morphology

Topics: Inflection, Lexeme, Morpheme Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: November 4, 2014
BA-Aufbaumodul: Levels of Linguistic Analysis I – Words and Sentences, Structure and Meaning (Mi 10-12; R. 209)
Florian Haas
Tel.: 838-72314
flohaas@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Handout 2: Morphological analysis
1. Morpheme vs morph




The morpheme is defined as the smallest meaningful unit in a language disagreement and/or inconsistency concerning the exact characterization (i) a formal unit
(ii) an abstraction from the concrete forms
the term ‘morph’ only refers to (i)

2. Morphological vs morphemic analysis
• the relation one morpheme = one morph doesn’t always hold (cf. Brinton 79-82): (1) a. fish
1 morph fish
2 morphemes {FISH}+{pl}
b. cars
2 morphs car+s
2 morphemes {CAR}+{pl}
c. smaller
2 morphs small+er 2 morphemes {SMALL}+{compr}
d. better
1 morph better
2 morphemes {GOOD}+{compr}
e. worked
2 morphs work+ed 2 morphemes {WORK}+{past}
f. we
1 morph we
3 morphemes {1st p}+{sg}+{m}+{obj}
Exercise 1: Give morphological and morphemic analyses of the type in (1) for the following words: mice, considered, worse, you, best, helplessly, went. •


we speak of zero morphs if a given morpheme has no concrete phonetic realization we speak of portmanteau morph(eme)s if two or more morphemes are expressed by a single morph (e.g. –s on verbs expresses both present tense, third person, and singular)

Exercise 2: Is the word form oxen an example of two morphemes being realized by one morph? Give arguments for and against such a statement!

3. Types of morpheme
NB: As with words and phonemes ‘morpheme’ can refer to both types and tokens morpheme

grammatical

function word



inflectional
affix

lexical

content word derivational affix

See Handout 1 for differences between inflection and derivation Roughly, inflection produces word forms and derivation (as other types of word formation) produces new lexemes

1

4. Types of morph
morph

free (root)

bound

content word function word

affix

prefix...
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