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MORPHOLOGY The Study of Word Structure and Word Formation

Derivational Morphemes Inflectional Morphemes Allomorphs

Building up complex words from base morphemes and affixes follows the word formation rules. The word formation rules will determine how the derivational and inflectional morphemes are added to a root in order to form a new word.

Derivational Morphemes
The study of how affixes combine with roots to derive new words is known as derivational morphology. This is the most productive process. Derivational morphemes change the part of speech or meaning of a word (eg: -ion added to a verb forms a noun, suggest +ion)

Derivational Morphemes
Derivational morphology process usually indicates semantic relations within words, but no syntactic relations outside the word. For example the word undo relates -un not to do but has no particular syntactic connections outside the word. The same word can be used in he cannot undo the damage and they cannot undo the damage.

Derivational Morphemes
It follows a certain relative order within words. It usually occurs before inflectional suffixes. Example: first modernize then modernizes. When inflectional suffix is added to a verb (modernize+s) then no derivational suffixes can be added. English has no form modernizesable.

Derivational Morphemes
There are many derivational suffixes in English. They carry semantic meaning. Most are used to derive nouns, verbs, and adjectives from other words. A few are used to form adverbs.

Study the general process of word formation below. Example: the derivational suffix able. Verb Adjective read read + able= readable wash wash + able=washable break break + able=breakable pay pay+ able=payable excuse excuse + able=excusable

There are at least three changes associated with this suffix able
wash----------washable 1. A phonological change (sound change) the pronunciation of the verb must be increased by a certain sequence of sounds. 2. A category change ( part of speech change) when able attaches to verbs, adjectives form. 3. The suffix able introduces a new element of meaning.

Inflectional Morphemes
English has bound morphemes that have a strictly grammatical function. They mark properties such as tense, number, gender, case and others. These bound morphemes are called inflectional morphemes. All inflectional morphemes in English are suffixes.

Inflectional Morphemes
Inflectional morphemes never change the part of speech of the base morpheme that they are attached. book-books, boy-boys, student-students Inflectional morphemes are viewed as the process of adding very general meanings to existing words, not as the creation of new words.

Inflectional Morphemes
Inflectional morphemes are required by the syntax. They normally indicate syntactic or semantic relations between different words in the sentence (for example: Bhavani loves oranges, -s marks the 3rd person singular present form of the verb, relating it to the 3rd singular subject Bhavani. Are very productive and usually occur with almost all appropriate base morphemes, ex, the plural morpheme s occurs with almost all

English has eight bound inflectional morphemes

1) Third person singular present (-s) walks, runs, catches 2) Past tense- (-ed) walked, wandered, waited 3) Progressive (-ing) waiting, walking

4. Past

participle (-en) broken, fallen 5. Plural (-s) lakes, chairs, kisses 6. Possessive (-s) Azims, the schools , the judges

7. Comparative marker -er . The er form with short adjectives. more + adj. with longer adjectives) taller, more beautiful 8. Superlative marker -est . The -est form with short adj. and the most + adj form with longer adjectives tallest, most beautiful

Relative order of derivational and inflectional suffixes

Word Modern Modernize Modernizes Modernizers

root/base modern modern modern modern

Table 1

ize ize


(3rd person)

ize + er
able + ity


Words can be created by attaching derivational or/and inflectional morphemes. For example the word agree can be formed to:

agree + s ( r + i)=agrees agree + ed (r +i)=agreed dis + agree + ed (d + r + i)=disagreed dis + agree + s (d + r + i)=disagrees Agree + ment (r + d)=agreement dis + agree + ment (d + r + d)=disagreement

Study the words below: note r = root morpheme d= derivational morpheme i= inflectional morpheme 1. Words with just one morpheme an an ocean Mississippi r r r r 2. Two morpheme words danc er wis er number s

r d

r i

3. Three morpheme words

in fer ence un reason able over turn ed d r d d r d d r i 4. Four morpheme words dis quali fi es super natur al ist d r d i d r d d 5. And more socio lingu ist ic al ly d r d d d d

super cali frag il ist ic al ly d d r d d d d d

The different forms/variations in sound but not in meaning of a single morpheme.

Types of Allomorphs
Allomophs of plural morpheme: /s/ - shops, nuts, books /z/ - cubs, bugs /iz/ - houses, glasses, dishes, judges Allomophs of past tense morpheme: /t/ - walked, packed, chopped /d/ - wandered, played, died /id/ - waited, shouted, lifted

Types of Allomorphs
Allomorphs for third singular morpheme /s/- walks /z/- runs /iz/- catches Allomorphs of possessive morpheme /s/- Tinas /z/- labs /iz/-judges

Allomorphs of Negative Morpheme

Un- able, do, lucky, true, certain Ir- responsible, regular, relevant Im-possible, polite, proper In- ability, correct, edible Dis-agree, qualify, continue Mis- spell, conduct, spell Non- smoker, stop, resident Il- logical, legal, legitimate De- frost, classify, throne Mal-nutrition, function, formation

Task 1 Derive the words below to form new words. Cover live Sharp shape Arrange suggest Create invest Fine protect Friend order

Task 2 Analyze the following English words, in the manner shown in table 1.
Friendliness Tranquilizers Widening Localizability Writings Loudest Employer

Task 3 Recognizing roots, derivational and inflectional morphemes (r, d, and i) Consult oblivious offends Continue subdivided sufficient Imbecile submarine suppress Incurs subvert subject Infect supply infallible Immobile flamboyant inimitable Innocent detonator taller

More exercises Course book pages 175-176,193- 194