Morphology is deals with the structure of words

Morpheme-based morphology comes in two flavours, one Bloomfieldian [13] and one Hockettian. For him, there is a morpheme plural using allomorphs such as -s , -en and -ren. Within much morpheme-based morphological theory, the two views are mixed in unsystematic ways so a writer may refer to "the morpheme plural" and "the morpheme -s " in the same sentence.

Lexeme-based morphology usually takes what is called an item-and-process approach. Instead of analyzing a word form as a set of morphemes arranged in sequence, a word form is said to be the result of applying rules that alter a word-form or stem in order to produce a new one. An inflectional rule takes a stem, changes it as is required by the rule, and outputs a word form; a derivational rule takes a stem, changes it as per its own requirements, and outputs a derived stem; a compounding rule takes word forms, and similarly outputs a compound stem.

Word-based morphology is usually a word-and-paradigm approach. The theory takes paradigms as a central notion. Instead of stating rules to combine morphemes into word forms or to generate word forms from stems, word-based morphology states generalizations that hold between the forms of inflectional paradigms. The major point behind this approach is that many such generalizations are hard to state with either of the other approaches. Word-and-paradigm approaches are also well-suited to capturing purely morphological phenomena, such as morphomes.

Examples to show the effectiveness of word-based approaches are usually drawn from fusional languages , where a given "piece" of a word, which a morpheme-based theory would call an inflectional morpheme, corresponds to a combination of grammatical categories, for example, "third-person plural".

Morpheme-based theories usually have no problems with this situation since one says that a given morpheme has two categories. Item-and-process theories, on the other hand, often break down in cases like these because they all too often assume that there will be two separate rules here, one for third person, and the other for plural, but the distinction between them turns out to be artificial.

The approaches treat these as whole words that are related to each other by analogical rules.

Morphology: Word Structure

Words can be categorized based on the pattern they fit into. This applies both to existing words and to new ones. Application of a pattern different from the one that has been used historically can give rise to a new word, such as older replacing elder where older follows the normal pattern of adjectival superlatives and cows replacing kine where cows fits the regular pattern of plural formation. In the 19th century, philologists devised a now classic classification of languages according to their morphology.

Some languages are isolating , and have little to no morphology; others are agglutinative whose words tend to have lots of easily separable morphemes; others yet are inflectional or fusional because their inflectional morphemes are "fused" together. That leads to one bound morpheme conveying multiple pieces of information. A standard example of an isolating language is Chinese. An agglutinative language is Turkish. Latin and Greek are prototypical inflectional or fusional languages.

It is clear that this classification is not at all clearcut, and many languages Latin and Greek among them do not neatly fit any one of these types, and some fit in more than one way. A continuum of complex morphology of language may be adopted. The three models of morphology stem from attempts to analyze languages that more or less match different categories in this typology. The item-and-arrangement approach fits very naturally with agglutinative languages. The item-and-process and word-and-paradigm approaches usually address fusional languages.

As there is very little fusion involved in word formation, classical typology mostly applies to inflectional morphology. Depending on the preferred way of expressing non-inflectional notions, languages may be classified as synthetic using word formation or analytic using syntactic phrases.

Inflectional vs. Derivational Morphology

Pingelapese is a Micronesian language spoken on the Pingelap atoll and on two of the eastern Caroline Islands, called the high island of Pohnpei. Similar to other languages, words in Pingelapese can take different forms to add to or even change its meaning.

Verbal suffixes are morphemes added at the end of a word to change its form. Prefixes are those that are added at the front. There are also directional suffixes that when added to the root word gives the listener a better idea of where the subject is headed. The verb alu means to walk. A directional suffix can be used to give more detail. Directional suffixes are not limited to motion verbs.

When added to non-motion verbs, their meanings are a figurative one. The following table gives some examples of directional suffixes and their possible meanings. Morphology analysis is used in various fields. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Morphological typology. The study of words, their formation, and their relationships in a language. Outline History Index. Grammatical Theories. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.

This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article may be confusing or unclear to readers.

Please help us clarify the article. There might be a discussion about this on the talk page. Main article: Word formation. Main article: Morphological typology. While all those were indeed once related to each other by morphological rules, that was only the case in Latin, not in English. English borrowed such words from French and Latin but not the morphological rules that allowed Latin speakers to combine de- and the verb pendere 'to hang' into the derivative dependere. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science.

Macmillan Reference, Ltd. Retrieved 30 July What is Morphology? Blackwell Publishing. In Jae Jung Song ed. The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology. Introduction" PDF. In Ginzburg, R. Journal of Literacy Research. Library of Congress. Retrieved The modern study of linguistic morphology dates to the early s, but the beginnings of linguistic morphology lie much earlier. Important foundational works throughout the past century are still available and are important reading for understanding how the field has evolved.

There was a gap in the early period of generative grammar during which morphology was not regarded as a separate field of inquiry. Accordingly, the references below are divided into two distinct subsections surrounding this gap: the Early 20th Century and Late 20th Century.


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Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. Not a member? Sign up for My OBO. Already a member? For example, the English plural morpheme can appear as [s] as in cats , [z] as in dogs , or ['z] as in churches. Each of these three pronunciations is said to be an allomorph of the same morpheme.

Another common distinction is the one between derivational and inflectional affixes. Derivational morphemes makes new words from old ones. Thus creation is formed from create by adding a morpheme that makes nouns out of some verbs. Derivational morphemes generally change the part of speech or the basic meaning of a word. Thus -ment added to a verb forms a noun judg-ment. Thus un-kind combines un- and kind into a single new word, but has no particular syntactic connections outside the word -- we can say he is unkind or he is kind or they are unkind or they are kind , depending on what we mean.

Thus the suffix -hood occurs with just a few nouns such as brother, neighbor, and knight , but not with most others. Furthermore "brotherhood" can mean "the state or relationship of being brothers," but "neighborhood" cannot mean "the state or relationship of being neighbors. Thus in government s, -ment , a derivational suffix, precedes -s, an inflectional suffix. Thus Boy and boys, for example, are two different forms of the "same" word. In English, we must choose the singular form or the plural form; if we choose the basic form with no affix, we have chosen the singular.

Morphology (linguistics) - Wikipedia

Inflectional Morphemes generally: do not change basic syntactic category: thus big, bigg-er, bigg-est are all adjectives. Thus in Lee love-s Kim, -s marks the 3rd person singular present form of the verb, and also relates it to the 3rd singular subject Lee. Thus in ration-al-iz-ation-s the final -s is inflectional, and appears at the very end of the word, outside the derivational morphemes -al , -iz, -ation.

In English, are suffixes only. Keep in mind that most morphemes are neither derivational nor inflectional! For instance, the English morphemes Melissa , twist , tele- , and ouch. Therefore we will not be surprised to find cases for which the application of the distinction is unclear. For example, the English suffix -ing has several uses that are arguably on the borderline between inflection and derivation along with other uses that are not. One very regular use of -ing is to indicate progressive aspect in verbs, following forms of "to be": She is going ; he will be leaving ; they had been asking.

This use is generally considered an inflectional suffix, part of the system for marking tense and aspect in English verbs.

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Another, closely related use is to make present participles of verbs, which are used like adjectives: Falling water ; stinking mess ; glowing embers. According to the rule that inflection doesn't change the lexical category, this should be a form of morphological derivation, since it changes verbs to adjectives. But in fact it is probably the same process, at least historically as is involved in marking progressive aspect on verbs, since "being in the process of doing X" is one of the natural meanings of the adjectival form X-ing.

There is another, regular use of -ing to make verbal nouns: Flying can be dangerous ; losing is painful. The -ing forms in these cases are often called gerunds. By the "changes lexical categories" rule, this should also be a derivational affix, since it turns a verb into a noun.

However, many people feel that such cases are determined by grammatical context, so that a phrase like Kim peeking around the corner surprised me actually is related to, or derived from, a tenseless form of the sentence Kim peeked around the corner.

On this view, the affix -ing is a kind of inflection, since it creates a form of the verb appropriate for a particular grammatical situation, rather than making a new, independent word. Thus the decision about whether -ing is an inflection in this case depends on your analysis of the syntactic relationships involved. It's for reasons like this that the distinction between inflectional and derivational affixes is just a sometimes-convenient descriptive one, and not a basic distinction in theory.

What is the meaning of an affix? The meanings of derivational affixes are sometimes clear, but often are obscured by changes that occur over time. The following two sets of examples show that the prefix un- is easily interpreted as "not" when applied to adjectives, and as a reversing action when applied to verbs, but the prefix con- is more opaque. Although English is a Germanic language, and most of its basic vocabulary derives from Old English, there is also a sizeable vocabulary that derives from Romance Latin and French. Some English affixes, such as re- , attach freely to vocabulary from both sources.

Other affixes, such as "-ation", are more limited. Many words ending with this suffix passed from Ecclesiastical Greek into Latin, where, by the fourth century, they had become established as verbs with the ending -izare , such as barbarizare, catechizare, christianizare. In Old French we find many such verbs, belonging primarily to the ecclesistical sphere: baptiser 11th c. The first -ize words to be found in English are loans with both a French and Latin pattern such as baptize , catechize , and organize both 15th c. Towards the end of the 16th century, however, we come across many new formations in English, such as bastardize, equalize, popularize, and womanize.

The formal and semantic patterns were the same as those from the borrowed French and Latin forms, but owing to the renewed study of Greek, the educated had become more familiar with its vocabulary and used the patterns of Old Greek word formation freely. Between and , the disciplines of literature, medicine, natural science and theology introduced a great deal of new terminology into the language.

Some of the terms still in use today include criticize, fertilize, humanize, naturalize, satirize, sterilize, and symbolize. The growth of science contributed vast numbers of -ize formations through the 19th century and into the 20th. The -ize words collected by students in in this class nine years ago show that -ize is almost entirely restricted to Romance vocabulary, the only exceptions we found being womanize and winterize. Even though most contemporary English speakers are not consciously aware of which words in their vocabulary are from which source, they have respected this distinction in coining new words.

Constituent Structure of Words The constituent morphemes of a word can be organized into a branching or hierarchical structure, sometimes called a tree structure. Consider the word unusable. It contains three morphemes:. What is the structure? Since "unuse" doesn't exist in English, while "usable" does, we prefer the first structure, which corresponds to the tree shown below.

This analysis is supported by the general behavior of these affixes. There is a prefix "un-" that attaches to adjectives to make adjectives with a negative meaning "unhurt", "untrue", "unhandy", etc. And there is a suffix "-able" that attaches to verbs and forms adjectives "believable", "fixable", "readable". This gives us the analysis pictured above. There is no way to combine a prefix "un-" directly with the verb "use", so the other logically-possible structure won't work. Now let's consider the word "unlockable". This also consists of three morphemes: prefix "un-" verb stem "lock" suffix "-able" This time, though, a little thought shows us that there are two different meanings for this word: one corresponding to the left-hand figure, meaning "not lockable," and a second one corresponding to the right-hand figure, meaning "able to be unlocked.

In fact, un- can indeed attach to some verbs: untie , unbutton , uncover , uncage , unwrap Larry Horn points out that the verbs that permit prefixation with un- are those that effect a change in state in some object, the form with un- denoting the undoing! This lets us account for the two senses of "unlockable". We can combine the suffix -able with the verb lock to form an adjective lockable, and then combine the prefix un- with lockable to make a new adjective unlockable , meaning "not able to be locked".

Or we can combine the prefix un- with the verb lock to form a new verb unlock , and the combine the suffix -able with unlock to form an adjective unlockable , meaning "able to be unlocked". By making explicit the different possible hierarchies for a single word, we can better understand why its meaning might be ambiguous. Morphology FAQ These questions and answers are based on some patterns of error observed in homeworks and exams in previous years.

Are there syllables that are not morphemes?

morphology

Yes, many syllables are "less" than morphemes. Just because you can break a word into two or more syllables does not mean it must consist of more than one morpheme! Each is an independent unit of structure. What are the major differences between derivational and inflectional affixes? First, it's worth saying that most linguists today consider this distinction as a piece of convenient descriptive terminology, without any fundamental theoretical status.

Then we can point to the basic meanings of the terms: derivational affixes "derive" new words from old ones, while inflectional affixes "inflect" words for certain grammatical or semantic properties. The answer would depend on your definitions -- and as we explained earlier, the categories of "inflection" and "derivation" are descriptive terms that really don't have a strong theoretical basis.