Morphology: Affix and Word

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  • Topic: Affix, Morpheme, Inflection
  • Pages : 5 (1821 words )
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  • Published : April 13, 2013
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Topic 4: Morphology
Question 2: The knowledge of morphology can contribute to our understanding of English vocabulary and grammar better and help us in our future role as an English teacher.
Morphology is the study of the system of rules underlying our knowledge of the structure of words (Kristin Denham, Anne Lobeck, 2013). It is also known as the branch of linguistics that studies the structure of words and different patterns of word formation. In this essay, I will discuss how the knowledge of morphology can contribute to our understanding of English vocabulary and grammar better and how this knowledge can help us in our future role as an English teacher. The knowledge of morphology can be applied among the teachers to enhance the vocabulary, identify the changes of word classes, know the word origins, construct sentences correctly and enhance the teachers’ mind to think creatively.

Morphology can help us as a future English teacher to widen our vocabulary list. English teachers should have better vocabulary knowledge so that it will help us to deliver our teaching effectively. Once we have a wide vocabulary list especially the bombastic words with reference to the thesaurus and dictionary, therefore, it will make us more confident in the classroom teaching. In morphology, morpheme can be combined to other morphemes to form a new word. Morpheme refers to the smallest unit grammatical unit in a language. For example, the word cats have two morphemes. Cat is a morpheme and s is also a morpheme. The word cat is a singular form meaning one cat whereas the word cats are a plural form representing many cats. Thus, two different words are formed. Word formation rules in morphology help us to discover new words.

Compounding process is one of other examples of word formation rules. Compounding is a word formation process that involves combining two free morphemes to form a new word. For example, a free morpheme word butter is combined with another free morpheme cup will form a new single word buttercup. So, a new word formed will be our new vocabulary. Vocabulary is very important especially for us as a future English teacher in order to help the students to enrich their vocabulary in their writing and speaking skills through our teaching.

Apart from that, as we studied morphology, it can also help English teachers to identify the changes of word classes including nouns, pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, verbs, adverbs and conjunctions which are popularly known as the seven parts of speech. In morphology, some of these word classes are involved in word formation rules. There are two types of word formation processes that are derivation and conversion. Derivation process is referred to the process of word formation with the use of affixes to derive a new word from the old one. For example, ‘reader’ is derived by adding suffix –er to the verb ‘read’. When the suffix –er is added to the verb ‘read’, a new noun ‘reader’ is formed. Another example is we can form the noun ‘sadness’ from the adjective ‘sad’. The noun ‘sadness’ is formed by adding suffix –ness to the adjective ‘sad’. Thus, we can identify clearly the changes of word classes that occur from noun to verb and adjective to noun. Derivation process commonly applies to nouns, verbs and adjectives that allow us to change the category of words.

The second word formation process is conversion. Conversion is a process of shifting a word into a different word class without adding an affix. This process can turn a noun to become a verb and vice versa. The spelling and pronunciation of the word do not change as the process occurs. For example, the word party can be used as a noun in the sentence ‘we will be at the party’. It can also be used as a verb in the sentence ‘they like to party’. The original noun ‘party’ undergoes conversion process that resulting in the new verb ‘party’. Usually, in conversion process, nouns that are converted into verbs...
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