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Unformatted text preview: FILE 5.4 .‘u. "um-I "an-"mud." ....fl‘""m-muuuflu-D" Morphological Processes n the previous files of this section on morphology, we have been looking at how words and grammatical forms of words are put together. We have seen that English makes use of derivational affixes to create more words than would exist with only free morpheme; Of course, English is not the only language that enlarges its vocabulary in this way. When linguists observe a language which uses affixation to form additional words, they note that the occurring combinations are systematic, i.e., rule-governed, as we have certainly seeni _ the case in English (recall that the prefix re— takes only verbs as input, and the suffix -able It? produces only adjectives as output}. Because these combinations are rule~governed, we can - say that a process is at work, namely, a word formation process, since new words or forms of words are being formed. What we will consider in this file are the ways in which languages create new words from existing words, and the grammatical forms of words. (See Files 12.6 and 12.7 for still more ways in which new words come into use in a language.) Before describing some of the word formation processes found in the world’s lan— _ guages, we must first address the question, In what sense is it meant that new words are t _ being “formed”? [)0 we mean that every time a speaker uses a morphologically complex ' word, the brain reconstructs it? Some linguists would maintain that this is the case. They would Claim that in a speaker’s mental dictionary, the lexicon, each morpheme is listed in— dividually, along with other information such as its meaning, its part of speech (if a free morpheme}, and possibly a rule naming its input and Output partis} of speech, if it is a bound morpheme. Thus, each time a word is used, it is re—fonned from the separate entries in the lexicon. There is evidence, however, that indicates this is not actually the case; even morphologically complex words apparently have a separate entry in the adult lexicon. Even if language users do not ‘build’ morphologically complex words and word- forms every time they use them, there are other reasons, though, to consider derivation a process of word formation. In the context of the description of a language, the term formation refers to the systematic relationships between roots and words derived from them, on the one hand, and between a word and its various inflected, i.e., grammatical, forms, on the other. Speakers of a given language, however, are also often aware of these relation— ' b_ ships. We see evidence of this when new words are formed based on patterns that exist in the lexicon. For example, a speaker of English may never have heard words such as irrrsmelly, smellness, or smellfirl before, but he or she would certainly understand what they mean. The word stick—to-it-ive—ness causes some prescriptivists to wail: why create this new word when a perfectly good word, perseverance, already exists? This word illustrates that 156 File 5.4 Morphological Processes keg, of a language have no problem accessing the patterns in their lexicons and ' g them for new creations or for interpreting unfamiliar words. Rules that speakers actually apply to form words that are not currently in use in a ' . age are termed productive rules. English has examples of nonproductive morphemes wen; for example, the suffix wtion is generally not used by speakers to form new nouns, Hereas the suffix «ness is. Over long periods of time, different affixes or other morpho- ggical processes may become more or less productive (see File 12.6). There was a time in cent American popular usage when the suffix -age (as in established lexical items mile and roughage) was applied productively to roots from several part of speech classes to 1m new nouns meaning “some unspecified amount of (root) ”, for example beemge ‘some " aunt of been’ spoilage ‘some amount of spoiled material,’ tun(e)age ‘some amount of music gs)’, and so on. These words arefwere acceptable on a socially and perhaps regionally ted basis, that is, they are not equally known to or used by all speakers of English. In a my, therefore, productivity in word formation is somewhat analogous to fads and fashion, that new items are introduced in particular groups or communities, and these may or _ 'y not spread and become popular in the wider population of consumers (in this case, 'anguage users). tion 0 this point, our morphological discussion has been limited to the process of afiixation. Although English uses only prefixes and suffixes, many other languages use infixes as well. xes are inserted within the root morpheme. Note that English really has no infixes. At first glance, some students think that -fiil in a word like doubtfiilly is an infix because it occurs in the middle of a word. However, if we examine the hierarchical structure of the word (see the diagram below), we find that the -ly suffix attaches not to the affix fill but rather to a complete word, doubtful. Thus -ful attaches to the word doubt as a suffix and does not in fact break up the root morpheme doubt. Adi /\ dOubt ful Tagalog, one of the major languages of the Philippines, uses infixes quite extensively. For example, the infix ~um- is used to form the infinitive form of verbs: Verb stem Infinitive sulat ‘write’ sumulat ‘to write’ bili ‘buy’ bumili ‘to buy’ kuha ‘take, get’ kumuha ‘to take, to get’ ' @mpounding Compounding is a process that forms new words not by means of affixes but from two or more independent words. The words that are the parts of the compound can be free morphemes, words derived by affixation, or even words formed by compounding them- selves. Examples in English of these three types include: 158 Morphology girlfriend air-conditioner lifeguard chair blackbird looking-glass aircraft carrier textbook watch-maker life—insurance salesman Notice that in English compound words are not represented consistently in writing Sometimes they are written together, sometimes they are written with a hyphen, and some. times they are written separately. We know, however, that compounding forms words an not just syntactic phrases, regardless of how the compound is spelled, because the stres patterns are different for compounds. Think about how you would say the words red neck in each of the two following sentences: 1. The wool sweater gave the man a red neck. 2. If you want to make Tirn really angry, call him a redneck. Compounds that have words in the same order as phrases have primary stress on the? first word only, while individual words in phrases have independent primary stress. Som other examples are listed below. (Primary stress is indicated by ' on the vowel.) Compounds Phrases blackbird black bird makeup make up Other compounds can have phrasal stress patterns, but only if they can’t pessiny be phrases. These same compounds might also have stress on the first word only, like other '3 compounds. For example: Compounds Phrases easy-going easy-gomg man~made man- made homemade ho mern ade German is one of the many other languages that use compounding to form new words. Some examples of the numerous compounds in German are: Muttersprache ‘native language’ < ’motherlanguage' Schreibtisch ‘desk' < ’writing table’ stehenbleiben ‘stand (still)’ < ‘stay remain’ Wunderkind 'child prodigy" < ’miracle child’ Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung ‘speed limit' < 'speedlimit' c. Reduplication Reduplication is a process of forming new words either by doubling an entire free If; morpheme (total reduplication) or part of it (partial reduplication). Engngh makes no . systematic use of reduplication, but other languages do make sometimes extensive use of - reduplication. Indonesian uses total reduplication to form the plurals of nouns: Singular Plural rumah ‘house’ rumahrumah ‘houses’ iliu ’mother' ibuibu ‘rnothers’ laiat ’tly’ lalatlalat ‘flies’ rds if 1e stress" red neck; 3 on the is. Some arm 112W File 5.4 Morphological Processes 159 Tagalog, on the other hand, uses partial reduplication to indicate the future tense of verbs: Verb stem Future tense bili ‘buy’ bibili ‘will buy’ kain ‘eat’ kakain ‘will eat’ pasok ‘enter’ papasok ‘will enter’ Notice that the reduplicated piece, the reduplicant, can be described phonologically as the first syllable of the stem. In conjunction with the prefix mag- (which often changes the initial consonant of a following morpheme to a nasal with the same place of articulation as the original initial consonant), Tagalog uses reduplication to derive words for occupations: [mamimili] 'buyer’ < lmag+bi+bilil (cf. [bili] ‘buy’) [manunulat] ‘writer’ < lmag+su+sulatl (cf. [sulat} ‘write’) [magi’ii’isda] ‘fisherman’ < {man+?i+?isda! (cf. [?isda] ’fish’} Since the phonological content of the reduplicated piece (the reduplicant) depends on the phonological shape of the stem it attaches to, the "morpheme” in reduplication is the presence of the reduplicant, rather than the phonological shape of the reduplicant. ' Altemations Besides adding an affix to a morpheme or copying all or part of the morpheme to make new words or make morphological distinctions, it is also possible to make morpheme- internal modifications, called aiternations. While alternations have to do with the sounds in a particular word pair or larger word set, note that these alternations mark morpho logical distinctions, whereas the rules in the Phonology files (see Files 4.1443) dealt with pronunciation independent of meaning. The following are examples of morphological alternations in English: 1. Although the usual pattern of plural formation is to add an inflectional morpheme, some English plurals make an internal modification: man men [ae] ~ [3} ([ae] alternates with [e] in these forms) woman women [0] - [I] erase gase- [u] ~ [ii foot fgt [U] ~ [1] 2. The usual pattern of past and past participle formation is to add an affix, but some verbs also show an internal alternation: ring rang rung [I] ~ [35‘] " [A] drink drank drunk swim swam swum feed fed fed [iHEi ~lE] hold held held [0] ~ [8] ~ [e1 160 e. Suppletion Morphology Some verbs show both an alternation and the addition of an affix to one form: break broke broken speak spoke spoken bite bit bitten fall fell fallen give gave given 3. Although the above examples are all inflectional, sorn etimes a derivational relation such as a change in part of speech class can be indicated by means of alternations: strife (n) [strait] strive (v) lstrarv] teeth (r1) [tie] teethe (v) {tin} breath (11) [bree] breathe (v) {brie} life (n) [lalt] live (v) {11v} life (n) [laif] live (adj.) [law] Over the years, English has reduced the number and frequency of word-internal morpho. logical markers and has increased the frequency of marking with affixes. From the ex. amples in this section, however, it should be clear that many common words in EngliSh continue to be morphologically marked by means of alternations. Languages that employ morphological processes to form words will usually have a regular, ' productive way of doing so according to one or more of the processes discussed above. They 5 might also have some smaller classes of words that are irregular because they mark the same __- morphological distinction by another of these processes. Sometimes, however, a root will '_‘ have one or more inflected forms which is phonetically unrelated to the shape of the root. 13:: ' This cornpletely irregular situation is called suppletion and usually occurs only in a few -. ."IL words of a language. A small number of English verbs have suppletive past tenses: [wazl was [went] went {aem} am lgol 30 Two common English adiectives have suppletive comparative and superlative forms: [hrstl best [wrst] worst better W0 [‘58 {god} good [bag] It) 33d] b ad [w Ir 5] Note that there is simply no systematic similarity between the stems of these various in- flected forms. Interestingly, verbs derived from the irregularng also show similar suppletion in their past stems: undergo, [past] underwent. A Further Example Any given language will likely have some cxample(s) of suppletion, but these typically con- stitute a minority class within the lexicon. Noun inflection in Classical Arabic provides another example of suppletion: [maflat] ‘woman’ [nisa:?] ‘women' File 5.4 Morphological Processes 161 lusual plural form for Classical Arabic nouns ending in [at], however, involves the r ening of the vowel of this ending (a morphological alternation}: {dirazsat} ’(a) study’ [dirazsa:t] ’studies’ [harakat] ‘movement' iharakan] ’rnovements’ ere are also some irregular plurals of nouns ending in {at} that involve other internal [dgumlat] ‘sentence’ [dgurnal] ‘sentences’ _. [fikrat] ‘thought’ [fikarl ’thoughts’ lorphological Types of Languages \nguages can be classified according to the way in which they put morphemes together form words. There are two basic morphological types, analytic and synthetic, the latter having several subtypes. tic Languages nalytlc languages are so called because they are made up of sequences of free mor- hemes—each word consists of a single morpheme, used by itself with meaning intact. Purely analytic languages, also called isolating languages, do not use prefixes or suffixes to _rnpose words. Semantic and grammatical concepts which are often expressed in other languages (like English) through the use of suffixes are thus expressed in analytic languages by the use of separate words. Mandarin Chinese is an example of a language that has a highly analytic (isolating) structure. In the example sentences below, for instance, the concept of plurality and the concept of a completed action in the past are communicated in Mandarin through the awe of invariant function words rather than the use of a change of form (cf. English, I to we 'to indicate plurality) or the use of a variable affix (cf. English net! for past tense). (1) [wo man tan tcin] (tones omitted) I plural play piano ‘We are playing the piano’ (2) [wo man tan tcin la} (tones omitted) f plural play piano past ‘We played the piano’ Note that the form of ‘we’ (I—plural) that is used in the subject position is [wa man] and that the pronoun has the same form when it is used as the obiect, placed after the verb: (3) [ta da WI) man] (tones omitted) s/he hit(s) l plural ‘the hits us’ Only the position of a word in a sentence shows its function. English is unlike Mandarin in this respect, since the personal pronoun we is changed in form to as when it is used as the object of a verb. But English is like Mandarin in that word order is used to show the '. functions of nouns in a sentence, and in that nouns (unlike pronouns) are not marked by :- affixes to show their functions. For example, in the sentence Tracy likes cats the noun Traqz 152 Morphology functions as the subject and the noun cuts as the direct object, but just the opposite is . ,- of Cats like Tracy; these differences in function are signaled only by the order of words the sentence. b. Synthetic Languages In synthetic languages, affixes or bound morphemes are attached to other morphemes, _ that a word may be made up of several meaningful elements. The bound morphernes ma add another element of meaning to the stern by indicating the grammatical function the stem in a sentence. Recall that the term stem refers to that part of the word to Whi affixes are added. It may consist of one or more morphemes: for instance, in reruns, .3 added to the stem rerun, which is itself made up of two morphernes. Hungarian is a synthetic language. In the examples below, bound morphernes she the grammatical functions of nouns in their sentences: (4) [32 ember lamp 3 kucait] the man sees the dog-( object) ‘The man sees the dog' (5) [3 kuco laxtio oz embert] the dog sees the man-(object) ‘The clog sees the man’ As mentioned above, in English it is the position in the sentence of the noun phrase the man or the dog that tells one whether the phrase is the subject or object of the verb, but in Hungarian a noun or noun phrase may appear either before or after the verb in a sen- tence and be recognized as the subject or object in either position because it is marked with a bound morpherne (the suffix [t]) if it is the direct obiect. (Other synthetic languages behave similarly.) 50 both examples below mean the same thing, even though the position of the noun phrase meaning ‘the man’ is different with respect to the verb meaning ‘sees’. | I ' . i (6) [3 kuco laztp oz embert] i the dog sees the man-(object) “The dog sees the man’ (7} [DZ embert laztia a kuco] the man-(object) sees the dog ‘The dog sees the man’ :\ Synthetic languages like Hungarian also use bound morphernes to indicate some 5 concepts that English signals by means of free morphemes. For example, Hungarian indi- : cates personal possession and location by the use of suffixes attached to the stem (hart, ’house’), whereas in English these concepts are expressed by the use of free morphemes. For example, (8) [3 haizunk zoid] _ the house—our green i ‘Our house is green’ I (9) [a harzad ' fehezr} the house-your white 3, ‘Your house is white’ File 5.4 Morphological Processes 163 (10) [a se:ked 3 ha:zunkbr)n van] the chair-your the house-our—in is ‘Your chair is in our house’ Agglutinating Languages f_ To be more specific, the kind of synthesis (putting together) of morphemes we find in Hungarian is known as agglutination. In agglutinating languages, like Hungarian, the morphemes are joined together relatively “loosely.” That is, it is usually easy to determine where the boundaries between morphemes are, e. g., (1 1) hatz-unk-ban harz-od-ban house—our—in house—your—in " 33' 'in our house’ ’in your house’ (12) hazz—ad hazz-unk Muss-your home-our ‘your house’ ‘our house’ Swahili is another example of an agglutinating language. Swahili verb stems take prefixes to indicate the person of the subject of the verb (first, second, 0r third) and also to indicate the tense of the verb, as in the following list of forms for the verb ’read’. _ (13) ni-na-soma I—present—read ‘I am reading’ .I b {14) u-na-soma you-present-read ‘You are reading’ (15) a-na-soma sfhe-present-read ’5! he is reading’ (16) ni-li-soma I-past~read ‘l was reading’ (1 7) u-li-soma you-past-read ’You were reading’ ' (18) e-li-somrr sr’he-past-read ’5! he was reading’ :ees (19) ni-ta-somn I-tuturevread ‘I will read’ (20) u-ta-soma you~future~read ‘You will read' (21) a-ta-soma stile—future—read ’5! he will read’ A second characteristic feature of agglutinating languages is that each bound mor- pheme carries (ordinarily) only one meaning: m‘ = ‘1’, u = ‘you’, a 2 “she, rm = ‘present’, etc. :t d. Fuswnal Languages _ . i _ In fusional languages, another Subtype ot synthetic language, words are formed by add- - :__ lndl‘ ing bound morphen‘ies to stems, inst as in agglutinating languages, but in fusional lan- :5 I’m-'1’ : guages the affixes may not be easy to separate from the stern. It is often rather hard to tell "1 “195' where one morpheme ends and the next begins; the affixes are characteristically fused with ' ' the stem. Spanish is a fusionai language that has suffixes attached to the verb stem to indicate the person (Ifyoui’hefshei’it) and number (singularfplurai) of the subiect of the verb. It is often difficult to analyze a verb form into its stern and suffix, however, because there is often a fusion of the two morphemes For example, in the forms: (22) habit) ’i am Speaking ' 3._ (23) habit: ’the is speaking’ (24) habit? ‘I spoke’ 154 Morphology these morphemes can be isolated: [~o] first person singular present tense [-a] third person singular present tense [-e] first person singular past tense However, although these forms would suggest a stem habl- that means ‘speak’, such a form never appears in isoiation in Spanish. In the following forms: {25} hablamos “We are speaking’ (26) hablon ‘They are speaking’ where these morphemes can be isolated:...
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