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Morphology – Word Formation and Word Structure-word in a word words

Lisa Pearl
LING200, Summer Session I, 2004
Morphology - Word Formation and Word Structure
I. Words...
A. ...carry meaning in addition to a phonological form
B. ...are stored in a speaker's mental dictionary = lexicon.
C. ...are known as "lexemes".
D. ...are the smallest "free form" in a language - that is, the smallest unit where you can leave a
space between it and the next thing when you're writing something down.
E. ...are made up of morphemes = smallest unit which carries information
a. owls = owl + s (1 word, 2 morphemes). owl = "owl", s = "more than 1, plural"
b. complex word = 2 or more morphemes. Ex: owls
c. simple word = 1 morpheme. Ex: owl
d. free morpheme: can stand on its own. Ex: owl
e. bound morpheme: can't stand on its own. Ex: "s".
f. morph = sound form of morpheme (as opposed to the sound + meaning). So, /si/ is
the morph for both the word that means "ocean" and the word that means "look".
g. Note: What is free and what is bound varies from language to language. Ex: Just
because the plural marker is a bound morpheme in English doesn't mean that it's a
bound morpheme in another language.
F. Allomorphy = same meaning, but different phonological form (morph)
a. a vs. an = "one" or "some". Ex: A fox and an owl walk into a bar...
b. /s/ vs. /z/ vs. /?z/ = plural. Ex: /kQts/, /awlz/, /faks?z/
II. Word Structure
A. Root = core of word which carries the major component of meaning. Always belongs to a
lexical category Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition. Example: owl, fly, sly, above
B. Affix = bound morpheme which adds additional meaning to the word. Can be added to root
or root + other affixes. Ex: -en, -ed, -s, -er, -ation, -ian, -ize, un-, re-
C. Words are made up of roots and one or more affixes.
D. Word structure examples:
Lisa Pearl
LING200, Summer Session I, 2004
III. Morphological Processes
A. compounding = putting 2 or more words together to make a new word. Ex: out+house =
outhouse, tooth+brush = toothbrush, book+keeper = bookkeeper
B. affixation = addition of an affix
a. prefix: affix to front of base re+activate = reactivate
b. suffix: affix to back of base stark+ly = starkly
c. infix: in the middle of the base (only one variant in English) abso + friggin +
lutely = abso'friggin' lutely
C. cliticization = clitics are members of a lexical category which behave like words in meaning
and function, but need a host. Ex: They're heeeeeeere... (`re = are = lexical category V)
a. enclitic = attach to end of host. Ex: They're heeeeere...
b. proclitic = attach to the front of host. Ex: (Spanish) Lisa lo ama. = (Lisa him loves).
D. internal change = substitution of one nonmorphemic segment for another.
a. foot feet, goose geese (plural)
b. ride rode (past)
E. suppletion = replace morpheme with entirely different one for grammatical contrast.
Ex: be (root) am (present tense)
F. reduplication = repeat all or part of base for some contrast in meaning
Ex: (Turkish) /iji/ = well, /iji iji/ = very well [intensifier]
IV. Derivation
A. Derivation is an affixal process that forms a word with a meaning and/or category that is
different from its base. Derived words become independent items.
Ex: magic + ian magician
B. Examples of derivational affixes. Note: Only suffixes are able to change a word's catgeory.
-able V A kissable, huggable, teasable
-ment V N resentment, enjoyment, retirement
-ic N A imbecilic, idyllic, idiotic
-ize N V crystallize, idolize
-en A V redden, blacken, deaden
-ness A N silliness, sexiness
anti- N N anti-Bush, antioxidant
un- A A unfair, unclear, unfavorable
dis- V V disrespect
C. How to decide the order of affixation. Ex: unhappiness. Is it...
a. unhappiness = unhappy + ness = (un + happy) + ness
b. unhappiness = un + happiness = un + (happy + ness)
Look at what the prefix "un-" attaches to: N? *unhealth, *unfreedom. A? unruffled, untrue.
Therefore, we see that "un-" likes to attach to Adjectives. We then think that the derivation is
(un+happy)+ness rather than un+(happy+ness).
Lisa Pearl
LING200, Summer Session I, 2004
V. Compounds Again.
A. Category of compounds determined by rightmost morpheme (known as the head of the
B. Examples
a. Noun Head
i. fire+engine (N+N) = type of engine, not type of fire
ii. green+house (A+N) = type of house, not type of green
iii. jump+suit (V+N) = type of suit, not type of jumping
iv. after+thought (P+N) = type of thought, not type of "after"
b. Verb Head
i. spoon+feed (N+V) = type of feeding, not type of spoon
ii. dry+clean (A+V) = type of cleaning, not type of dry
iii. break+dance (V+V) = type of dancing, not type of breaking
iv. over+look (P+V) = type of looking, not type of "over"
c. Adjective Head
i. sky+blue (N+A) = type of blue, not type of sky
ii. red+hot (A+A) = type of hot, not type of red
iii. over+ripe (P+A) = type of ripe, not type of "over"
C. Compounds vs. Non-compounds: telling the difference
a. Stress
i. Compounds: stress on 1st component. Ex: bl?ckboard.
ii. Non-Compunds: stree on 2nd component. Ex: black b?ard.
b. Modifiers
i. Compounds: can't take modifier on non-head: *a very blackboard.
ii. Non-Compunds: can take modifier on non-head: a very black board
D. Endocentric vs. Exocentric Compounds
a. endocentric - compound denotes subclass of head. Plural involves making plural of
head, even if it's irregular. Ex: wisdom teeth = type of teeth, plural "teeth" rather than
*wisdom tooths.
b. exocentric - compound denotes something else. Plural usually involves standard `s'
plural marker on the end of the entire word. Ex: Walkmans type of men, plural
"mans" rather than *Walkmen.
VI. Other Types of Word Formation
A. conversion (zero derivation) = change the category of the word without adding any affixes
or otherwise altering the word.
a. butter (N V)
b. survey (V N)
c. total (a car) (A V)
d. (the) poor (A N)
e. down (a beer) (P V)
B. clipping = shorten polysyllabic word by deleting 1 or more syllables
a. prof (from professor)
b. auto (from automobile)
c. porn (from pornography)

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