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Immediate contituents

Language is said to be of constituency in which a particular construction is divided into a series of constituents. Immediate constituents are any of the two meaningful parts forming a larger linguistic units to show layers of word structure, we make successive divisions into 2 parts, each of which is called an immediate constituent (IC). This division is called IC division. The process is continues until all component morphemes of a word, the ultimate constituents, have been isolated.

II> Recommendations on IC division 1. when a word ends in an inflectional suffix, the first division should be between this suffix and the rest of the word E.g.: pre dict tion s 2. one of the ICs should be a free morpheme or a meaningful construction E.g.: un touch able un touch able 3. the meaning of the ICs should be related to the meaning of the word. E.g.: rest art re start

III> Tree diagram

Is a two-dimensional branching one used as a tool to display internal hierarchical structure of a construction as generated by a set of rules. In a more elaborate way: it shows that one unit consists of two subunits. These two subunits come in a fixed order.


adjective black adjective noun

noun board



[Kuiper & Allan, 1996:156-158]

Represent the following words in both tree diagrams and IC divisions bookworm singer misplay derailments internationalisation unanalysable inexcusable prewar uninterested confusions

Definition & characteristics E.g.: the regular plural inflection -s has 3 different pronunciation forms : oranges: /iz/ books : /s/ chairs /z/ All /iz/, /s/ and /z/ are the different phonemic forms/pronunciations of the same morpheme: noun plural inflectional morpheme {}={S1} Are allomorphs of the plural inflection s

-Allomorphs are variants of a morpheme in a particular environment. -all have the same meaning and function grammatically identically. E.g. the allomorphs /iz/, /s/ and/z/ of plural morpheme all mean more than one and signifies plurality. - are in complementary distribution (CD): a member of a set of allomorphs of a particular morpheme can only occur in a certain phonetic environment; each one occupies its own territory. E.g.: -the allomorph /iz/ or /6z/) of the N plural morpheme occurs only when the root ends in a sibilant consonant. -the allomorph /z/ only occurs after voiced sounds, except /z/, /2 /, // -the allomorph /s/ only occurs after voiceless sounds

Conditioning of allomorphs 1/ Phonologically conditioned selection of allomorphs E.g.: the class-maintaining derivational morpheme {in-} has 3 different phonemic forms: imperfect /1m/: before a bilabial phoneme /p,b.m/ incompliance /17 /: before a velar consonant / k, g,7 / intolerance / 1n/: before an alveolar consonant / t d s z n / or before a vowel

An allomorph is phonologically conditioned when its distribution is determined by the phonological environment (by a preceding or following phoneme). When its phonological properties are similar to the sounds found in a neighboring environment of some other morphemes. E.g.: the regular plural noun (girl-girls), the third-person singular present-tense (teachteaches), the possessive (girl-girls), the past tense (stay-stayed), and the past participle morphemes (move-moved).

2/ Morphologically conditioned selection of allomorphs E.g.: deer / d16 /+/-/ deer / d16 / ox / 4ks / + -en / 6n / oxen / 4ks6n / /-/ and / 6n / are morphologically conditioned allomorphs of the inflectional noun plural morpheme {} Note: Formula of the allomorphs of {-s pl}: {-s pl}=/6z/ ~ /-z/ ~ /-s/ /-6n/ /-/ ~: phonologically conditioned alternation : morphologically conditioned alternation

When its distribution is determined by a specific morpheme or morphemes forming the context, rather than by any phonological feature E.g.: -irregular plural morphemes (e.g. geese, women, children - plural allomorphs of goose, woman, and child), -irregular third-person singular present-tense allomorphs (e.g. is, does, has - allomorphs of be, do and have in present tense for the third person) -irregular past tense (e.g. met, drove, ate of meet, drive and eat) -irregular past participle allomorphs (e.g. driven, eaten, swum of drive, eat and swim)

III Kinds of allomorphs

1/ Additives - are variant forms of a suffix added to a root to indicate relationships demanded by grammar. - Usually consist of the allomorphs of regular plural morpheme, of possessive morpheme, of the third person singular present tense morpheme, of regular past tense/past participle morphemes. - E.g.: the third person singular present tense form of English verbs (except the three verbs be, do and have) is formed by adding to the verb root the suffix s which has three allomorphs /iz/, /s/ and /z (see also phonological rule): place + -s /ple1s6s/ look + -s /l$ks/ run + -s /r^nz/

2/ Sound changes/ Replacive allomorphs may be either vowel changes (replacive vowels) or consonant changes (replacive consonants); by replacing another sound in a word to signify some difference in meaning. Vowel changes occur in the root. E.g.: the past tense met / met / = /mi:t/ + / i: >e/ Consonant changes occur root-finally E.g.: the past tense lent /lent/ = /lend/ + /d>t/ combination of a change of vowel root and a change of root-final consonant E.g.: the past tense form taught / t0:t / = / ti:t~ / + / i: > 0:/ + /t~ > t/ combination of a vowel change and addition E.g.: the past tense form felt /felt/ = /fi:l/ + / i: >e/ + /t/ Some replacive allomorphs are infixes (drink-drank)

3/ Suppletive allomorphs are grammatical variants of a morpheme which have a complete change of word shape. E.g.: -the past tense form went /went/ = go/g6$/+suppletive allomorph of {} -the comparative form better / bet6/ = good /g$d/ + suppletive allomorph of {-ER cp.}

4/ Zero allomorphs When there is no change of word shape of two grammatically related forms although there is some difference in meaning can be found. E.g.: the past tense and past participle forms of the verb read are the same as this verb root. read /red/ = /ri:d/ + /i:>e/ + /-/

5/ Subtractive allomorphs
Something is deleted from a word to signify some difference in meaning. E.g.: zopa zop: signifies that this Russian noun is in the plural form of the possessive case There is no examples of this kind in English

Exercise: Give the morphemic structure & identify the allomorphs

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. (a) fishfish shelf shelves wousemice sinksank bringbrought teachteaches bewas/were childchildren spendspent longlength