process of making pure’ • In mental lexicon, derivational morphemes & rules determine how we add to roots or stems • Derived words: forms resulted from addition of derivational morphemes, pouzy + ify = pouzify + cation = pouzification (static electricity on hair) • Derivational morphemes have clear semantic contents & may result in different grammatical classes
  17. 17. Derivational Affixes • Desire + able = desirable (V to A) • Dark + en = darken (A to V) • Sweet + ie = sweetie (A to N) (p. 45) • Application of morphological rules may be blocked when a new word enters lexicon, e.g., communist ㄨcommuian (grammarian) or communite (Trotskyite); Chomskyan, Chomskyist, Chomskyite (followers of Chomsky’s views of linguistics); semanticist, semanticianㄨsemantite • Two classes of derivational affixes: (1) trigger sound change in pronunciation (-ity, -ive, -ize), (2) without affecting pronunciation (-ness, -er) p. 46
  18. 18. Inflectional Morphology • Bound morphemes for grammatical function, e.g., tense, person, number • Never change grammatical category of stems to which they are attached, e.g., sail, sails, sailed, has sailed (require syntactic rules), is sailing • Inflectional morphemes does not add lexical meaning; closely connected to syntax & semantics of S • Eight bound inflectional affixes in Modern English (p. 47) • Derivational morpheme + inflectional morpheme, commit + ment + s
  19. 19. Inflectional Morphemes • Apply freely to every appropriate base, very productive, plural –s (unlike derivational morphemes, idolize *picturize • English has relatively little inflectional morphology vs. Swahili in eastern Africa, European lgs, Romans lgs from Latin (p. 47) • Case morphology: grammatical relation of nouns (case of nouns), Russian has rich system of inflectional suffixes for grammatical relations of nouns (p. 48)
  20. 20. Rich Inflectional Processes • German circumfixes: geliebt, ‘loved’ ‘beloved’ • Arabic infixes: kitáab ‘book’, kútub ‘books’ • Samoan reduplication: savali ‘he travels’, savavali, ‘they travel’ • Malay reduplication: orang, ‘person’, orangorang ‘people’ • Finnish have extraordinarily complex case morphology; Chinese lack it entirely • Distinctions bet inflectional vs. derivational(p.48)
  21. 21. Exercise 2: P. 66 Divide the following words by placing a + between their morphemes
  22. 22. Hierarchical Structure of Words• Morphemes added in fixed orders reflect hierarchical organization of words • Hierarchical structure is essential property of human lg • Words & Ss relate to each other in specific & rule- governed ways • Words have internal structures but not simple sequences • Representations in tree diagrams, e.g., unsystematic (p. 49) + morphological rules • -atic is closer than un- to system,ㄨunsystem
  23. 23. Morphological Rules • Adjective + al = adjective (p. 50) egotistical + al = egotistical fantastical + al = fantastical astronomic + astronomical • Adjective + ly = adverb happy + ly = happily lazy + ly = lazily hopeful + ly = hopefully unsystematically (p. 50) • Un- + noun = adjective (p . 51) unemployment, unacceptance, *uncola! • Part of linguistic competence includes ability to recognize possible vs. impossible words
  24. 24. Tree Diagrams • Make explicit way that speakers represent internal structure of morphologically complex words in lgs • Tree diagrams show that mental representation of words is hierarchical & linear • Inflectional morphemes are equally well represented, refinalizes (p. 51) • Ambiguous words show two clear hierarchical structures based on meanings, unlockable (p. 51, 52), i.e., structure is important to determining meaning
  25. 25. Rule Productivity I • Some morphological rules are productive, e.g., verb + able = ‘able to be’, acceptable, laughable, passable, changeable, breathable, adaptable, downloadable, faxable • Un- derives opposite meaning, unafraid, unfit, un- American • un-Rule is productive for adjectives derived from verbs, unbelievable, unpickupable, unsimplified, unauthorized, undistinguished • Most un- words have polysyllabic bases, unfit, uncool, unread, unclean, unhappy, uncrowdly; most unacceptable un-forms are monosyllabic stems, *unsad, *ungreat, *unred
  26. 26. Rule Productivity II • Verb + -er = ‘one who does’, examiner, analyzer, hunter; comparative –er ‘more’, greedier, nicer, prettier, more beautiful • Other productivity rules: sincere + ity = sincerity, curious + ity = curiosity; warm + th = warmth, wide + th = width; moist + en = moisten, ripe + en = ripen • Meanings can be predicted by attached prefixes, unhappy ‘not happy’, acceptable ‘fit to be accepted’; some are unpredictable (p. 53) • Unpredictable words are listed individually in the mental lexicon
  27. 27. Exceptions & Suppletions • Children learn regular rules first, plural rule, past tense rule • Irregular rules (suppletions) are learned later, child (children), man (men), foot (feet), mouse (mice), go (went), sing (sang), bring (brought), run (run), know (knew) • Children’s speech errors in acquisition evidenced existence of regular rules, goed, mans • Suppletive forms are treated separately in grammar, went, worse • Regular forms + rules are listed in mental lexicon, walked, taller
  28. 28. Zero Phonological Shape • Hit + past tense = hit, Yesterday you hit the ball • Sheep + plural form = sheep, The sheep are in the meadow • Derived verbs from nouns apply regular rules, ring (encircle), The police ringed the bank with armed menㄨrang; flied out (from fly ball),ㄨflew out • Nouns lose meanings in compounds, flatfoot ‘cop’, flatfoots,ㄨflatfeet • Mothers-in-law, mother-in-law’s; courts-martial, attorneys-general (legal setting)/ attorney-generals (popular call); rightmost acts, footman, footmen, ㄨfeetman, feetmen, footmans
  29. 29. Lexical Gaps • Accidental caps = well-formed non-existing words • Words are not presented but could be added in lexicon with permissible sound sequence, *blick, *slarm, *krobe • Phonotactic constraints should be considered, *bnick for impossible English initials • Mental grammar with morphological components make us create & understand new words & recognize possible & impossible words, *magnificenter, more magnificent; *disobvious, nonobvious
  30. 30. Back-Formations • New words enter lg because of incorrect morphological analyses, peddler => peddle (p.56) • Delibrately miscast back-formations, bikini (two) from Marshall islands => monokini (one, topless), tankini (tank top); martini (wine) => appletini, chocotini, mintini; action => act, revision = > revise, television => televise, resurrection => resurrect • Lgs can be adaptable & changeable but not corrupted
  31. 31. Compounds • Flexible combinations in English (p. 57) • When two words in same grammatical category, compound will be in this category noun + noun = noun, boyfriend, mailman adj. + adj. = adj., icy-cold, red-hot, wordly-wise • Compound head: the part of a word or phrase that determines grammatical category of compounds noun + adj. = adj., headstrong verb + noun = noun, pickpocket • Prepositions can be in compounds, overtake, sundown • No compounding limit, four-dimensional space-time (p.58) • Compounds have internal structures, tophatrack (p. 58)
  32. 32. Meaning of Compounds • Is not always sum of its parts, blackboard (green? white?), Redcoat (English soldiers? red coat) • Jumping beans, falling star, magnifying glass, but how about looking glass? eating apple? • Peanut oil, olive oil, how about baby oil? • Horse meat (meat from horses), dog meat (meat for dogs) • Opaque compounds are unrelated to meanings of parts, jack-in-a-box, turncoat, highbrow, bigwig, egghead, flatfoot • Stressed the first syllables of compounds
  33. 33. Universality of Compounding • Common & frequent process enlarging vocabulary of all lgs, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Native American lg Tohono, Twi (p. 59), Thai (p. 60) • Pullet Surprises? Pulitzer Prizes? • Errors reveal knowledge of morphology longevity, ‘being very tall’ homogeneous, ‘devoted to home life’
  34. 34. Exercise 3: P. 67 Match each expression under A with the one statement under B that characterizes it
  35. 35. Morphological Analysis • Case study 1: English (p. 61) • Case study 2: Paku (p. 62) • Case study 3: Michoacan Aztec (p. 63) • Case study 4: Slavic examples (p. 63)
  36. 36. Exercise 5: P. 67 Part One + Part Two
  37. 37. Question?
  38. 38. Homework Hand-in next week
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