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Morphology and words

The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Principles of Linguistics
Morphology
Simona Herdan
September 29, 2005/ PoL
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Outline
1
Morphology and words
2
The internal structure of words
3
Morphemes and allomorphs
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Words in the mind
permanently stored up in a speaker’s mental lexicon
fundamental building blocks of communication
basic words - whose meaning cannot be predicted
Example
sing, read, book, Fido
derived words - obtained by the application of general rules
to basic words
Example
fax →faxed, faxable
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Morphology
the part of the grammar that deals with words and word
formation
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Defining words
First pass
the unit between two white spaces on the paper
Problem
hyphenated phrases
compounds
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Defining words
First pass
the unit between two white spaces on the paper
Problem
hyphenated phrases
compounds
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Defining words
A linguist’s definition
the smallest free form found in language
free form = an element that does not have to occur in a fixed
position with respect to neighboring elements; it can even
appear in isolation in many cases
Example
dinosaur+s=dinosaurs
dinosaur = free form →word
s = not a free form →not a word
dinosaurs = free form; not smallest though →derived word
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Defining words
A linguist’s definition
the smallest free form found in language
free form = an element that does not have to occur in a fixed
position with respect to neighboring elements; it can even
appear in isolation in many cases
Example
dinosaur+s=dinosaurs
dinosaur = free form →word
s = not a free form →not a word
dinosaurs = free form; not smallest though →derived word
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Defining words
A linguist’s definition
the smallest free form found in language
free form = an element that does not have to occur in a fixed
position with respect to neighboring elements; it can even
appear in isolation in many cases
Example
dinosaur+s=dinosaurs
dinosaur = free form →word
s = not a free form →not a word
dinosaurs = free form; not smallest though →derived word
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Outline
1
Morphology and words
2
The internal structure of words
3
Morphemes and allomorphs
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Morphemes
morpheme = smallest unit of language that carries information
about meaning or function
Example
-ed - contains the information "past tense"
I - contains the information "speaker"
cat - contains the information " "
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Words and morphemes
simple words = words made up of only one morpheme
Example
and, boy, cat, child
complex words = words which contain two or more
morphemes
Example
boy-s, work-er, re-organ-ize
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Words and morphemes
free morpheme = a morpheme that can be a word by itself
Example
all simple words are also free morphemes: fun, computer,
linguistics, run
bound morpheme = a morpheme that must be attached to
another element
Example
-s, -ize, re-
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Outline
1
Morphology and words
2
The internal structure of words
3
Morphemes and allomorphs
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Morphemes and allomorphs
allomorphs = variant forms of a morpheme; cf. allophones
allomorphs never appear in the same environment
the allomorph with the widest distribution is the underlying
form/morpheme
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Distribution of allomorphs
allomorphic distribution is rule-governed (like allophony)
Example
the indefinite article a/an: an appears before a word that begins
with vowel ([-consonantal, +syllabic]), a appears elsewhere
Exercise on allomorphy
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Types of morphemes
roots - belong to a lexical category (N, V, A, P)
affixes - do not belong to a lexical category and are always
bound morphemes
base - the form to which an affix is added; in many cases
the base = the root
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Types of affixes
prefix: an affix that is attached to the front of the base
suffix: an affix that is attached to the end of the base
infix: an affix that occurs inside another morpheme
Simona Herdan P of L
Morphology and words
The internal structure of words
Morphemes and allomorphs
Problematic cases
most English roots are free morphemes: word-based
morphology
some bound roots
Example
un-kempt - kempt cannot be used by itself
re-ceive, con-ceive - ceive is a bound morpheme as well
Simona Herdan P of L
Practice with allomorphy
Outline
4
Practice with allomorphy
Simona Herdan P of L
Practice with allomorphy
Plural allomorphy in English
[s]
cats
roof
caps
racks
[z]
beds
eves
cabs
kegs
mamas
halos
[@z]
judges
watches
buses
buzzes
bushes
rouges
Simona Herdan P of L