You are on page 1of 7


 Morphology
o The study of how words are structured and how they are put together from smaller
 Speaker‟s morphological knowledge includes:
o The ability to recognize words as being well-formed or ill-formed
o The ability to come up with new creations based on existing patterns.


 Words are potentially complex units, composed of even more basic units, called morpheme. A
single word may be composed of one or more morphemes.
 A morpheme
o the smallest part of a word that has grammatical function or meaning (the smallest unit
of linguistic meaning)
o written in { }
o e.g. sawed = {saw} + {-ed}
sawn = {saw} + {-n}
sawing = {saw} + {-ing}
saws = {saw} + {-s}
 Free morpheme
o Morpheme which can occur on its own as a word; it does not have to be attached to
another morpheme.
o E.g. {saw}
 Bound morpheme
o Morpheme which can only occur as a part of a word; must be attached (affixed) as
word parts
o E.g. {-ed}, {-n}, {-ing}, {-s}
o Affixes can be classified according to the place they are attached to.
 Prefixes
 Bound morpheme which is attached before or to the beginning of a word
or morpheme
 E.g. {un-} + {happy}  {unhappy}
 Suffixes
 Bound morpheme which is attached after or to the end of a word or
 E.g. {fast} + {-er}  {faster}
 Infixes
 Bound morpheme which is inserted inside a word or morpheme
 Doesn‟t exist in English morphology
 E.g. {-el-} + {gigi}  {geligi}
 Circumfixes
 Bound morpheme which is attached to a root or a stem morpheme both
initially and finally.
Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 1

g. countable. {un} + {do} = undo (the opposite meaning of „do‟) {sing} + {-er} = singer (a person who sings) o Change the syntactic category (optionally)  Change of category  Noun to Adjective  E. phone.g.g. saw. systematic o Examples: o Root: believe (verb) o Stem: believe + able (verb + suffix) o Word: un + believe + able (prefix + verb + suffix) o Root: system (noun) o Stem: system + atic (noun + suffix) o Stem: un + system + atic (prefix + noun + suffix) o Stem: un + system + atic + al ( prefix + noun + suffix + suffix) o Word: un + system +atic + al + ly (prefix+noun+suffix+suffix+suffix)  Derivational Morphemes o Derive a new word by being attached to root morphemes or stems o Can be both suffixes and prefixes in English  E. Base o Root morpheme  The basic form to which other morphemes are attached  Provides the basic meaning of the word  Cannot be analyzed into smaller parts  E.) +{-ly}  quietly (adv. unhappy. may but need not be a root morpheme.g.g. run. impossible.g. count. recover o Change the meaning  E. beautiful.) + {-ize}  moralize (verb)  Adjective to Noun Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 2 .)  Noun to Verb  E. Stem vs.  E.g.g.g.  E. {sing}(verb) + {-er}  singer (noun)  Adjective to Adverb  E. fast o Stem  A root morpheme which is combined with affix morpheme  Other affixes can be added to a stem to form a more complex stem. {ke-} + {warga} + {negara} + {-an}  kewarganegaraan  Root morpheme vs. {quiet} (adj. {moral} (adj.g.  E. {un-} + {count}  {uncount} stem {un-} + {count} + {-able}  {uncountable} o Base  Part of word to which an affix may be attached.)  Verb to Noun  E. {boy}(noun) + {-ish}  boyish (adj.

g. toys o Never change the syntactic category of the words or morpheme to which they are attached  E. ring/rang/rung  Deriving from historically unrelated forms (suppletion)  E.g. walked o No change of meaning  E. such as number (plural). walk vs. o English irregular forms  Using different inflections than regular ones  E. boys (n  n) eat vs. grow/ grew. and so on. alumnae (plural) alumna (sing.) + {-ity}  humidity (noun)  No change of category  E.g. o Written in / / o E. or adv. we call the variations allomorphs. -ed past tense She waited at home.g. walks toy vs. o Often called as bound grammatical morphemes o Only found in suffixes in English  E. -ing progressive She‟s waiting at home.g. -est superlative adj. go  went good  better  best  No inflectional change  E. -s plural marker The boys are playing on the ground.g. or adv.g. English plural morpheme Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 3 .g.)  Allomorphs o When a morpheme is realized by more than one sound pattern. -„s possessive Mary’s hair is short. Mary has the shortest hair. & plural) hit (present & past tenses)  Borrowed words  E.g. Mary‟s. eating (progressive) (V  V) o English has eight inflectional suffixes (morphemes) Suffix Function Example rd -s 3 person singular present She waits at home. sheep (sing. man/ men. -en past participle Mary has eaten the cake. walked or walks (V  V) boy vs. {humid}(adj. {friend} + {-ship}  friendship {re-} + {print}  reprint  Inflectional Morphemes o Signal grammatical information.g.g.  E. freeze  frozen break  broken  Involving internal vowel changes  E. walk vs. Mary has shorter hair than Nina. -er comparative adj. possession. tense. boys.

/ɪz/ Another example: English indefinite article English has two allomorphs of an indefinite article: a dog an apple  Morph o a minimal meaningful form.English has three allomorphs of the plural morpheme /z/. blackbird. we can say . working girl. regardless its color  Black bird = a bird which is black. regardless its species  In many compounds.g. astronaut. English plural morpheme –s is realized (pronounced) in three ways: dogs (dog[z]) cats (cat[s]) judges (judg[ɪz]) To describe this situation. girlfriend  using hyphen between the parts  e. girlfriend. deaf-mute  as two words or more  e. aircraft carrier. Phrase  Different stress pattern  COMPOUND PHRASE ˈWhite House white ˈhouse ˈblackbird black ˈbird  The meaning of the compound may differ to a greater or lesser degree from that of the corresponding phrase  Blackbird = a species of bird. life insurance salesman o Compounds may be spelled  as single word  e. -s. o Compounds vs. man-made. /s/. looking glass. sawmill. the order of the constituent word is different from that in the corresponding phrase  COMPOUND PHRASE sawmill mill for sawing sawdust dust from sawing sawing horse horse for sawing Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 4 . . air conditioner. o E. jig-saw. life insurance salesman o A compound generally consist of a head word and a modifier.g. regardless of whether it is a morpheme or allomorph WORD FORMATION PROCESSES  Compounding o A word formed by the combination of two independent words  compound o The parts of a compound can be morphemes. astronaut.g. derived words.English has one plural morpheme.g. working girl. or other compounds.

 Compound nouns allow no modification to the first element. jail. ˈpermit (noun)  perˈmit (verb) ˈcontact (noun)  conˈtact (verb)  Reduplication o All of a morpheme is doubled  total reduplication.g. etc. drink. use X  Adjective  Verb  E. o A part of a morpheme is doubled  partial reduplication o E. empty.g. comb. etc. spy. Converted Verb Meaning father. etc. doc (doctor).g. captain. etc.  E. command.  Indonesian uses total reduplication to form plural nouns  [rumah] „house‟  [rumahrumah] „houses‟  [ibu] „mother  [ibuibu] „mothers‟  Tagalong uses partial reduplication to indicate future  [bili] „buy‟  [bibili] „will buy‟  [kain] „eat‟  [kakain] „will eat‟  Abbreviation o Shortening the existing words to create other words. cash. while the noun phrase does. put into X brake.  Conversion by stress  E. prof (professor) Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 5 .g. behave/ act like/ be X group. etc.g. etc. a really-blackbird * a really black bird  Derivation o Process of creating separate but morphologically related words o Some kinds of derivational processes:  Adding affixes (bound morphemes)  E. {un} + {do} = undo (the opposite meaning of „do‟) {sing} + {-er} = singer (a person who sings) {sulat} (write) + {-ul-} = sumulat (to write) – Tagalog {pe-} + {rencana} (plan) + {an} = perencanaan – Indonesian  Zero Derivation  Conversion (or functional shift) o Changing word-class (parts of speech) o Some conversions may be  Noun  Verb  E. slow.g. make into X bottle. cheat.  Verb  Noun  E.g.g. usually informal versions of the original o E. cool.

g. affixes are put together step by step.  The expression resulting from the addition of a given affix to some word or morpheme also normally belong to the same part of speech. The result of the addition of suffix –able to a verb is always an adjective. break. childish  unchildish Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 6 . unchildish Step: 1.g. revision : revise :: television : televise creation : create :: donation : donate  Blending o Combining the parts of two words.g. i. Suffix –ish attaches to noun child  childish 2. o E.attaches to adj.  E.g. Exxon THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF COMPLEX WORDS o Two important facts about the ways in which affixes join with their expressions  The expression with which a given affix may combine normally belong to the same part of speech. Prefix un. o E. Suffix –able attaches freely to a verb.g.g. exam (examination) Dorm (dormitory)  Coinage o Creating of new words without reference to the existing morphological resources of the language. solely out of the sounds of the language o E. adjust + -able = adjustable break + -able = breakable o The internal structure of words is hierarchical. use. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Laser (light amplification through the stimulated emission of radiation) Radar (radio detection and ranging)  Back Formation o Making use of a process called analogy to derive new words.g. brand names such as Xerox.  Acronyms o Taking initial sounds (or letters) of the words or a phrase and uniting them into a combination which is itself pronounceable as a separate word. o E.  E. usually the beginning of one word and the end of another o E. smog (smoke and fog) Brunch (breakfast and lunch)  Clipping o Shortening words without paying attention to the derivational morphology of the word (or related word) o E. but in rather backwards manner o E.g. Kodak. but not to adjective or noun.g. o -able may attach to adjust.e. etc.

A morphological analysis of Michoacan [mitʃɔɑˈkɑn] Aztec The following list is taken from Michoacan Aztec. Tree diagram unreadability [N[Adjun1[Adj[Vread]abil]]ity] *how will you explain the process? Exercise: 1. kali “house” 13. nokalimes “my houses” 10. kalimes “houses” 14. nopelo “my dog” 15. ikwahmili “his cornfield” 7. mokwahmili “your cornfield” 6. ipelo “his dog” 3. readings 2. Indicate which are free morphs and bound morphs. ikwahmilimes “his cornfields” 8. mokali “your house” 11. kwahmili “cornfield” Fill in the following chart. ikali “his house” 12. kingdoms c. a. mopelo “your dog” 16. 1. pelo “dog” 4. encouragement b. mopelomes “your dogs” 2. biannually e. nokwahmili “my cornfield” 5. Intro to Linguistics – Handout 5 Page 7 . and which of bound morphs are inflectional and which are derivational. nokali “my house” 9. Identify the component morphs of these complex words. brotherhood d.