lecture-7.2 - Lecture notes 7.2 1 Morphology We’ve...

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Unformatted text preview: Lecture notes: 7.2 July 14, 2009 1 Morphology We’ve started out with the smallest, most basic units of speech: sound and phono- logical segments. We’re going to build now up to the larger units of speech. Our next target is the word – and the study of words, morphology. We can start by asking: How many words do we know? (1) Estimates of adult vocabularies: 1 Kirkpatrick (1907): 19,000 Gerlach (1917): 85,300 Gillette (1927): 127,800 Seashore & Eckerson (1940): 60,000 Hartman (1946): 200,000 The problem: How do you count? There are various strategies: Corpus-based approach: Observe someone talking/writing for a long time (their whole lifetime?), make a list of all the words they use, and count them all up. But this has problems too. Are the following English words? (2) table, sullen, glimpse, fish (sg.) tables, sullenness, glimpsed, fish (pl.) First problem: multiple forms – jump, jumps, jumped, jumping, jumpable, jumper, jumpers, jump up, jump down, jump over, jump around ... Are these separate words? Should they be considered all one word? 1 Nusbaum, Pisoni & Davis (1984) Sizing up the Hoosier Mental Lexicon. Research on Speech Perception Progress Report No. 10, Indiana University. 1 Two types of words: ⋆ Words that aren’t based on other words, and must simply be learned. ⋆ Words that can be made automatically from other words: productively formed words: can predict the ending, and also the meaning. Which of the jump words are formed productively? Example: Shakespeare – How many words did Shakespeare know? It depends on how and what you count but we find around 884,647 words in all the works. There are 31,534 different words. If we filter out inflected forms (e.g., jumps, jumping, jumped, etc. – leave only jump, we are left with less than 20,000 different words. What is left after filtering out all the inflected forms of a word is called a lexical item (or lexeme ). Speakers store a list of these somewhere in their brains, in what we call a mental lexicon . We would not expect to find “jumps” or “jumped” separately listed in the dictionary, but would directly turn to the entry for jump. Vocabulary size: When presenting the size of a person’s vocabulary, there must al- ways be two totals: → Active vocabulary: words actively used in speech or writing. → Passive vocabulary: words known but not used. Active and passive vocabulary – which words do you know? Know and use? Know but don’t use? Don’t know? A way to count: Give someone a big list of words, ask them which words they know, or know well, vaguely know, don’t know, use often, occasionally, never use, etc. Results from this method (active/passive, from Crystal 2003, p. 123): (3) Office secretary: 31,500 / 38,300 Businesswoman: 63,000 / 73,350 Professor: 56,250 / 76,250 University student: 15,000 / ? (Nusbaum, Pisoni & Davis (1984)) 2 Random sampling is a less cumbersome (and less accurate) method. One way to guess the number of words you know is to do random sampling from a list of words,...
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lecture-7.2 - Lecture notes 7.2 1 Morphology We’ve...

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