The most obvious sign in human language is the word
American linguist Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949) -- defined the word as a minimal free form
WORD - the smallest free-standing sign in language
|Content words||Function words|
nouns, full verbs, adverb of manner, adjectives
linking verbs, adverbs of place/time, pronouns, prepositions, articles, conjunctions
Lexicon = the vocabulary of a language
Lexicology = the study of a language's vocabulary
Morphology = the study of how words are built
IS THE SMALLEST SIGN IN LANGUAGE THE WORD? NO.
RE + READ + ING
MORPHEME - the smallest sign in language (smallest form with a specific meaning)
re + new + able
re + writ(e) + able
= the study of how words are built
= set of morphemes + the rules of how they are combined
= "word grammar"
Homomorphs - morphemes with same form but different meanings
Cranberry morph: appears only in a single word, like "ham" in hammer, also: uncouth, huckleberry, lukewarm, knowledge
- red [r E d] red in "redder" [r E |]
- fat [f t] fat in "fatter" [f |]
ALLOMORPHS = forms with the same meaning but slightly different sound-shapes, and the difference is predictable
sincere / sincerity severe / severity profound/profundity
confuse / confusion, use / usury
**Both "Morpheme" and "Word" are fuzzy concepts, hard to define
1. According to their position in the word:
read re+read read+ing rereading root prefix + root root + suffix prefix + root + suffix
infix: kilad (red) --> kumilad (be red)
circumfix: chokma (it is good) --> ikchokmo (it is not good)
lakna (it is yellow) --> iklakno (it is not yellow)
AFFIX TYPES: prefix, suffix, infix, circumfix,
agglutination: affixes don't change form when combined
simple fusion: at least one of the morphemes changes form:
confuse -> confus+ion, able -> abil+ity, explain -> explan+ation, electric-> electric+ity, long -> leng+th
symbolic fusion: tooth -> teeth, run -> ran, take -> took, use (the noun) -> use (the verb)
2. Types of affixes:
Derivational affixes make new words by adding concrete meanings to old words:
-er, -ess -hood, -ive, -ness, re-, un-
All English prefixes and most suffixes are derivational.
Inflectional affixes make different grammatical forms of the same word. English has only 8 productive inflections:
3 for verbs: -ed, -s, -ing work+ed, work+s, work+ing 3 for nouns: -s, -'s -'s boys, boy's, boys' 2 for adjectives: -er, -est smart+er, smart+est
There are several unproductive inflections too, like the plural -en in oxen, and the participial -en in given.
stem + ending (inflectional suffix)
3. Classification according to whether morpheme = word
FREE BOUND most roots in English most prefixes and suffixes but: adept, inept (BOUND ROOT) ism (free suffix) ex, pro, con (free prefixes)
4. Classifying words according to morpheme structure
Simple words- a single morpheme: house, I, the, off, salamander
Complex words - root + at least 1 affix: worker, reread, retelling
anti + dis + establish +ment + ari + an +ism
Compound words - 2 roots: ashtray, mailbox, lazybones
1. null affixation sheep (is) vs. sheep (are)
zero morpheme morphological conversion.
2. reduplication (common in Hawaiian)
- wiki move fast -> wikiwiki quick, helu count-> heluhelu read. partial reduplication: 'uku flea --> 'u'uku tiny
3. blend smog (smoke + fog) Great Eggspectations
4. abbreviations (several types)
clipping, or clipped word: grad, prof, dorm, Liz, Flo, Ed, Al.
stub compound: polysci, sci-fi, physed
true acronym: scuba, radar, AIDS.
alphabetism: DJ, VIP, OK, USA
5. back formation: enthusiasm -> enthuse; action -> act
also: cherry <cherise, pea < pease
6. agglomerations: irregardless, komiksy, Zaliv Pyudzhet Saund.
7. eponym (proper noun becomes a common noun): sandwich, Sequoia, sideburns, hooker.
symbolic fusion (only in some noun plurals, some denominal verbs, and some past tense verbs)
suppletion (change the morpheme instead of adding an affix):
bad -> worse, good -> better, go -> went, is -> was, am, is, are
partial suppletion: was -> were, teach -> taught