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The smallest unit of meaning in a language is called

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Unformatted text preview: not they’ meaningful) • ’ – ‘glottal stop’ stop’ • (we have that in English too, we just don’t spell don’ it) INDV101 – Fall 2007 When is a dog’s tail not a tail? But there’s more… there’ more… ‘a wagon’ is two words, ‘a-waggin’’ is one wagon’ waggin’’ word. word. • Each of the words in ‘a wagon’ is simple, in wagon’ simple, in the sense that you can’t take it apart into can’ smaller meaningful elements. • But the word ‘a-waggin’’ is complex – it’s waggin’’ it’ made up of three meaningful parts… parts… INDV101 – Fall 2007 • • • Answer: When it’s a-waggin’! it’ a- waggin’ Which do you mean? Structure • All human languages are built of small, meaningful elements that get combined with each other to form bigger units of meaning. • The smallest unit of meaning in a language is called a ‘morpheme’. morpheme’ • The study of how speakers combine morphemes to make words is called ‘morphology’ morphology’ • The study of how speakers combine words into phrases and sentences is called ‘syntax’ syntax’ INDV101 – Fall 2...
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