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  1. 1. Introduction to Morphology
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>“ Mommy, where do words come from?” </li></ul><ul><li>Word Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a rich source of humor? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>word structure: morphemes </li></ul><ul><li>language types and universals </li></ul><ul><li>word formation processes </li></ul>
  3. 3. Thus far... <ul><li>We've talked mostly about words as the units of language. </li></ul><ul><li>But were do the words come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Usually from arbitrary bits of sounds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>/k/ /ae/ /t/ /kaet/ = “cat” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>/t/ /ae/ /k/ /taek/ = “tack” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Another way to get new words: Put existing words together: “ Sail” sailplane , sailor , sailing-boat , sailcloth
  5. 5. But what about -ed? What about these little chunks of sound that seem to allow the creation of new words? “ sail-ed” “ sail-ing” “ sail-s”
  6. 6. What is a Morpheme? <ul><li>Morphemes are minimal units of meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>smallest possible string of sounds that still has meaning and can not be reduced any further </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a morpheme can consist of as little as one sound: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>+ plural morpheme /z/ </li></ul><ul><li>+ /e/ as in a-typical </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bound vs. Free <ul><li>Some morphemes are allowed out alone (roots): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>banana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hippopotamus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some are not (affixes): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>re – </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Word Structure <ul><li>“ reaction” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>re – act – ion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>prefix root suffix </li></ul>
  9. 9. How do we know structure exists? <ul><li>Same evidence we used with sentence structure: ambiguity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Untieable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ not able to tie” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Untieable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ able to be untied” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Two structures <ul><ul><ul><li>Adj Adj </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adj V </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>un - tie - able un - tie - able </li></ul>
  11. 11. In addition to its other uses... <ul><li>Morphology is a great source of humor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humanitarian </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. “ Uglification” <ul><li>“ I never heard of ‘Uglification,’ Alice ventured to say. ‘What is it?’ The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. “never heard of uglifying!” it exclaimed. “You know what to beautify is, I suppose?’ ‘Yes,’ said Alice doubtfully: ‘it means—to make—anything-prettier.’ ‘Well, then,’ the Gryphon went on, ‘if you don’t know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton.’” </li></ul><ul><li>(Carroll 128-129) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>The term “uglification” is part of a longer quote in which Alice is being told about the education system in Wonderland. Students in Wonderland study “Reeling, Writhing, Uglification and Derision.” </li></ul><ul><li>They call their teacher “Tortoise” because he “taught us.” </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons get shorter each day. That’s why they’re called “lessens.” </li></ul><ul><li>In Wonderland, “Latin and Greek” becomes “Laughing and Grief,” and “drawing, sketching and painting in oils” becomes “Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Carroll 128-129) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers <ul><li>On National Public Radio’s “Cartalk,” Click and Clack are playing with Morphology in their list of credits: </li></ul><ul><li>Copyeditor: Adeline Moore </li></ul><ul><li>Accounts Payable: Ineeda Czech </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution Control: Maury Missions </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing: Lois Bidder </li></ul><ul><li>Statistician: Marge Innovera </li></ul><ul><li>Russian Chauffeur: Picov Andropov </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Firm: Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Bilingual Morphological Word Play <ul><li>“ Un petit d’un petit S’ étonne aux Halles” </li></ul><ul><li>This makes no sense in French, but it makes perfect sense in English: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Humpty Dumpty Sat on a wall” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Watergate <ul><li>The Watergate Hotel is where the break-in of the National Democratic headquarters occurred. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s dictionaries give more room to the metonymous meaning of Watergate than to the literal meaning of “a gate controlling the flow of water.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gate” has now become a suffix meaning “scandal” as in Irangate , Contragate, Iraqgate , Pearlygate , Rubbergate , Murphygate , Gennifergate , Nannygate, Monicagate , ad infinitum. </li></ul>
  17. 17. New Definitions <ul><li>Artery : The study of painting </li></ul><ul><li>Bacteria : The back door of a cafeteria </li></ul><ul><li>Barium : What doctors do when patients die. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><ul><ul><li>deciduous able to make up one’s mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>longevity being very tall </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fortuitous well protected </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gubernatorial to do with peanuts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>bibliography holy geography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>adamant pertaining to original sin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>diatribe food for the whole clan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gullible to do with sea birds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>homogeneous devoted to home life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>stalemate husband or wife no longer interesting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tenet a group of ten singers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>dermatology study of derms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ingenious not very smart </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>finesse a female fish </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What is a Word? <ul><li>Words are composed of morphemes--sometimes of several morphemes and sometimes just one morpheme makes up a word </li></ul><ul><li>Antidisestablishmentarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Constantinople </li></ul>
  20. 20. Morphological Creativity <ul><li>Pinker states in The Language Instinct that the creative powers of English morphology are pathetic when compared to other languages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>nouns, for example, come in only two forms (duck, ducks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>verbs come in only four forms (quack, quacks, quacked, quacking) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Inflectional Morphology <ul><li>Inflected languages/inflectional morphology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>languages like Spanish, Italian, Russian, have so many verbal and nominal forms because they are inflected languages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>English is not a richly inflected language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In English we have only eight inflected morphemes </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. English Inflectional Morphology <ul><li> -s 3rd person singular present (verb) </li></ul><ul><li>-ed past tense verbal ending </li></ul><ul><li>-ing progressive </li></ul><ul><li>-en past participle verbal ending </li></ul><ul><li>-s plural </li></ul><ul><li>-’s possessive </li></ul><ul><li>-er comparative </li></ul><ul><li>-est superlative </li></ul>
  23. 23. Derivational Morphology <ul><li>Creation of new word from old ones as in the case of sailor , sailplane , etc. </li></ul><ul><li>English, while weak in inflected morphemes, makes great use of derivational morphology. </li></ul>
  24. 24. English Derivational Morphology <ul><li>English makes great use of prefixes (like un-) and suffixes (-able) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These prefixes and suffixes are also morphemes as they are minimal units of meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>+ un- not </li></ul><ul><li>+ able- converts a verb meaning “to do x” to an adjective meaning “capable of having x done to it” </li></ul>
  25. 25. morph free bound content function affix root clitic cat sleep to up have will pre suff re- -ness -kempt -ceive -couth -'ll -'ve -n't
  26. 26. Affixes <ul><li>Prefix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>re-, un-, dis-, a-, sub-... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suffix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-ion, -ing, -ed, -ness, -able... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in- bloody -possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>abso- fucking -lutely </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Language typology <ul><li>Agglutinating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turkish: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ev “house” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- im “my” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- ler plural </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>evim “my house” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>evlerim “my houses” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Analytic <ul><li>Chinese </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ta chi le fan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>he eat pst meal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ He ate the meal” </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Polysynthetic <ul><li>Inuktitut: </li></ul><ul><li>Qasuiirsarvigssarsingituluinarnarpuq </li></ul><ul><li>qasu-iir-sar-vig-ssar-si-ngit-luinar-nar-puq </li></ul><ul><li>“ Someone did not find a completely suitable resting place.” </li></ul>
  30. 30. Word formation <ul><li>Derivation un-friend-ly </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion tin N -> tin V </li></ul><ul><li>Backformation editor -> edit </li></ul><ul><li>Compounding blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Blending smoke + fog = smog </li></ul><ul><li>Shortening WASP, YUPPY </li></ul>
  31. 31. Types of Morphemes
  32. 32. Words <ul><li>Lexical Content (Open Class) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In English this class of words is made up mostly of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We constantly add new words to this class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Function Words (Closed Class) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>grammatical words in English = pronouns, conjugations, determiners, prepositions, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we don’t add new words to these groups </li></ul></ul>