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The Morphology of English 2

What did we learn last week?


affix is a bound morpheme occurring before or within or after a base.





class of morphemes, 75 morphemes of English prepositions and



Exercise 8-8 (p. 93)

antifreeze circumvent copilot collapse compact convene corrode contradict devitalize disagreeable insecure imperfect illegible irreverent inspire imbibe intervene intramural obstruct oppose prewar postwar proceed retroactive semiprofessional subway superabundant unlikely undress

antifreeze circumvent -

copilot collapse compact convene corrode

contradict -

devitalize disagreeable -

insecure imperfect illegible irreverent inspire imbibe intervene intramural obstruct oppose

prewar postwar -

proceed retroactive semiprofessional subway superabundant -

unlikely undress


infixes in English, but few exceptions un get at able ungetatable rely on able reliable account for able accountable



be more than one (max. four) nasalize seizure rainy nails studied normalizers


Exercise 8-9, p. 94
How many suffixes does each word contain?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

organists = personalities = flirtatiously = atomizers = friendliest = contradictorily = trusteeship = greasier = countrified = responsibilities =

Exercise 8-10, p. 95
Make each group of morphemes into a word.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

-ed, live, -en = -ing, -ate, termin = -er, -s, mor, -al, -ize = provinc, -s, -ism, -ial = -ly, -some, grue = -ity, work, -able = in, -most, -er = marry, -age, -ity, -abil = -dom, -ster, gang = -ly, -ion, -ate, affect =

1. 2. 3.

Inflectional Suffixes Derivational Suffixes Suffixal Homophones


Noun Feminine Forms

5. Noun Diminutive Forms

Derivational Suffixes
Characteristics of derivational suffixes: 1. Arbitrary combination e.g. move movement, movity 2. Change of part of speech e.g. move+ment = movement V + ment = N move+able = moveable V +able = adjective

3. Not closed (more suffixes) derivational + inflectional

e.g. able+ity+s = abilities

Exercise Exercise Exercise Exercise

8 8 8 8

-12, -13, -14, -15,

p. p. p. p.

97 98 99 99

Inflectional Suffixes

Inflectional suffixes are attached to stem. The stem includes the base/bases and all the derivational affixes. e.g. seagulls seagull + s magnified magnify + ed personalizes personalize + s

The inflectional suffixes schema

Inflectiona l suffixes
{-s pl} { -s sg ps} {-s pl ps } {-s 3d } {-ING vb } {-D pt } {-D pp } { -ER cp} { -EST sp}

noun plural noun singular possessive noun plural possessive present participle past tense past participle comparative superlative

cats, flowers girls, fathers girls, womens eating, raining steamed, studied, ate steamed, studied, eaten weaker, cleverer weakest, cleverest

present 3rd person singular eats, rains

Notice: Alternate forms

noun plural e.g. ox oxen

mouse mice
goose geese foot feet man men woman women

sheep sheep deer deer fish - fish


tense past participle

infinitive past tense past participle


eat go drive sing

ate went drove sang

eaten gone driven sung

Derivational vs. Inflectional Suffixes?

The inflectional suffixes differ from the derivational suffixes in that:

They do not change the part of speech. e.g. apple, apples ( nouns) wait, waits, waited ( verbs) happy, happier, happiest ( adjectives)

2. They come last in a word when they are present. e.g. worked, industries, driving

3. They go with all stems of a given part of


e.g. She comes, goes, works, studies, drives.

4. They do not pile up; only one ends a word.

e.g. cakes, studying, faster, driven


Exercise 8 11, p. 96

Suffixal Homophones
Some suffixes, inflectional and derivational, have homophonous forms.
Derivational suffix {-ER n} agent, that which is related to Verb ER N (hunter, fisher, etc) Nonverbal stem ER N (new Yorker, etc) Meaning: agent, that which is related to

Inflectional morpheme {-ER cp}

e.g. bigger, taller

Derivational suffix {-ER rp} repetition e.g. mutter, flicker, glitter, etc.

Nominal derivational {-ING nm} e.g. Meetings, weddings, readings, etc. - He attended a meeting yesterday.
Verbal inflectional suffix {-ING vb}

e.g. He is studying now.

Adjectival derivational {-ING aj} e.g. interesting, tiring, etc. - Its a tiring day.

How to distinguish the verbal {-ING vb} from the adjectival {-ING aj}?

The verbal {-ING vb} can usually occur after and before the noun it modifies.

e.g. He saw a burning house. He saw a house burning. cannot occur after seems e.g. He seems driving. meaning?

The adjectival {-ING aj} can be preceded by a qualifier (very, rather, quite, comparative and superlative words more and most)

e.g. Its a very tiring day. this is a more exciting experience. can occur after seems e.g. That film seems interesting.

The verbal inflectional {-D pp}

e.g. He is interested in her.

The adjectival derivational {-D aj}

e.g. She is a devoted Moslem.

be modified by Can be modified by qualifiers qualifiers (very, rather, quite, (very, rather, quite, most, most, more) more) e.g. The very studied hard student passed the exam occur after seem/s e.g. He seems studied.

e.g. She is a rather devoted Buddhist. occur after seem/s e.g. He seems tired.

the adverbial derivational suffix {-LY av}

the adjectival derivational suffix {-LY aj}

The adverbial derivational suffix {-LY av} is added to most adjectives to form adverbs of manner. e.g. kind - kindly normal normally strong strongly

Some adjectives do not take the form, e.g. big, small, little, tall, fast, long, etc.

An adjectival morpheme is added to: 1. Monosyllabic nouns to form adjectives that are inflected with er, -est. e.g. love lovely friend friendly man manly

2. Nouns to form adjectives that are not inflected with er, -est. e.g. king kingly beast beastly scholar scholarly mother - motherly leisure - leisurely

3. A few adjectives, giving alternate adjectival forms that are inflected with er, -est e.g. dead deadly live lively kind kindly sick sickly
The adjective {-LY aj} kindly and lively are homophonous with the adverbs {-LY av} kindly and lively. e.g. Mr. Diding spoke kindly to the students. Mr. diding is a kindly teacher.

4. a short list of time nouns to form adjectives e.g. day daily week - weekly hour hourly month monthly year yearly

These are not inflected with er, -est, and some of them undergo functional shift to become nouns e.g. I subscribe to three weeklies and two dailies.

Noun Feminine Forms


but one (-ster) are of foreign origin.


added to a masculine form/base morpheme.

Suffix -e -enne -ess -etta -ette -euse -ina -ine -ster -stress -ix

Masculine fiance comedian patron Henry usher masseur George hero spinner seamster aviator

Feminine fiancee comedienne patroness Henrietta usherette masseuse Georgina heroine spinster seamstress aviatrix

-ess the most productive -stress dead, no longer used in word formartion -enne and -euse borrowed from French -e borrowed from French, written only -ster no longer a feminizing suffix, indication of any person male or female: gangster, youngster, prankster, etc


carefully! offensive unnecessary demeaning


has 50 pairs of words with separate forms for the masculine and feminine.

e.g. bull cow uncle aunt gander goose father mother, etc.

Noun Diminutive Forms

Diminutive suffixes are morphemes that convey a meaning of smallness or endearment or both. suffix examples auntie, Betty, sweetie, Willy dinette, towellete, kitchenette babykins duckling, darling circlet booklet, starlet

-ie, -i, -y -ette -kin, -ikin, -kins -ling -et -let

The vowels of the diminutive suffixes are the front vowels: /i/, / /, and / /.
-ie, -i, -y

productive. attached to one-syllable first name to suggest endearment and intimacy, or smallness. e.g. Johnny, Jacky, Mikey attaced to common nouns, sometimes indicating a diminutive notion about a participant in a discourse more than about the person or thing being referred to. e.g. doggie, mommy, nanny, birdie, sweetie


productive indicates


e.g. dinnete small dining area roomette small room kitchenette small kitchen

-kin, -ikin, -kins -ling -et -let

unproductive rarely

added to new nouns in some words, the meaning of the diminutive suffix has faded away to little/no significance. e.g. cabinet, toilet

In addition to the six diminutives, many others have come into English as a part of borrowed words. They are diminutives in their own parent language but nonmorphemic in English.
e.g. mosquito bambino armadillo peccadillo flotilla Priscilla cookie colonel citadel novel panel morsel damsel scalpel satchel muscle particle pupil violin violoncello puppet Venezuela quartet bulletin falsetto stiletto Maureen lochan formula capsule calculus


of the borrowed diminutives contain the vowels /i/, /I/, and // although the vowels have often been reduced to // in English because of lack of stress.


suffixes have lost the diminutive meaning.

Variations in Phonemic Forms

Allomorphs Conditioning (Morphological and Phonological) Replacive Allomorphs Homophones Phonesthemes


morpheme may have more than one phonemic form. e.g. morpheme {-D pt} - /t/ passed, asked (voiceless consonant) other than /t/ - /d/ needed, departed (alveolar stop) - /d/ seemed, begged (voiced sound)


occurrence depends on its phonological environment (i.e. preceding sound)

The pattern of occurrence of related forms in which each form occupies its own territory and does not trespass on another domain is called complementary distribution. When the related forms of a set have the same meaning and are in complementary distribution, they are called allomorphs/positional variants and belong to the same morpheme. Thus, the morpheme {-D pt} has 3 allomorphs, i.e. /d/, /-t/, and /-d/
formula: {-D pt} = /-d/ ~ /-t/ ~ /-d/

Notes: { } morpheme / / allomorphs (~) tilde, i.e in alternation with


it is really not the morpheme but the allomorph that is free or bound.

e.g. the morpheme {louse} 2 allomorphs /laws/ free allomorph, singular noun /lawz-/ bound allomorph in the adjective lousy

Conditioning (Morphological and Phonological)

morpheme {-D pt} (-d ~ -t ~ -d) morpheme {-s pl} (-z ~ -z ~ -s) the phonological environment determines which allomorph is used, it can be said that the selection of allomorphs is phonologically conditioned.


Morpheme {-s pl} (-n ~ ) e.g. ox oxen sheep sheep


distribution because they stay in own territory, associate only with specific words, and do not overlap with (-z ~ -z ~ -s) positions. position has nothing to do with their phonological environment.
the plural noun is determined by the specific morpheme (e.g. n, ) and the environment that requires a certain allomorph is only by identifying specific morpheme, the selection of allomorph is called morphologically conditioned.



Formula of {-s pl}:

{-s pl} = /-ez/ ~ /-z/ ~/-s/ /-n/ / /

morphologically conditioned alternation

Replacive Allomorphs
morpheme {-D pt} (-d ~ -t ~ -d) addition of morpheme but sing - sang sung?

There is a replacement of the /i/ of sing by the /e/ or // of sang to signal past tense. symbol: /s/ = /si/ + /I > / Thus, /I > / is another allomorph of {-D pt}


replacive allomorphs are called infixes because they are

positioned within a word as opposed to prefixes and suffixes.


the correct term for them is replacive allomorphs.

Words that sound alike but differ in meaning. (in morphology such words are of different morphemes)

e.g. Do you like the meet? (track meet) do you like the meat? (roast beef)

The same is true of bound forms: Verbal inflectional suffix Noun plural inflectional suffix Noun possessive inflectional suffix It feels good. /-z/

Those are frogs. /-z/

Johns book is on the table. /-z/


sounds that in themselves express, elicit, or suggest meaning.

e.g. - high front vowels /i/ and /I/ suggesting smallness.

wee, peep, squeak, seep, bit, clink,, giggle, dwindle

- vowel // suggesting undesirability dung, drudgery, flunk, dump, slum, grunt, glum, grumpy, grumble, etc.

At the beginning of words, a number of consonant clusters appear to have phonesthematic value, i.e. /gl-/ = light e.g. glitter, glow, glare, glint, gleam, glisten, glaze fl-/ = moving light e.g. flame, flash, flare, flicker /sp-/ = point e.g. spire, spark, spout, spot, spade /sl-/ = movement e.g slide, slink, slosh, slither, slouch, slump

At the end of one-syllable words, the voiceless stops /p/, /t/ and /k/ are expressions of an abrupt stoppage of movement. e.g. slap, pat, flick, tap, hit, crack

a final voiceless fricative // suggests an unabrupt stoppage of movement e.g. mash, squash clap clash bat bash smack smash crack - crash

At the ends of two-syllabe words, the phonesthemes /-l/ and /-r/ have the meaning of repetition. (auditory/visual)

/-r/ chatter, clatter, gibber, patter, sputter, mutter, jabber, twitter, litter, shatter, flutter, shimmer, stammer

/-l/ babble, giggle, twinkle, waggle, freckle, dribble, juggle, crackle, chuckle, rattle, sparkle, stipple, prattle, wriggle, drizzle

A speech sound is a phonesteme only when its imputed sense is related to the sense of the word of which it is a part.

Immediate Constituents

constructing a word

word analysis: friends friend -s

friendliness friendly -ness








item ize d

pre pro fess ion al

news paper dom

counter de clar ation

mal con struc tion

contra dict ory

dis en throne

mid after noon

ice land ic

super natur al

un com fort able

fest iv al

en gag ing

ex press ion ism

mis judg ment

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

7. 8. 9. 10.

accusation globalization intermediation complementary inabilities stabilizers endangerment applicability elasticity profitability