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Week 2 notes

by: Kaylee Viets
Kaylee Viets
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Lecture 2
Science of Language
Class Notes




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Popular in Linguistics and Speech Pathology

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaylee Viets on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LING 202 at University of Delaware taught by Staff in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Science of Language in Linguistics and Speech Pathology at University of Delaware.

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Date Created: 02/22/16
LING 202 2/10 Lecture 2 – Morphology Studies word formation; and assembling words, morphemes, roots, and affixes: 1. Was the major focus of linguistic research in the first part of the 20 century a. Has recently been eclipsed by researchers working in syntax and/or phonology b. Many issues in morphology are unresolved 2. Morphemes are semantic atoms, and have functions in assembling a phrase (syntax = study of phrases) a. Each morpheme contributes something to the meaning of the whole word i. But morphemes really have three dimensions: 1. Pronunciation 2. Meaning 3. Syntactic category b. Syntactic atoms (“parts of speech”): i. Noun (N) ii. Verb (V) iii. Adjective (A) iv. Adverb (Adv) v. Determiner (D) vi. Preposition (P) c. These categories are what determine the circumstances in which morphemes can combine i. Even when we don’t know what a word means, we can manipulate it according to its category ii. Homonyms (correct vs. to correct) – words can have similar meanings, but different syntactic categories Bound vs. free morphemes (a fourth dimension?): 1. Free morphemes can occur by themselves 2. Bound morphemes must combine with other elements to form words a. ALL affixes are bound morphemes b. SOME roots are bound morphemes i. cran- , gruntl- 3. What about the or of? English morphology: 1. Compounds: words formed from other complete words 2. Roots + affixes – some suffixes can combine freely a. -er changes V to N, -able changes V to A, -ness changes A to N 3. Others affixes are less flexible in order a. Some suffixes can combine only with roots – can’t add on more suffixes to them i. –age, -al, -ant, -ous, -y, -ful b. Some combine with a root, or a root + affix i. –ary (revolut-ion-ary, legend-ary), -ic (modern-ist-ic, metall-ic) c. Some combine with a specific range of suffixed items i. –al changes N to A, sometimes allows –ion, -ment, -or LING 202 4. Tree diagrams to illustrate morphology: a. Point at top is root, along the bottom are pronounces leaves b. Root, leaves, and other labeled constituents in the tree are nodes c. Roots combine in pairs following the form [X  Y X]: i. V  N V ii. N  N N iii. A  N A 5. English right hand head or head-final principle: a. In English, the rightmost element of a compound is the head b. A compound word has the category and features of its head c. This rule in compounds predicts some of the patterns we see in affixation: i. An English suffix often changes category, but prefixes rarely do ii. The conditions on affixation typically refer to just the last suffix 6. Affixation structures are head-final too a. Suffixes b. Prefixes in English tend not to be category changing, but rather just modifiers i. A modifies N ii. Adv modifies V iii. Adv modifies A 7. Head-final principle implies you can combine any Y and any X and get an X, but this is not quite true – there are restrictions a. Writing morphological rules to express restrictions: i. For example, generalization that –ion attaches only to verbs 1. N  -ion / [V ___ ] a. / indicates that you’re allowed to do this provided the subsequent conditions are satisfied b. “N becomes –ion only if it forms a complex with a V to its left” Morphology and pronunciation: 1. Morphemes can be smaller than syllables 2. They can also be multi-syllabic 3. Morphemes can be pronounced in different ways in different contexts a. Allomorphs i. Impossibility vs. incredible vs. illegal 4. Some morphemes may be unpronounced a. Tense sometimes has no pronunciation when it is on the verb 5. Other morphemes are not sound sequences at all Syntactic atoms, semantic atoms, and morphemes: 1. A semantic atom can have many syntactic atoms on it a. Multi-morphemic idioms (complex expression whose meaning is not determined by the meanings of its parts in the usual way) i. Idiomatic phrases: threw in the towel, kick the bucket ii. Idiomatic compounds: pick-pocket, scare-crow, push-over, try-out iii. Idiomatic root + affix: librar-ian, material-ist, ignor-ance b. The parts of these expressions are syntactic atoms, but they do not have their usual meanings LING 202 i. We have to learn what these whole expressions mean, rather than figuring the meanings out from the parts, so these are semantic atoms 2. A syntactic atom can have many semantic atoms in it a. The rules of the syntax never need to see the morphemes, only the whole word Inflectional vs. derivational morphology: 1. Inflectional morphology – complex words where the affixes add grammatical information a. Involves agreement, number, gender, tense b. Applies after all derivational morphology 2. Derivational word formation – derives new words from the parts (a good rule of thumb is that the part of speech changes – counterexample: adding un- to happy – still adj.) a. Changes the syntactic category b. Applies before all inflectional morphology Morphology in other languages: 1. All languages have semantic atoms and word-like units, but they vary in how much gets put into a word a. Isolating (or analytic) languages avoid combining many grammatical markers onto a stem i. Use sequences of free morphemes ii. Each morpheme has its own meaning and appears as a separate word b. Agglutinating (or fusional or synthetic) languages tend to combine many grammatical morphemes with a stem i. Do so by concatenating affixes, or by altering the morphemes, or with tones ii. Use sequences of bound morphemes (can be very long) iii. An entire sentence may be put into a single word 2. These morphological tendencies seem to be localized in certain areas in the world 3. Infixes – inserted into the word to change the syntactic category 4. Circumfixes – parts attached to both ends of a word a. More rare than other affixes 5. Reduplication a. Total reduplication in Indonesian: i. ‘house’: rumah ii. ‘houses’: rumahrumah b. Partial reduplication in Tagalog i. ‘buy’: bili ii. ‘will buy’: bibili Back to irregular forms… 1. Many “irregular” English verbs fall into the same categories (back to Lecture 1) a. Blow, grow, know, throw b. Take, mistake, shake c. Bind, find, grind, wind d. Bend, send, spend e. Swear, tear, wear, bear LING 202 f. Etc. 2. May actually be complex forms a. Irregular past tense forms, like the regular ones, never allow an additional affix i. *He was promis-ed-ing everything b. Forming a yes-no question seems to involve splitting the tense away from the verb (for both regular and irregular) i. Regular: You promis-ed Bianca. 1. Di-d you promise Bianca? ii. Irregular: You knew Bianca 1. Di-d you know Bianca? c. Imaging studies of people’s brains when they hear irregular past tense verbs show similar nerve activity to when they hear “regular” words i. Processed in the same way Lecture 2 Summary 1. Morphemes are semantic atoms 2. Morphology is about how words are built from morpheme roots, morpheme affixes, and other words 3. Three dimensions of morphemes: a. Pronunciation b. Meaning c. Syntactic category 4. The English language is head-final a. Helps us assign parts of speech to bound morphemes 5. The basic units of morphology are different from syllables or speech sounds like vowels or consonants a. Units of sounds don’t match up with the units of the words 6. Many words are idioms, in a sense 7. X  Y X a. Inside an X, another X can recur b. In this way, these rules are recursive i. Number of possible words becomes infinite 8. Inflectional vs. derivational morphology


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