Past Tense Morpheme

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  • Topic: Past tense, Morpheme, Phoneme
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  • Published : November 9, 2012
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I.Morph
In linguistics, a word segment that represents one morpheme in sound or writing. For example, the word infamous is made up of three morphs -in-, fam(e), -eous. A morpheme can be realized by only one morph. Thus, for example, the morpheme meaning table is represented by just one morphological form, the morph table, and the morpheme meaning difficult is realized by only the morph difficult. The English past tense morpheme that we spell -ed has various morphs. It is realized as [t] after the voiceless [p] of jump (jumped), as [d] after the voiced [l] of repel (repelled), and as [Id] after the voiceless [t] of root or the voiced [d] of wed (rooted and wedded). We can also call these morphs allomorphs or variants.

II. Allomorphs:
Allomorphs are variant forms of the same morpheme or variant phonological realizations of the same morpheme such as the past tense morpheme ‘ed’ has various allomorphs as t/d/Id and negative morpheme has many allomorphs expressed by the prefixes, unfriendly, illegal, irregular, intolerant, and impossible. The indefinite article is a good example of a morpheme with more than one allomorph. It is realised by the two forms a and an. -Allomorphs are different forms of the same morpheme, or basic unit of meaning. These can be different pronunciations or different spellings. Example: There are three allomorphs of the morpheme -s in English. Compare the sound of the -s in ‘cats', ‘dogs' and ‘foxes'. Exercise 4: (allomorphs)

The past-tense morpheme (ed}) can be pronounced in three different ways. Based on the pronunciation of the past-tense morpheme, divide the following words into three groups. (Crashed, hinted, popped, accustomed, reached, classified, kissed, banged, lulled, lined, divided, fitted, flowed.)
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