Lect 2 - Fundamental questions What are morphemes and what...

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Unformatted text preview: Fundamental questions What are morphemes and what motivates the hypothesis that they exist? What patterns do words exhibit in `different uses and constructions? What sorts of theories have been developed to account for these patterns? To what degree do theories reFect typological and methodological biases? What do speakers know about the structure of words? Are there morphological universals? If so, how might they arise? If not, what explains tendencies for languages to display similarities? Morphology as a system of signs Ferdinand de Saussure (1916) A simple sign is a relation between form and meaning Signs and their relationship are basically arbitrary A key insight behind morphology is that complex signs arent completely arbitrary Human language is a system of relations between signs Words with similar forms tend to have similar meanings Morphemes as signs Many words are simple , but sometimes they are complex, and composed of identiFable smaller pieces. farmer is a complex word farm + er , because farmer is part of the systematic set: a system of signs work work er eat eat er drive driv er farm farm...
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Lect 2 - Fundamental questions What are morphemes and what...

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