Unformatted text preview: Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 20 40. el ler iniz de ‘hand-plural-2 plur.-loc.’ ‘in your (pl.) hands’ Study exercise #5 Reexamine these suffixes and propose a different—finer-grained—analysis. /-im/ /-in/ /-imiz/ /-iniz/ ‘my’ ‘your’ ‘our’ ‘your-plural’ Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 21 ——————————————————————————————————————— Answer Study Exercise #5 /-imiz/ is really /-im/ + /-iz/, and /-iniz/ is really /-in/ + /-iz/. We can make this work if we give the suffixes slightly more abstract meanings: /-im/ doesn’t mean “my”, but more generally, “first person”. /-im/ doesn’t mean “your”, but more generally, “second person”. Then, /-iz/ means “plural possessor”. Singular possessor is indicated by including no suffix. 10. Position classes in inflectional morphology When we looked at the Turkish data, the primary finding was that the morphemes could be arranged in a linear order, which could be expressed as five slots. Stem Plural Possessor Person -im 1st -in 2nd Possessor Number -iz plural Case -i -e -de el ev zil ‘hand’ ‘house’ ‘bell’ -ler nominative accusative dative locative In a long word like ellerimizde ‘in our hands’, all five slots get filled: Stem Plural Possessor Person -in 1st Possessor Number -iz plur. poss. Case de locative el hand -ler plural In analysis, words like ellerimizde are very useful, since they demonstrate the need for five slots. The slots in a system like this are often called position classes. Each position is an abstract location in the word, which can be filled by a particular morpheme or set of morphemes. In the analysis given earlier, we derived position classes using blocks of rules, one block per class. An important check on a position class analysis is that there should be no contradictions of ordering in the data, if the analysis is correct. We can look through the data and see that (for example) -in, -iz, and -de never precede -ler; that -iz and -de never precede in; that -de never precedes -iz; and similarly with the other morphemes. Position classes can be defined simply by looking at the morphemes and checking their ordering. But in fact, the usual picture is that the classes are related to morphological function. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 22 For example, it’s hardly an accident that the two suffixes in the third Turkish slot are both possessor person suffixes. The general principle is: position reflects function. This said, it should be noted that there are exceptions; the occasional language will take the same function and put some of the morphemes into different positions; or fill a position with morphemes of variegated function. For instance, the Swahili morpheme cho, which means roughly “which”, gets put in a different position for positive and negative verbs: ki-tabu a-ki-taka-cho book SUBJ-OBJ-want-which Hamisi Hamisi ‘the book which Hamisi wants’
Comment [x1]: Source: paper by Stump in Yearbook of Morphology, roughly 1994 (in my course notes for another course) ki-tabu a-si-cho-ki-taka Hamisi book SUBJ-NEG-which-OBJ-want Hamisi 11. Formalizing with a grammar ‘the book which Hamisi doesn’t want’ Linguists seek to make their analyses as explicit as possible, by expressing the pattern of the language with rules. The rules taken together form a grammar. We’ll start with a very simple grammar for Turkish nominal inflection. We’ll assume that the stem (/el/, /ev/, /zil/, or whatever) comes with morphological features specifying its grammatical content. The bundle of features is called the morphosyntactic representation.9 The job of our grammar will be to manifest this content with actual material. For example, we can start out with something like this for #40: /el/:[Number:plural, PossessorNumber:plural, PossessorPerson:2, Case:Locative] The /el/ part is the stem meaning ‘hand’; it is enclosed in / / because this is the way you indicate the speech sounds (phonemes) of a word. The part in [ ] is the morphosyntactic representation. It contains four morphological features: Number PossessorNumber PossessorPerson Case Each feature has a value, which is shown by placing it after a colon. So you can read the formula /el/:[Number:plural, PossessorNumber:plural, PossessorPerson:2, Case:Locative] as: “the stem /el/, with a morphosyntactic representation indicating plural Number, plural PossessorNumber, second PossessorPerson, and Locative Case”. We’ll return later on to the question of where these features come from. The grammar itself consists of four rules. The order in which the rules are stated is significant and is part of the grammar. Only the first rule is stated in full.
9 Why? We’ll see later on: the morphosyntactic representation transfers information over from the syntax to the morphology. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 23 Number Rule Suffix /-ler/ if the morphosyntactic representation bears the feature [Number:plural] Possessor Person Rule Add a possessor suffix, as follows: /-im/ /-in/ if [PossessorPerson:1person] if [PossessorPerson:2person] Possessor Number Rule Add a possessor suffix, as follows: /-iz/ if [PossessorNumber:plural] Case Rule Add a case suffix, as follows: /-i/ /-e/ /-de/ if [Case:Accusative] if [Case:Dative] if [Case:Locative] The reason that the rules must apply in the order given is that by doing this, we construct the word from “inside out”, adding a bit more to the material we’ve already accumulated. This “inside out” character will be shown immediately below. You can show how the rules apply to a particular form by giving a derivation. In linguistics, a derivation shows each rule applying in succession, and justifies the rules by showing that they correctly derive the observed forms. For the Turkish form ellerinizde ‘in your (plur.) hands’ (#40 in the data from last time), the derivation would look like this: /el/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Locative] ‘hand’ with its morphosyntactic representation Number Rule Possessor Person Rule Possessor Number Rule /eller/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Locative] /ellerin/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Locative] /elleriniz/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Locative] /ellerinizde/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Locative] Case Rule Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 24 At each stage, the relevant rule “sees” the right feature, and adds the appropriate suffix. Study Exercise #6 Derive #34, ellerimizi ‘our hands-accusative,’ starting with an appropriate morphosyntactic representation and using the rules above. Answer on next page. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 25 Answer to Study Exercise #7 /el/:[Number:plural, PossPers:1, PossNum:plural, Case:Accusative] ‘hand’ with its morphosyntactic representation /eller/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Accusative] /ellerim/:[Number:plural, PossPers:1, PossNum:plural, Case:Accusative] Number Rule Possessor Person Rule /ellerimiz/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Accusative] Possessor Number Rule /ellerimizi/:[Number:plural, PossPers:2, PossNum:plural, Case:Accusative] Case Rule 12. The bigger picture Grammars like the one we are working one can produce a clearer understanding of large amounts of data. It’s worth pondering, for instance, how many forms a Turkish noun can have. There are several choices to be made: Number: singular or plural, thus two possibilities Possessor Person: any of three: 1, 2, 3 (“his or her”) Possessor Number: any of two (singular, plural) Case: nominative (no ending), accusative, dative, locative, plus ablative (“from”), genitive “’s”, instrument (“with”), thus seven possibilities Multiplying these out, every Turkish noun can appear in (at least) 2 x 3 x 3 x 7 = 84 forms, of which we covered only 40. It seems likely that Turkish speakers often must produce a new form for a noun, when they haven’t heard a particular combination before. The Turkish nominal system is a fairly simple one; Turkish verbs, for instance, are quite a bit more complex. The most elaborate system I know of is the verbal system of Shona (Bantu), where (according to the linguist David Odden), the typical verb has about 10 trillion possible forms. Odden has developed a system to generates these forms using a rather complicated set of rules; most of the complication arises in getting the tones right. It seems also likely that Turkish children or Shona children must also come up with a grammar; they could not possibly memorize every form of every word. We cannot know—yet— to what extent their grammars resemble our grammars, but the idea that through analysis and research we can get close to what they learn is a central idea of contemporary theoretical linguistics. 13. The source of morphosyntactic representations The discussion in the last chapter showed how we can write a set of rules that create morphologically well-formed words through the successive addition of affixes by rule. But what do these rules apply to? There are various answers given by various linguists; here, we will examine just one fairly representative one. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 26 The idea is that the syntax of a language builds up a feature structure for every stem that appears in a sentence. Thus, in an English sentence like Fred jumps, the fact that the subject of the sentence, Fred, is in the third person means that the rules of the syntax cause the feature [Person:3, Number:Singular] to appear on the stem jump; this is so-called “subject-verb agreement”. Looking ahead to syntax, we can draw a syntactic structure10 and the process of agreement: S NP | N | Fred Number:sg Person:3 VP | V S NP VP | | N V | | jump Fred Number:sg Tense:Pres Person:3 Number:sg Person:3 jump [Tense:Pres] feature copying We can assume that Fred is inherently [Number:sg, Person:3], since it is a proper name. The [Tense:Pres] must be assumed at the start as well, since it is part of the meaning of the sentence. The operation above is part of syntax. Once the rules of the morphology get apply, the presence of these feature will cause a suffixation rule to apply, which attaches the suffix that we spell -s. Here is a sample rule: 3rd Sing. Present Rule Suffix -s when the morphosyntactic representation contains [Tense:Pres,Person:Sing.,Number:3]. In sum, we have quite a bit of descriptive work to do in a complete grammar: the syntactic component arranges words in correct order and builds up the morphosyntactic representations, while the morphological component refers to the morphosyntactic representation in order to add the appropriate affixes. 14. Another example of inflection Consider the person-number endings of German, in the present and past:11
This is looking ahead, so don’t be alarmed if the diagrams aren’t clear. To clue you in a bit: S = Sentence, NP = Noun Phrase, VP = Verb Phrase, N = Noun, V = Verb, vertical line means “is part of”.
11 10 I’m glossing over some inessential complications arising from the fact that the stem reit ends in a [t]. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 27 Present 1 sg. 2 sg. 3 sg. 1 pl. 2 pl. 3 pl. ich reite du reitest sie/er reitet wir reiten ihr reitet sie reiten ‘I ride’ ‘you-sg. ride’ ‘she/he rides’ ‘we ride’ ‘you-plur. ride’ ‘they ride’ Past ich reitete du reitetest sie/er reitete wir reiteten ihr reitetet sie reiteten ‘I rode’ ‘You rode’ ‘she/he rode’ ‘we rode’ ‘you-plur. rode’ ‘they rode’ Things here are a bit tricky: is the stem reite, with endings like -(zero), -st, -t, -n, -t, -n; or is it reit, with endings like -e, -est, -et, -en, -et, -en? Further evidence12 indicates that the second is correct. Here are the forms broken up into position classes (shown with vertical alignment): Present 1 sg. 2 sg. 3 sg. 1 pl. 2 pl. 3 pl. ich reit du reit sie/er reit wir ihr sie reit reit reit e est et en et en Past ich reit du reit sie/er reit wir ihr sie reit reit reit et et et et et et e est e en et en The focus of attention is why the 3rd singular past is not *sie/er reitetet—this is the only place where the endings of present and past diverge. To get this to happen, we can use the following rules: I. Tense Marking Suffix -et when the morphophosyntactic representations contains [Tense:Past] II. Person/Number Marking Suffix: -e if [Person:1, Number:Singular] -st if [Person:2, Number:Singular] -e if [Tense:Past, Person:3, Number:Singular] -et if [Tense:Present, Person:3, Number:Singular] -en if [Person:1, Number:Plural] -et if [Person:2, Number:Plural] -en if [Person:3, Number:Plural]
12 Notably, the imperative is just the plain stem: Reit! (ride). Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 28 You can see that Person-Number marking for the 3rd person singular has to be split up by tense. Thus, the features are a bit “tangled”: a single affix ends up manifesting quite a few inflectional features (here, -et manifests three). The case from English given in the preceding section is similar: the -s of jumps simultaneously manifests [Number:Singular, Person:3, Tense:Present]. In fact, such “tangling” is found in languages all over the world. Systems of inflectional morphology are well known for including asymmetries of this kind. Linguists speak of charts like the one at the top of this section as paradigms: a paradigm consists of all, or a systematic portion of, the inflected forms of a particular stem. We can also speak of things like the “present paradigm” (left column above) or the “past paradigm” (right column). Subparadigms often involve partial overlap: thus, the German present and past verb paradigms overlap in all but the third singular. 15. What are the characteristic inflectional categories? Every language has a set of inflectional categories, though the sheer amount of inflection can vary quite a bit. Mandarin Chinese has very little; Turkish and Finnish are quite richly inflected; English is closer to the Mandarin end of the scale. Each inflectional category is expressed (in the theory we are using) as a feature within the morphosyntactic representations. Here is a quick survey of some inflectional categories. 15.1 Nominal Inflection Nouns and pronouns are often inflected for number (singular, plural, and occasionally dual, meaning exactly two; or even trial, exactly three). Pronouns are in addition inflected for person (first = includes speaker; second = includes hearer; third = neither). 15.1.1 Gender In a number of languages nouns are inflected for gender; for instance, in German nouns can be masculine, feminine or neuter (as we can tell by the definite articles they take). In some cases, gender is semantically quite sensible: der Mann die Frau ‘the-masculine man’ ‘the-feminine woman’ Extraordinarily, this system carries over—often quite arbitrarily—to the whole vocabulary of nouns, irrespective of meaning. Thus each of the three common items of silverware is a different gender in German: der Löffel ‘the-masculine spoon Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 29 die Gabel das Messer ‘the-feminine fork’ ‘the-neuter knife’ Thus gender is for the most part a purely formal device, not an expression of meaning. Gender involves many other semantic correlations that have nothing to do with biological sex. From a web page intended to help learners of German13 I quote the following rules:
60. Fabrics are predominantly masculine (der Gingham, der Kaschmir). 61. Heavenly bodies are predominantly masculine (der Mond [moon], der Stern [star]). 62. Forms of precipitation are predominantly masculine (der Regen [rain], der Schnee [snow]). 63. Bodies of water (restricted to inland streams, currents, and stagnant bodies) are predominantly masculine (der See [sea], der Teich [pond]). 64. Words denoting sound or loud noise or phonetic speech sounds are masculine (der Donner [thunder], der Dental [dental sound], der Diphthong). 65. Dance steps and popular music forms are masculine (der Jazz, der Tango). Such generalizations are pervasive in gender languages. However, since there are usually exceptions of various sorts, it seems that people who know gender languages have memorized the gender of every word. Gender is not just a property of familiar European languages; it is also found in Semitic, and a kind of system rather like gender (but with at least a dozen types) is found in Bantu languages. 15.1.2 Case Nouns, and the syntactic phrases they occur in, are marked for case, which marks their role in the sentence. (See p. 15 above for discussion of case.) 15.2 Verbal Inflection Very common is tense, which gives the time of action relative to the present: past (I jumped), present (I jump), future (I will jump), and other (for example, “remote past”) tenses. Aspect sets the boundaries of the action of the verb time, for instance, completed vs. noncompleted action. Verbs often agree with their subjects (and sometimes their objects as well) in features for nouns (as shown above in section 10). These features include person (I am, you are, she is), number (I am, we are), gender. 13 http://montgomery.cas.muohio.edu/meyersde/kitchensink/german-gender/. Unfortunately, since I wrote this it seems to have been taken down (9/2010). Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 30 Verbs, particularly second person forms (see below) can also be inflected for the degree of familiarity of the addressee; thus English used to make a distinction between (say) thou believest, addressed to intimates, children, and animals; and you believe, for less familiar addressees. Most European languages, Javanese, Persian, and Japanese have such systems today. In various languages verbs are inflected for degree of belief; thus from my German textbook: Er sagte, dass er krank ist. He said that he sick is-indicative “He said he is sick” (acknowledging a belief held by all) Er sagte, dass er krank sei. He said that he sick is-weak subjunctive “He said he is sick” (and it’s not necessarily true) Er sagte, dass er krank wäre. He said that he sick is-strong subjunctive “He said he is sick” (and the speaker doubts it) Related to this is the category of verbal inflection in many languages which marks information known only by hearsay rather than by direct witness; this is common in American Indian languages. 15.3 Adjectival Inflection Adjectives typically don’t have their own inflectional categories, but acquire inflection by agreeing with the nouns they modify; thus German: ein guter Löffel eine gute Gabel ein gutes Messer ‘a-masculine good-masculine spoon’ ‘a-feminine good-feminine fork’ ‘a-neuter good-neuter knife’ 16. The principle of obligatory expression An important aspect of inflectional morphology is that it often involves obligatory choices. When in English one says “I bought the book”, it specifically means “one book”, not “any old number of books”. Likewise, “books” necessarily implies the plural. To avoid the obligatory choice, one must resort to awkward circumlocutions like “book or books”. There are other languages (for example, Mandarin) that work quite differently. Thus, the following sentence: w3 mai3 I buy ʂ u1 book Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 31 is quite noncommittal about how many books are bought. (It is also noncommittal about when the buying takes place.) Thus an important aspect of the grammar of languages is the set of choices they force speakers to make when speaking; this is determined by their systems of inflectional morphology. Fundamentally, there is a bifurcation between the two ways that thought is embodied in language. The following diagram tries to make this clearer. Thought concepts, classifications, ideas… Grammar [Number: singular, plural] [Tense: present, past] [Honorific: formal, informal] [Mood: indicative, subjunctive] etc. Content one vs. more than one: “two”, “three” overt statements about time: “now”, “then” overt labels of respect: “Mr.” overt statements of degree of belief: “I doubt …” Languages differ: each one takes a subset of the fundamental ideas, and grammatically codifies them. By this I mean that in some particular language, a particular concepts get expresse as a grammatical features, and that these feature is included in the morphosyntactic representations, and is thus integrated into the grammar. Whenever this happens, the expression of the concept in question becomes obligatory—since you have to obey the grammar of your language when you speak. Alternatively, a concept can remain uncodified grammatically, and the speaker is free to express it or not as she chooses, through choice of words and other means. On the whole, the forms of thought that can get integrated into grammar are, as we might expect, the ones that are most omnipresent in our lives: time, number, belief vs. doubt, and the fundamental aspect of conversations (speaker/hearer/other and their social relations.) 17. The typology of inflection A rough way of characterizing languages for their system of inflectional morphology is the following three way split: isolating / agglutinative / inflecting A language is isolating to the extent that it has little or no inflectional morphology. Examples: English, Chinese. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 32 A language is agglutinating if it has a rich inflectional morphology, and each morpheme (tends to) expresses a single morphosyntactic feature. Thus, words tend to be long but have a very clear structure. Examples: Turkish, Swahili. A language is inflecting (bad term, since it’s ambiguous) if it has a rich morphology, and morphemes express multiple features. Example: Latin. somnus, somni. nm., sleep. Case Nominative Genitive Dative Accusative Ablative Locative Vocative Singular somn-us somn-i somn-o somn-um somn-o somn-i somn-e Plural somn-i somn-orum somn-is somn-os somn-is somn-is somn-i Meaning of case for subjects for possessors “to” for objects “from” “at, on, in” for calling to someone
Comment [x2]: Grabbed this paradigm from: http://www.math.ohiostate.edu/~econrad/lang/ln2.html The point of the example is that (for instance) -us packs a considerable bundle of information: it tells us that somnus is nominative, that it is singular, and (with a few exceptions we will ignore) that it is masculine. We could write the rule like this: Add -us if [Case:Nominative, Number:singular, Gender:masculine] In general, the agglutinative languages will have just one, or a few, features mentioned in each rule, whereas the inflecting languages tend to have more. (This is just a more formal way of characterizing the basic distinction.) All else being equal, inflecting languages will tend to have shorter words than agglutinating languages. However, there is usually a “cost” to this terseness: typically, in an inflecting the same ending often serves multiple purposes, so words tend to be inflectionally ambiguous. WORD FORMATION 18. Rules of word formation The other function of morphology is to expand the stock of words in the language, by forming new words from old. Often linguists refer to this process as derivational morphology; I will try to stick to the term word formation since it is more precise. For example, given that identify is an existing word of English, a rule of English word formation can create a new word, identifiable. From this another rule can provide identifiability, and from this yet another rule can create unidentifiability. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 33 18.1 Rules of Word Formation Consider some words formed with the English suffix -able: -able: washable lovable thinkable growable doable We wish to write the word formation rule that attaches -able to an existing word to form a new one. There are three kinds of information that must be included in the rule. First, there is a change of form; the existing word is augmented by the suffix. This could be expressed with the formalism: X X + -able Second, there is a change of meaning: Xable means “able to be Xed”. We will not formalize this, since the task of representing meaning is far too big to take on in this context. Finally, there is often a change in part of speech. -able attaches to Verbs (e.g. wash, love, think, etc.) and forms Adjectives. All three aspects of the rule can be expressed more compactly in the following abbreviated form: -able Rule [ X ]Verb [ [ X ]Verb -able ]Adjective Meaning: “able to be V’ed” You can read this as follows: “Take some string X that is a Verb. Add to it the string bl. Classify the resulting string as an Adjective.” Rules of word formation can be shown applying in a formal derivation. As before, we label each line of the derivation according to the rule that applies. Thus, for instance, here is a derivation for washable: [ wash ]Verb [ [ wash ] Verb able ]Adjective Stem -able Rule Here are some further word formation rules of English. To express the derivation of words in -ity, (for example, divinity, obscurity, obesity, insanity, sensitivity), we could write the rule -ity Rule [ X ]Adjective [ [ X ]Adjective ity ]Noun Meaning: “quality of being Adjective” This creates structures like [[ obes ]A ity ]N. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 34 To handle words formed with the prefix un-, (unfair, unkind, unjust, unspoken, unattested, unidentifiable) we could write the following rule: un- Rule [ X ]Adjective [ un [ X ]Adjective ]Adjective Meaning: “not Adjective” The rule creates structures like [ un [ kind ]A]A. 19. Stacked derivation At least in English, the idea of the position class, covered above for inflection, is not relevant for derivation. Rather, the rules of derivation can apply freely, provided their requirements are met. For example, we can derive the long word unmindfulness by applying the following rules in succession: [mind]Noun [[mind]Noun ful]A [un[[mind]Noun ful]Adj] [[un[[mind]Noun ful]Adj]ness]Noun stem -ful Rule: [ X ]N [[ X ]N ful ]Adj un- Rule -ness Rule: [ X ]Adj [[ X ]Adj ness ]Noun With a bit of strain, it’s possible even to have the same inflectional rule apply twice in the same form. Here is an outline derivation for the (novel) word industrializational. industry industrial industrialize industrialization industrializational Although the last word is a bit of stretch, you can see that the result has “double application” of the rule that attaches -al. Study Exercise #7: give the rules and derivation for industrializational. Answer on next page. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 35 Answer to Study Exercise #8: [industry]Noun [[industri]Noun al]A14 stem -al Rule: [ X ]N [[ X ]N al ]Adj “[[ X ]N al ]Adj” means “pertaining to X” -ize Rule: [ X ]Adj [[ X ]Adj ize ]Verb “[[ X ]Adj ize ]Verb” means “to render X” -ation Rule: [ X ]Verb [[ X ]Verb ation ]Verb “[[ X ]Verb ation ]Verb” means “the process of Xing” [[industri]Noun al]A ize ]V [[[industri]Noun al]A iz ]V ation ]Noun [[[[industri]Noun al]A iz ]V ation ]Noun al]Adj. -al Rule (again) Here are some words that justify these rules: -al: cynical, coastal, epochal, triumphal -ize: humanize, criminalize, socialize, legalize -ation: visitation, accreditation, limitation, condensation ——————————————————————————— The repetition of the same suffix in the word is fairly good evidence that English word formation does not involve position classes. The multiple appearances result from the inherent property of word formation, that the rules apply where they can. In contrast, in the position-class systems seen in inflection, the rules apply in a strict arrangement defined by blocks. 20. What meanings are expressed by word formation rules? The short answer here is “almost anything,” as we’ll see shortly. But there are some core meanings. 20.1 Changing syntactic category Perhaps the most common purpose of word formation rules is to change syntactic category; we may want to say pretty much the same idea, but using the stem as a noun instead of a verb: He had trouble concentrating. He had trouble with his concentration. (verb) (noun) 14 We may ignore the spelling change, assuming our focus is on spoken English. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 36 In English, there are word formation processes that can change between any pair of the three major syntactic categories of verb, noun, and adjective: Verb to noun: -ation, as above usual meaning: “the process of Verbing” Noun to verb: -ify, -ize (as in classify, demonize) usual meaning: “to do something involving Noun” Adjective to noun: usual meaning: Noun to adjective: usual meaning: Verb to adjective: usual meaning: Adjective to verb: usual meaning: -ness, -ity “the quality of being Adjective” -ish, -esque “resembling Noun” -ent (as in effevescent) “tending to Verb” -ify (as in clarify, humidify) “render Adjective” 20.2 Changing the number of participants in a verb Verbs often have rules of word formation that change the number of participants. Consider the Persian verbs below: res-idan res-a˘n-idan xa˘b-idan xa˘b-a˘n-idan ‘reach-infinitive’ ‘send-infinitive’ ‘to sleep’ ‘to put to sleep’15 Here, we can take a verb that has just one participant (the one who is reaching, or sleeping), and make from it a verb that has an additional participant (the one who causes to reach, or causes to sleep). This is called a causative verb. English has no such word formation process, and uses syntactic constructions to express causation (“He made them sleep”). For Persian, the rule could be expressed as: -an Rule [ X ]Verb [ [ X ]Verb a˘n ]Verb 20.3 The Grand Miscellaneous Although the two purposes of word formation rules just given are probably the most common across languages, individual languages can include word formation rules of marvelous
15 Meaning: “to cause to Verb” In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the symbol  designates a long vowel. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 37 specificity. Among my favorites is one in Ilokano (Philippines), with a process that derives from a verb a new verb meaning “to pretend to be verbing” dait agindadait sait aginsasait dÉanitor agindÉadÉanitor ‘to sew’ ‘to pretend to be sewing’ ‘to cry’ ‘to pretend to cry’ ‘to work as a janitor’ ‘to pretend to be a janitor’ English has some very specific word formation processes: bowl-arama, carpet-arama Stalin-ism, Mao-ism pay-ola, shin-ola, plug-ola ‘grand emporium for X or X-ing’ ‘doctrine propounded by X’ ‘bribery involving X’ 21. The ordering of word formation and inflection It is at least a strong cross-linguistic tendency—perhaps a universal of language—that rules of word formation apply before inflectional rules. Thus, for instance, in English it is possible to have words like nullifies, which are derived as follows (I’ll use IPA transcription to duck issues involving spelling): [nl]Adj. [[nl]Adj.IfaI]Verb [[nl]Adj.IfaI+z]Verb root: ‘null’ Word formation rule: Adjective + /-IfaI/ Verb Inflectional rule: X Xz when [Verb, +3rd person, +singular, +present] The opposite rule ordering would have derived *[nlzIfaI], so that the inflectional suffix would appear “inside” the derivational suffix. Cases of this sort are rare at best. This has implications for when you analyze a new language: typically it is possible to work out the inflection—appearing on the “outside” of the word, and then work with the leftover material and find the word formation rules. 22. Compounding A widespread view of compound words is that they are a form of word formation. They differ in that rather than attaching an affix to a stem, they concatenate (chain together) two stems. Here is a same rule of compounding for English nouns: [ X1 ]Noun + [ X2 ]Noun [ [ X ]Noun [ X ] Noun ]Noun Meaning: “an X2 that has something to do with X1.” Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 38 Thus: boat house (structure: [[ boat ]Noun [ house ]Noun ]Noun) is a house that has something to do with boats (for example, you keep boats inside it). A houseboat is a boat that functions as a house. The word tigerbird is probably not familiar to you, but you can guess part of its meaning simply by knowing how to speak English: you know it is a kind of bird (and not a kind of tiger!), and that it has something to do with tigers (perhaps it is striped like a tiger, or it likes to roost on top of sleeping tigers, or that it fights like a tiger, and so on). Compounds like houseboat, boathouse, and tigerbird, derived by the rule given above, are said to be headed: the “head” of houseboat is boat, because a houseboat is a boat. Likewise house is the head of boathouse, because a boathouse is a house, and bird is the head of tigerbird. In English, most compounds have at most one head, but other languages allow “doubleheaded” compounds, for instance when “mother-father” is used to mean “parents.” One possible English example is Austria-Hungary, which designated the country of the 19th century that included both Austria and Hungary. You’ll find some double-headed compounds on this week’s homework. You can derive them with a rule that’s exactly like the compound rule given above, except that the meaning has to be stated differently. It is possible to form a compound from two words one of which is itself a compound. For example, we can combine the compound law degree with the word requirement to get the complex compound law degree requirement. This compound can in turn be combined with changes to get law degree requirement changes; and so on. The following example suggests that the process is essentially unlimited: eggplant eggplant plant eggplant plant plant ‘plant shaped like an egg’ ‘factory for manufacturing eggplants’ ‘factory for manufacturing factories for manufacturing eggplants’ Thus compounding is like other forms of word formation in that it applied freely, rather than in the strict “assembly line” fashion of inflectional rules. 22.1 The Spelling of Compounds The spelling system of English is inconsistent with regard to compounds; some are spelled without a space between the component words and some are spelled with a space. It is important to realize that an expression spelled with a space can still be a compound. One can argue for this in two ways. First, consider German: it is customary in German to spell all compounds without a space between the component words. That is, the English practice is more or less an accident; given that other languages go the other way. More important, there are linguistic arguments that compounds spelled with spaces are just like compounds spelled without them. Note first that, in the case of a genuine NP of the form Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 39 Adjective + Noun, it is possible to insert an extra adjective between the adjective and the noun. For example, we can take the NP large cake and add an additional adjective to get large round cake. But if we start with a compound, it is impossible to get an additional adjective in the middle. For example, starting from pancake, we cannot get *pan round cake. The basic point is the while the noun of a NP can be modified by an additional immediately preceding adjective, a noun that is the second word of a compound cannot. This fact provides us with a test to determine whether an expression really is a compound, even if it is spelled with a space. For instance, we can show that carrot cake is a compound by trying to place an adjective in the middle: *carrot large cake. Other examples also show that expressions spelled with a space can be compounds: coal scuttle lap dog can opener *coal dirty scuttle *lap slobbery dog *can handy opener 23. Summing up so far The picture of morphology thus far drawn is like this. First, languages have means of expanding their inventory of words (more precisely: of stems). The rules of word formation add affixes to stems to derive new stems, which have new meanings. These meanings can be common, characteristic ones (like “the quality of being Adjective”, “to cause to Verb”), or exotic ones (like “emporium for selling Noun”). Compounding likewise expands the stock of stems, creating either single-headed compounds (like boathouse) or, in some languages, two-headed ones (like Austria-Hungary).16 There is in principle no limit to “when” a derivational rule can apply; it simply looks for the right kind of base form and applies optionally. The stems that result, whether they are basic or derived, are used in sentences. In a sentence context, the rules of the syntax (as yet undiscussed) provide each stem with a morphosyntactic representation, that is to say, a bundle of inflectional features. These features are specific to a particular language, although a number of features like [Case:Accusative] or [Number:Plural] occur repeatedly in languages. The features are referred to by the rules of inflectional morphology, which add affixes in order to express their content overtly. It is generally possible to arrange the affixes of an inflectional system into “slots”, where each word has at most one affix per slot. In terms of rules, the slots are expressed by having one rule per slot; each rule attaches the affix that corresponds to the features given in the morphosyntactic representation of the stem. As a consequence of this scheme, inflectional morphology, being attached by rules that apply “later”, occurs on the “outside” of a word; that is to say, further from the stem than inflectional morphology.
16 For thoroughness: there are also compounds with implied heads, like airhead. These typically have an unstated head, usually meaning “person” or “thing”. Thus airhead means, essentially, “air-headed person”, “person with head filled with air”. Similarly: pick-pocket “person who picks pockets”; stopgap “thing that stops gaps”. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course LING 20 taught by Professor Schutze during the Fall '08 term at UCLA.
- Fall '08