Introduction to Linguistics
  30.11.06 Word construction
 
 

30. 11. 2006 Morphology – Word construction



Revision: Basic concepts in morphology



Grammatical morphemes ( affixes or free morphemes, fixed number)

  • cats ( unvoiced)

  • dogs ( voiced)

  • horses ( voiced)

  • sheep_

  • oxen

  • men, women ( vowel change)



Lexical morphemes

  • free morphemes

  • can be found in the dictionary

  • you can invent new ones ( web + blog = weblog)





Compounds

  • nouns combined with nouns/ adjectives, ...

  • fire engine -> what kind of engine

  • endocentric compound

  • red skin -> Indian, NOT what kind of skin BUT who has that kind of skin

Morphology

  • English words consist of

  • a stem

  • an inflection



A stem

An inflection

  • Has a lexical meaning

  • Has a grammatical meaning

  • relates a word to its syntactic context

  • subject verb agreement ( person, case, number)

  • relates a word to its semantic context

  • tense, time, quantity, speaker addressee

  • eg. table, chair, ...

  • eg. cats, dogs, children, ...





ein Bild

( http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/~gibbon/Classes/Classes2006WS/IntroductionToLinguistics/05-IntroMorphology.pdf )

This picture contains the main definition of a word and its parts in a tree diagramme. A word is a stem plus an inflection. An inflection is an affix, either a prefix or an affix or an infix. The stem consists either of a compound stem, which consists of a derived stem itself or the stem is a derived stem itself. Every Derived stem consist of a root which is a lexical morpheme an an affix.


ein Bild

( http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/~gibbon/Classes/Classes2006WS/IntroductionToLinguistics/05-IntroMorphology.pdf)

In this nice graphic you can find recursive definitions ( unavoidable because there is an infinite number of each) of all important concepts of wird formation

Then, Prof. Gibbon gave us some examples for simplex and complex words and we got to know a special distinction between three different kinds of compound words

  • compounds (based on more than one root/stem):
    • endocentric: jam-jar, honeypot, harddisk, bus-stop, ...
      • a jar FOR jam
    • bicentric: whisky-soda, gentleman-farmer, ...
      • a mixture of whisky AND soda
    • exocentric: red-head, redskin, blue-stocking, ...
      • someone who HAS a red head

Morphemes are the smallest meaningful part of a word and they are divided into two groups: lexical morphemes and grammatical morphemes. Lexical morphemes are also called content morphemes or roots and have an open set, which means there is an infinite number of lexical morphemes because you can always invent new ones.

In contrast to that, grammatical morphemes, also called structural morphemes, have a closed set. On the one hand there are free morphemes like prepositions ore conjunctions which can be on their own, and on the other hand there are bound morphemes like affixes, which need a root.

Morphemes are realised in different contexts by different allomorphs with different pronounciations. For example you pronounce the plural -s in dogs differently than the plural -s in cats. But you could also have a different plural form like child- children.

 

Learner's diary

I really liked this lecture, especially the graphics because they are very helpful to undestand the complex connections between the different forms of word formation and they also give a good definition.

References

 

 

Homework

Define

  • Morpheme
    • Morphemes are the smallest meaningful part of a word. There are grammatical( structural morpheme) and lexical morphemes (content morpheme or root). Grammatical morphemes consist of a closed set of prepositions, conjunctions, auxiliary verbs and affixes ( in word formation). There is an indefinite number of lexical morphemes because you can always invent new ones.
  • lexical morpheme
    • Content morpheme or root
  • grammatical morpheme
    • structural morpheme, a preposition, conjunction, auxiliary verb or an affix
  • stem
    • is either a root ( lexical morpheme), a derived stem ( stem + affix) or a compound stem ( stem + stem) and nothing else is a stem.
  • derived stem / compound stem
    • A derived stem is either a root ( zero derivation) or a derived stem with an affix. Nothing else is a derived stem. 

What is the difference between

  • inflection and word formation?
    • There is a big difference in their internal (form) as well in their external (function) structure. The external structure with inflections is to mark the relation of words to their context without changing the actual meaning of a word. The function of word formation, in contrast to that, is to create new words and new meanings. The internal structure of inflections are affixes, the internal structure of word formations are root/ morpheme creations, derivations and compoundings.
  • derivation and compounding (and other forms of word formation)?
    • A derived stem consists of one stem and at least one affix, a compound stem consists of at least 2 stems

Collect 5 longish words and

  • divide them into morphemes
  • show construction of a word from their stems as tree diagrammes

BLACKBOARDS: black- board- s

BLACKBOARDS


BLACK

BOARDS

BOARD

-S




MISSTREATMENT: MISS- TREAT- MENT

MISSTREATMENT


MISS

TREATMENT

TREAT

-MENT




ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANIS: ANTI- DIS- ESTABLISH- MENT- ARIAN- ISM

ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM

ANTI

DISESTABLISHMENTIARIANISM

DIS

ESTABLISHMENTARIANISM

ESTABLISH

MENTARIANISM

MENT

ARIANISM

ARIAN

ISM


CARDRIVERS: CAR- DRIVE- ER- S

CARDRIVERS

CAR

DRIVERS

DRIVE

ERS

-ER

-S




CLEANING LADIES: CLEAN- ING- LADY- S

CLEANING LADIES

CLEANING

LADIES

CLEAN

ING

LADY

-S

 

 
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