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English Morphology – Lecture 2

David Brett Antonio Pinna
University of Sassari 2007

Distinguishing between morphemes:
• Bound and free morphemes: • Free morphemes can occur on their own: – happy, change, select, green, house, … • Bound morphemes can occur only if they are attached to other morphemes: – Affixes (un-, -ness, -able, de-, -ive, -er, …) – Binding forms liber-, oper-, circul-, legitim-, materi-, … • Eg. liber-ation, oper-ate, circul-ar, legitim-(a)cy, materi-al

• Cran-berry (berry, straw-berry, blackberry) • Dis-gruntle-d • Gorm-less • Cranberry morphemes

Bound morphemes as core elements: words derived from Latin CirculCircular LiberLiberty Circulation Liberation Circulator Liberalize Circulatory Libertine .

Problem case: Verbs of Latin origin receive revert deceive conceive convert perceive pervert relate reduce deduce collate conduce translate Should these be considered to be composed of a single morpheme? Or prefix + bound morpheme? .

hand-le.General tendency • The core vocabulary of English is generally composed of words of AngloSaxon origin • There is a general tendency for core elements to be free morphemes • E. hand-ful.g. mis-hand-le. . Hand • Hand-y.

What is the difference between these two sets of complex words Fast-er Sing-ing Open-ed Car-s Write-s Bigg-est Treat-ment Rude-ness Un-kind Fam-ous Use-less Help-ful Ir-regular Red-dish .

These are called: Inflectional morphemes .Fast-er. Big-gest • These affixes do not change the word class (verb.). Sing-ing. Write-s. Car-s. Open-ed. noun etc. but rather contribute to meeting grammatical constraints.

but this is normally the case. fame (n.) • Since these words derive from others these morphemes are called: Derivational morphemes .Treat-ment Rude-ness Un-kind Red-dish Fam-ous Use-less Help-ful Ir-regular These affixes do not necessarily change the class of the word.g. e.)> famous (adj.

• He go to the park every day • She speaks to me yesterday • He is a very fame actor • He gave me very good treat .

these are pronounced /s/. /ɪz/ • These different realizations are called allomorphs of the inflectional morpheme for plurals .b.Inflectional morphemes: Plurals #1 • Cat > cats. /z/. dog > dogs. case > cases • N.

child > children • Sheep > Sheep. . • Foot > feet.Inflectional morphemes: Plurals #2 • Irregular plurals are also considered to be allomorphs e.g. man > men. Fish > fish etc.

amerò.Inflectional morphemes: Verbs #1 • English is particularly low on inflectional morphemes for verbs cfr. ami (subjunctive).). amerei x 6) • English: love. was. amavo. loved (past simple and p. am. amai. been. Italian (amare 1st person> amo. loving • BE has the largest number of realizations: • Be. are. being . amassi.part. is. were. loves.

changed. realizations (i. /d/. participle form can be: • 1 Regular: kissed.e.Inflectional morphemes: Verbs #2 • Verbs in the past and p. /ɪd/ • The following lines rhyme: You were the first one I kissed Because you were at the top of my list . wanted • Note that the –ed suffix has three. phonologically determined. three allomorphs): /t/.

participle form can be: 2 Irregular Involving no change> hit-hit-hit Involving vowel change> drink-drank-drunk Involving consonant change > make-mademade • Involving vowel and consonant change> leaveleft-left • Suppletion (i. GO> went .Inflectional morphemes: Verbs #3 • • • • • Verbs in the past and p.e. with no phonological relation)> BE> was-were.

Inflectional morphemes: Adjectives • Comparatives • HOT> hott-er – hott-est • IMPORTANT > more important – most important • Note suppletion in • GOOD > better – best • BAD > worse – worst .

Derivational morphemes • Far more numerous than inflectional morphemes • Allow productivity (involved in the coining of new words) • Can be prefixes. but not always. not circumfixes • Suffixes usually. change word class • Prefixes. or suffixes. usually don’t .

fac-ial. treatment. access-ible . act-or. friend-less. fam-ous • Verbs > Adjectives: bor-ing.Derivational morphemes: some examples • Verbs > Nouns: work-er. interest-ed honour-able. elect-ion • Nouns > Adjectives: colour-ful.

Effort. Care. Use. Child. Hope. Penny. Spoon. Cup. Friend. Bag. Colour. Cease. Play. Delight. Taste . Fate. End. .Derivation with –ful and –less • Which words can be derived by adding the following suffixes -ful/less Only -ful Only -less Age. Help. Cheer. Tact . Defence.

-ful/less Care Use Cheer Colour Help Taste Hope Tact Only -ful Fate Spoon Delight Bag Play Cup Only -less Friend Age Cease Child Defence End Effort Penny .

Tree diagrams Label the boxes in the diagram .

Greed > Greedy > Greediness .




Specif. Specif-y a bound root cfr.N.

Draw tree diagrams for the following words • • • • • • Unwholesome Rulership Underdeveloped Overachiever Operational Indispensable .




to call > a call.Productivity – the creation of new words • • • • • • There a six main ways of creating new words By combining two or more core elements: this process is called ‘compounding’ – truck driver. By clipping a longer word: this process is called ‘truncation’ – Veterinary Surgeon > vet. coarsely. By adding parts to a core element: this process is called ‘affixation’ – clockwise. mother-in-law.North Atlantic Treaty Organization > NATO. credible. Zoological gardens > Zoo. download. Camera + Recorder > Camcorder • • Acronyms . By amalgamating parts of different words: this process is called ‘blending’ – Smoke + fog > smog. By changing the word class of a given word: this process is called ‘conversion’ – Bottle > to bottle. kingdom. Motor + Hotel > Motel. Absent without leave > AWOL. Personal Identification Number > PIN .

g. • Camera > web camera (Compounding) > webcam (Truncation) • Ball > snowball (Compounding) > to snowball (Conversion) .• We can also find multiple processes e.

developmental. miscarriage.Exercise for next lecture • Produce tree diagrams of the following multiply affixed complex words: • airworthiness. antihistorical. . speechlessness. nonspecialization.