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									          MORPHOLOGY AND WORD-
                           [MAIN MENU] [MORPHOLOGY]

For problems of morphology and word-formation, Bolinger, D. 1975. Aspects of
language (2nd ed. pp. 83-90, 99-123) is a useful introduction.

Q 1.
Divide the words below by placing a + between their separate morphemes. Some of the
words may be monomorphemic and therefore indivisible. Also indicate whether the
morphemes are free (F) or bound (B) elements.
            Example:     replaces --     re (B) + place (F) + s (B)

retroactive, befriended, televise, margin, endearment, psychology, impalatable, holiday,
grandmother, morphemic, cursive, Massachusetts, tourists, basically, timely,

Q 2.
What are the inflectional morphemes in the following phrases and sentences?
the teacher's book
it's snowing
cowardly behaviour
the newest model
the cow jumped over the fence
probably not
off the beaten track

Q 3.
What are the function words in the following sentence?
I repeated the story of the cat more slowly than before, and then they might have
understood it.
Q 4.
Different linguistic categories can often have identical grammatical functions.

      Name two inflectional morphemes of English that are "in competition" with
       function words. Illustrate each use by means of a sentence or a phrase.
      Name one function word that "competes with" a specific word order in a sentence.

Q 5.
Why is English regarded as an analytic languages in comparison with German, Russian,
Latin and Classical Greek, which count as synthetic languages?

Q 6.
Analyze the following words into their constituent morphemes, giving a meaning or
functional characterization for each morpheme.
     Examples:        preordained:         pre- "before", ordain, -ed past
                      incapacitate:        in- "not", capacit(y), -ate change
noun to
Q 7.
Give the morphemic structure of the following words, indicating whether the affixes are
derivational (D) or inflectional (I).
      Examples:         impositions:           impos(e) - ition (D) -s (I)
                        reattainable:          re (D) -attain -able (D)

Q 8.
Read the following passage. For each italicized word, answer questions (i) - (vi). The
answers to the questions for the word meaning are given as an example.
... almost self-evidently, a style is specific: its meaning is part and parcel of its period, and
cannot be transposed innocently. To see other periods as mirrors of our own is to turn
history into narcissism; to see other styles as open to our own style is to turn history into
a dream. But such, really, is he dream of the pluralist: he seems to sleepwalk in the
museum. (Foster 1982).


  (i)  Is the word a content or function word?
 (ii)  Is the word simple or complex?
(iii)  For each word, identify its pieces. that is, does it have a
prefix or a
       suffix? If it has a suffix, is the suffix inflectional or
 (iv) What category (part of speech) does the word belong to?
  (v) What morphological evidence can you provide to support your
answer to
       question (iv)?
 (vi) What syntactic evidence can you provide to support your answer to
       question (iv)?

  meaning:         (i)    content word,
                  (ii)    complex,
                 (iii)    mean + ing (stem + suffix), -ing is derivational,
                  (iv)    meaning is a noun,
                   (v)    -ing attaches to verbs to create nouns; the plural
                          morpheme -s can be attached to create a plural noun:
                          meaning + s,
                  (vi)    meaning is preceded by a possessive pronoun (its);
                          since possessive pronouns combine with nouns to form
                          noun phrases, this is evidence that meaning is a



Q 9.
The indefinite singular article in English is either a or an, as shown in the following
phrases: a hotel, a boy, a use, a wagon, a big man, a yellow rug, a white house, an apple,
an honor, an orange curtain, an old lady.

State the rule that determines when a is used and when an is used. If possible, do not list
individual sound segments but make the rule as general as possible, referring to features
or classes of segments.

Q 10.
The definite article the can be realized in speech as                          State the
conditioning factors for the alternation and illustrate each use with a short sentence.

Q 11.
For the following English nouns, indicate in each case what the allomorph of the plural
morpheme is,
      Examples:        boat:     boats, suffix /-s/
                       goose:    geese, vowel change /u:/ to /i:/

Q 12.
The use of plural -s in English has three different, but very regular, morphological
alternatives. You add the allomorphs:
/s/ to words like ship, bat, book, cough and myth,
/z/ to words like bee, day, cab, lad, cave, rag and lathe,
/Iz/ to words like bus, bush, judge, church, maze and mirage.

Can you work out the set of sounds which regularly precedes each of these alternatives?

HINT: In linguistic investigations it is often advisable first to research the case which is
"most marked" and then to proceed to the "less marked" or "unmarked" cases; in the
writing of rules this order is almost compulsory for their most economical formulation.

Q 13.
This exercise is concerned with plurals of loan words in English, and you should consult
Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English for forms you are not familiar with.
        For the following words, describe the allomorphs of the plural morphemes, also
         note "naturalized" alternative forms.
             o stimulus, alumnus, octopus
             o stratum, curriculum
             o antenna, formula, larva
             o thesis, analysis, hypothesis
             o criterion
             o matrix
             o tempo
        What type of allomorph and what kind of conditioning do all the foreign plural
         forms involve?
        In antenna, does the form of the plural depend in any way on the meaning?
        The foreign adopted plural form of the loanword cherub is cherubim. Which
         indigenous word has a plural form of the same morphological subcategory?

Q 14.
Which of the following words show morphophonemic alternation or major regional
variation in the final consonants of their bases when they appear in their plural forms.
Transcribe phonemically the singular and the plural stems, using Longman's Dictionary
of Contemporary English where necessary.
        WORD          SINGULAR STEM        PLURAL STEM
        life              /laIf/              /laIv/--
Q 15.
(a) Give the genitive singular and the genitive plural forms of the following words in
phonemic transcription.
      WORD          SINGULAR STEM        PLURAL STEM

(b) Indicate the allomorphs of the suffix for the genitive singular and specify their

(c) The genitive plural forms obviously are homophonous with the common plural case.
In view of the fact that the genitive adds nothing to the plural nouns in speech, and
nothing except the final apostrophy in writing, how can the realization of this morpheme
here be classified in linguistic terms?

(d) Can you think of a word whose genitive plural form does not conform to the
regularity stated in (c)?

(e) Which grammatical morpheme has the same allomorphs and distributional properties
as the genitive singular and the regular plural morpheme? Give at least two examples
illustrating each distributional condition of this morpheme including one example where
the stem the morpheme attaches to ends in         .

Q 16.
For the following verbs, state the conditions under which the different forms of the past
tense appear. After each word write the respective allomorph of the PAST morpheme and
find out what phonetic features define each conditioning environment.
      crushed          /t/              turned          /     /          played          /
      heaped           /     /          hissed          /     /          tattooed        /
      kicked           /     /          plowed          /     /          skied           /
      pitted            /    /           climbed          /     /           hated            /
      bagged            /    /           singed           /     /           branded          /
      killed            /    /           hanged           /     /           poured           /
      stabbed           /    /           flinched         /     /           needed           /
      breathed          /    /           wanted           /     /           vied             /

HINT: In linguistic investigations it is often advisable first to research the case which is
"most marked" and then to proceed to the "less marked" or "unmarked cases"; in the
writing of rules this order is almost compulsory for their most economical formulation.

Q 17.
The examples below are representative of English verbs that form a regular past tense
(that is, their past tense form can be predicted). Like the English plural morpheme, the
English regular past tense morpheme has three variants: in this case, the allophones /t/,
/d/, and /Id/.

Consider the data and answer questions (a) - (d), referring to phonetic features.

      please - pleased                pack - packed                    hang - hanged
      grab - grabbed                  peep - peeped                    fog - fogged
      slam - slammed                  blend - blended                  flush - flushed
      plan - planned                  seethe - seethed                 knit - knitted
      fit - fitted                    bomb - bombed                    fade - faded
      fix - fixed                     play - played                    tattoo -tattooed

(a) In what environment does /Id/ occur?

(b) In what environment does /d/ occur?

(c) In what environment does /t/ occur?

(d) There are similarities between the distribution of /s/, /z/, and /Iz/ of the English plural
and the distribution of /t/, /d/, and /Id/ of the regular past tense. Characterize such
similarities in general terms.

Q 18.
For each of the following irregular verbs, indicate what the allomorph of the past-tense
morpheme is, and what the allomorph of the past-participle morpheme is.
Examples:          sink, sank, sunk             Pt: vowel change /I/ to /æ/, Pp:
                                                vowel change /I/ to
                   beat, beat, beaten           Pt: suffix /ø/, Pp: suffix /-n/

                   fling, flung, flung          Pt:          Pp:
                   find, found, found           Pt:          Pp:
                   tear, tore, torn             Pt:          Pp:
                   run, ran, run                Pt:          Pp:
                   send, sent, sent             Pt:          Pp:
                   catch, caught, caught        Pt:          Pp:
                   tell, told, told             Pt:          Pp:
                   leave, left, left            Pt:          Pp:
                   show, showed, shown          Pt:          Pp:
                   do, did, done                Pt:          Pp:
                   go, went, gone               Pt:          Pp:
                   write, wrote, written        Pt:          Pp:
                   be, was, been                Pt:          Pp:

Q 19.
British English tends to favor dreamt and knelt where American English favors dreamed
and kneeled. What are the differences in terms of allomorphs?

The British also favor spilt and smelt (= spilled and smelled) more than Americans do. Is
the situation here identical with that in dreamt and knelt?

The British also seem to use leapt more often than leaped. Is this just another instance of
the first case?

Q 20.
Determine the morphemes in the following list of Modern Hebrew words. Proceed by
isolating the one that means "wrote".
      katávti            "I wrote"
      katávta            "you (masculine singular) wrote"
      katávt             "you (feminine singular) wrote"
      katáv              "he wrote"
      katvá              "she wrote"
      katávnu            "we wrote"
      katavtém           "you (masculine plural) wrote"
      katavtén           "you (feminine plural) wrote"
      katvú              "they wrote"
(a) What are the suffixes for the following English words in Modern Hebrew?

      I          __________           he __________         you ( __________
      you (m.s.) __________           she __________        you ( __________
      you (f.s.) __________           we __________         they        __________

(b) What are the three allomorphs of the word meaning "wrote"?

(i) ____________________
(ii) ____________________
(iii) ____________________
(c) Given the Hebrew word yašáv ("he sat"), translate the following:
      she sat               __________________________
      you ( sat       __________________________
      I sat                 __________________________
      they sat              __________________________
      yašávnu               __________________________
      yašávt                __________________________


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Q 21.
Which negative prefix (ir-, il-, im-, in-) is used with each of the following English words?
     Example:       relevant : ir-relevant
     logical         __________    adequate            __________       possible
     modest          __________        equitable       __________       legal
     separable       __________        movable         __________       regular
     literate        __________        reversible      __________       admissible
     divisible       __________

With which sound(s) or phonetic features is each form of the prefix used?
Q 22.
Add one or more of the suffixes in the list below to each word under (a) to create new
nouns. In some cases the form of the new noun is quite different from its elements, for
example, pope + cy = papacy.
      -age          -cy         -ics        -ist       -ness
      -al           -ee         -ing        -ity       -or
      -an           -ence       -ion        -let       -ship
      -ance         -er         -ster       -th
      -ce           -ian        -ism        -ment

      Example:     distinct +ion, +ness

(a)   elegant                   violin                   dismiss
      lenient                   gang                     retire
      senile                    lecture                  elect
      fresh                     alcohol                  pig
      young                     marry                    warm
      democrat                  refer                    communicate
      member                    accept                   phoneme
      library                   write                    employ
      magic                     build                    withdraw

(b) Which suffixes are added to adjectives in (a)?

(c) List the suffixes that may be added to verbs to make nouns.

(d) Which suffixes may be added to nouns to create new nouns?

Q 23.
Distinguish and exemplify two different morphological functions of the suffix -ly.

Q 24.
The following sentences contain verbs created from nouns. Apart from the verb in the
first sentence, none is listed as a verb in Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English.

Establish a meaning for each of these new verbs.

        (i)    Laura parties every Saturday night.
       (ii)    Let's carton the eggs.
      (iii)    We Concorded to Paris.
       (iv)    We Greyhounded to Chicago.
        (v)    We'll have to Ajax the sink.
       (vi)    You can envelope these letters now.

Q 25.
The verb (to) paper clearly is derived from the noun paper. This case illustrates a typical
semantic relation holding between a nominal base and a zero-derived verb. Compare the
meanings of the two words and characterize the semantic relation.

Q 26.
The words under (a) illustrate rarer conversion types and the sentence under (b) is
humorous utterance instancing various nonce conversions.
      (a) the finals, a daily, the converse of; a must; isms; to down (tools); also-rans, a
      has-been; (non-standard:) adjacent (the building)

       (b) He techniqued a new way to vocabulary his thoughts so as to uncertain
       anybody key-holing.

Give a grammatical description of each conversion.

Q 27.
Identify the verbal constructions italicizing the nominalizations in the sentences below
and describe their structural differences and similarities. Try to paraphrase the sentences
by using verbal constructions only.
     (i)      The pilot made a smooth take-off.
    (ii)      After the holdup the gang got away from the bank in a black
   (iii)      The police made a crack-down on drug addicts.
    (iv)      You might give the article a quick glance-through.
     (v)      At this downtown hotel we experienced a real rip-off.
    (vi)      There was a break-in at that warehouse last night.
   (vii)      There was a downpour all afternoon.
Q 28.
The words below stand in a conversion relationship to either a noun or a verb. Most
examples show concomitant phonological alternations and some also vary in
orthography. Describe the variations where they occur.
      Examples:     belief -     /f/ ~ /v/, believe
                    survey -     stress shift,              , (a) survey

      (a)   shelf                     (j)   research
      (b)   grieve                    (k)   rebel
      (c)   report                    (l)   import
      (d)   use                       (m)   preface
      (e)   practice                  (n)   insult
      (f)   convict                   (o)   brief
      (g)   advise                    (p)   produce
      (h)   leaf                      (q)   wreathe
      (i)   address                   (r)   make-up/makeup

Q 29.
State the word-formation rule for the verbal suffix -ize and answer the questions below,
using the following word lists for this exercise.
equalize, mobilize, personalize, legalize, generalize, centralize, naturalize, federalize,
Americanize, Italianize, actualize, familiarize, fertilize, humanize, constitutionalize,
Christianize, animalize, immortalize, modernize.

symbolize, alphabetize, atomize, scandalize, revolutionize, magnetize, alcoholize,
fossilize, crystallize

dramatize, democratize, colonize, energize, harmonize

(a) What phonological change(s), if any, does the suffix -ize cause in the root of stem to
which it is attached? Compare list A, B, and C in order to answer this question.

(b) What part(s) of speech does the suffix -ize attach to? Again, compare the lists to
answer this.

(c) In general, what is the meaning change caused by the suffix -ize? That is, in the ideal
case, what element(s) of meaning will be contributed by the -ize suffix?
(d) By consulting a comprehensive dictionary decide if any of the -ize words listed above
are problematic for question (c)? (Are there any -ize words with erratic or unexpected

(e) Why are the derivations organize, moralize, computerize, concertize, and winterize
semantically problematic in view of the general function of the suffix -ize?

Q 30.
There are often regular meanings or functions associated with particular derivational
affixes (e.g. -en added to adjectives like dark or sharp gives the meaning 'make dark' or
'make sharp' ) . But in many cases the meaning of complex words is more than the simple
sum of the meanings of their parts,

Consider the following data and answer the questions below.

explainable, washable, readable, unthinkable, questionable, unbreakable, unbelievable,
debatable, lovable, payable, laughable, breakable, perishable, enjoyable, obtainable,
laudable, modernizable, justifiable. suitable, changeable
(a) What is the prototypical meaning the suffix -able adds to the meaning of the base (the
regular paraphrase formula)?

(b) Which of the examples above are clear-cut cases where the meaning of the derivation
is more than. or simply different from, the sum of the meaning of their parts?

(c) What idiosyncracies do the derivations knowledgeable, fashionable, saleable,
reasonable and abominable show?

Q 31.
Establish subtypes of derivatives an -ee using the following data.
employee. trainee, payee, nominee, testee, refugee, attendee, interviewee, addressee.
divorcee, appointee. absentee.

Q 32.
In some adjectives, -ic alternates with -ical, with a difference in meaning. Determine the
semantic difference in the derivatives below.
      (a)   a classic performance        classical languages
      (b)   a comic masterpiece          his comical behaviour
      (c)   an economic miracle          the car is economical to run
      (d)   a historic building          historical research

Q 33.
Like syntactic constructions, morphological constructions involve the internal
grammatical relation of modification. Thus in the word rearrange the prefix re-. called
determinant. modifies the verb arrange, which is called determinatum. and not the other
way around.

In a multiply complex word such as unhappiness the morphological elements are, in
addition, hierarchically structured. This can be shown by bracketing or by a tree diagram.
In theory, the word unhappiness could either have the hierarchic organization

      ((un + happy) + ness) or

      (un + (happy + ness)).

(a) Give an argument in favour of the hierarchic pattern ( (un + happy) + ness) for
unhappiness. Hint: this will involve determining the type of syntactic category with
which the affixes can normally combine.)

(b) Using the same type of argument, justify one hierarchical pattern for the word

(c) Justify hierarchic patterns for the words ungraceful and disgraceful. Can the same
argument as in (a) and (b) here be used for the analysis of disgraceful in view of words
like dishonest. disloyal, disrepair, disharmony, displace, disprove, etc.? Such words show
that dis- rather freely combines with adjectives, nouns and even verbs. What is the
criterion for the division in this case?

Q 34.
The interpretation of the morphologically complex expressions below is potentially
ambiguous. Explain the two interpretations of each expression by means of different

(a) (The robber was) unmasked
(b) (She attended) a local cookery class
(c) (In that zoo, you should not miss out on visiting) the large animal house.


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Q 35.
The distinction between what constitutes a (complex) word and what is a phrase (i.e. a
syntactic construction) is in most cases easy to draw. With noun-noun combinations.
however. this is much less clear-cut. Should all of the italicized expressions in the
sentences below be regarded as compounds?
        His articles on word-formation are highly controversial.
        There is an oak tree in our garden.
        She ware a cotton dress to the party.
        My wife wants an oak table.
        They detest city life.

(a) Can you think up criteria that allow you to make a distinction with these five

(b) What do the following sentences suggest as to the status of the italicized expressions?

       She wants an oak table but I'd prefer a teak one.
       *That's not an oak tree but an elm one.
       She likes both cotton and woollen dresses.
       ?In their garden they have both oak and elm trees.
       They detest both suburban and city life.
Q 36.
Nominal compounds normally have principal stress on their first part, the determinant.
Pronounce the following sentences aloud and decide whether there is evidence for
regarding the italicized expressions as compounds (hyphens have been omitted).

Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English is helpful in supplying the stress patterns
for some expressions; for specifically American expressions consult Webster's Ninth New
International Dictionary.

       (a) He never wanted to be a boy scout.
       (b) She's crazy about ice cream.
       (c) His brother is an irrepressible wise guy.
       (d) He's a smart aleck.
       (e) He's a nosy parker.
       (f) Larry Livermore is a loan shark.
       (g) Looking out I saw a lone shark cutting through the water.
       (h) She was frightened by a grizzly bear.
       (i) He was frightened by a grisly bear.
       (j) I bought ten floppy disks.
       (k) It is a toy factory. (ambiguous!)
       (l) Only from Harger-Haldeman can you buy with such a small down-payment.

Q 37.
Indicate the meaning relation between the parts of the following English compound
      Examples:         sunlight            light given by the sun,
                        chessboard          board for playing chess on.

      daybreak                       homework
      driftwood                      workbench
      handshake                      motorcycle
      fire extinguisher              silkworm
      car industry                   sawdust
      drinking water                 handyman
      girlfriend                     kettledrum
      typing paper                   highbrow
      sleepwalking                   scatterbrain
      sunbather                      butterfingers
      car making                     pickpocket
      darkroom                       loudmouth
Q 38.
Nominal compounds can be syntactically derived from clause-structures. Compounds
with verbal constituents, so-called verbal-nexus compounds, most clearly reflect syntactic
relations. Reduce the verbal-nexus compounds below to simple, active declarative
sentences. Also, in each case, mark the sentence constituent that corresponds to the
determinatum of the compound by underlining, identify the reflected syntactic relation,
and determine additional word-formation processes which some of the examples involve.


      turntable        The table turns, subject-verb relation
      boat ride        X rides in a boat, verb-adverbial relation,
                            V > N conversion

       song writer
       office management
       spending money
       typing paper
       birth control

Q 39.
The combinations in Column I below have the regular stress pattern of nominal
compounds (primary stress on the determinant) while the combinations in Column II with
most speakers have the stress pattern typical of syntactic phrases (secondary stress on the
first and primary stress on the second element, or level stress on both elements). See if
you can attribute the difference to a difference in internal semantic function. (Some of the
combinations are normally written solid.)
          COLUMN I            COLUMN II
      a book shelf            a stone fence
      an ink eraser           a brick wall
      a garbage collector     a cotton dress
      a stone mason           a gold medal
      a paper hanger          an aluminum ladder
      a paper clip            a paper tiger.
Q 40.
Adjective compounds often have unpredictable stress patterns. Thus waterproof shows a
fixed compound pattern (primary-secondary stress) and self-confident has a fixed phrasal
pattern (secondary-primary stress), while man-made varies its pattern according to the
word's position in a sentence. In predicative position. i.e. after be as in The lake is man-
made, it has primary stress on the second constituent and secondary stress on the first; in
attributive position, however. i.e. directly before a noun as in Nylon is a man-made fibre,
the primary stress shifts to the first constituent.

(a) Lock up the stress patterns of the following compound adjectives in Longman's
Dictionary of Contemporary English 21987 after you have read the explanation of the
'stress-shift sign' on page F 52.

   ocean-going           self-conscious        easy-going               heart-breaking
   hard-hitting          time-saving           well-advised             tongue-tied
   self-addressed        law-abiding           labour-intensive         seasick
   far-fetched           colour-blind          bottle-green             tax-deductible
   typewritten           jet-black             heartfelt                self-
   far-reaching          tailor-made           moth-eaten

(b) Order and put the examples under the headings

         I:    Fixed Compound Stress Pattern
        II:    Fixed Phrasal Stress Pattern
       III:    Variable Stress Pattern.

(c) Can you detect any regularities in the three categories? What stress pattern would you
expect for the following words which are not listed in LDCE?

       sweet-smelling (plants)
       night-blooming (flowers)
       jet-propelled (vehicle)
       diesel-powered (engine)
       government-owned (houses)
Q 41.
Give the English equivalents of the following German expressions, using only pre-
       Scherenschleifer (Scherenschleifgerät)
       ein zehnjäriger Junge
       eine zwölfsaitige Gitarre
       ein dreiwöchiger Aufenthalt in Australien
       eine Seereise von 200 Meilen
       ein Budget von drei Milliarden Dollar
       ein fünfzigseitiges Magazin

What morphological rule can you state for nominal premodification in English?

Q 42.
Two groups of complex words are listed below. Describe their special status by noting
semantic and phonological features.
       (a) deaf-mute, psychosomatic, socio-economic, Anglo-Polish, Japanese-American
       (trade pact)

       (b) walkie-talkie, crisscross, bow-wow, ping-pong, wishy-washy, teeny-weeny.

Q 43.
Derivations normally consist of a free morpheme plus one or more bound morphemes
(affixes) and compounds comprise at least two free morphemes or free forms (words).

What morphological problems are involved in the following complex words:

       (a) detain, contain; receive, deceive; deduce, reduce; confer, refer, detract,
       contract; define, refine; inflate, deflate; project, reject (cf. deform, conform,
       reform, inform); duration, humility
       (b) uncouth, unkempt, inept, ovation, inevitable, amicable

       (c) lukewarm, cranberry, crayfish, G Brombeere, Himbeere.

Q 44.
In what respect do the complex words below differ from "normal" complex words?
up-to-dateness, comeuppance, ungetatable (window), in-touchness, with-it-ness, one-
upmanship, far-outer, home-for-the-aged inspector, (I feel particularly) sit around and do
nothing-ish (today), face-saver, (I tried to) wrong-foot (them with another question).

Q 45.
Would you unhesitatingly classify the following complex words as compounds?
weatherwise, moneywise, anti-clockwise; doglike, childlike, monkey-like; northern-most,
foremost; rock-type (music), country-style (dinner); shirt-pocket-size (calculator); (swim)
dog-fashion; sit-in, teach-in.

Q 46.
Indicate the stressing of the following complex words in British and American English:
mankind, headmaster, ceasefire, weekend

Q 47.
What is remarkable about the following words as far as their morphological makeup and
plural-formation are concerned?
        chucker-out ("Rausschmeißer")

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Q 48.
The words in Column II have been created from the corresponding word or words in
Column I. Indicate the word-formation process responsible for the creation of each word
in Column II.
              COLUMN I               COLUMN II
typographical error                  typo
automation                           (to) automate
telephone                            phone
telephone, marketing                 telemarketing
master of ceremonies                 MC, emcee
disk jockey                          DJ, deejay
perambulator                         pram
enthusiasm                           (to) enthuse
smoke, fog                           smog
acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS
veterinarian                         vet
sky, (to) hijack                     (to) skyjack
very important person                VIP
motor, hotel                         motel
(to) recapitulate                    (to) recap
television                           (to) televise
white Anglo-Saxon Protestant         Wasp, WASP
work, alcoholic                      workaholic
parachute                            chute
ammunition (+ familiarity marker)    ammo
burglar                              (to) burgle
breakfast, lunch                     brunch
advertisement                        ad/advert
editor                               edit
young urban professional             yuppie
unflappable                          flappable
(Ladislas) Biro                      biro
television (+ familiarity marker)    telly
lazy                                 (to) laze
Ø                                    googol
chain-smoker                         (to) chain-smoke
uncouth                              couth
brainwashing                                   (to) brainwash
binary digit                                   bit
demonstration (political, tape,                demo
French fried potatoes                          (French) fries
examination (academic)                         exam
handkerchief (+ familiarity marker)            hanky
shrimp, hamburger                              shrimpburger
news, broadcast                                newscast
lip-reading                                    (to) lip-read
sight-reader                                   (to) sight-read
mass production                                (to) mass-produce
(genuine primary verbal compounds?             (to) deep-fry, (to) fine-tune
cf. to sandpaper, to soundcheck)

Q 49.
Word-formation rules can apply recursively. Thus the complex words motor-cycle
factory, re-undo and humidifier exemplify double application of compounding, prefixing
and suffixing, respectively. String compounds such as college roommate match problem
(from U.S. News & World Report) are typical of journalistic style. There are also plenty
of words that show mixed application of primary and secondary word-formation

More than one word-formation process was involved in the creation of each of the
italicized forms below. Can you identify them?

(a) Now he emcees in a nightclub.
(b) I just got a new car-phone.
(c) Let it dry and sandpaper it smooth.
(d) The musicians had to do the soundchecking in ten minutes.
(e) This letter writer expressed a sensible view of the problem.
(f) Joe wants to be a footballer.
(g) The writing of dictionaries is very time-consuming.
(h) Another skyjacking has just been reported.
(i) The negotiators blueprinted a new peace proposal.
(j) If you hoover a carpet, you clean it using a vacuum cleaner.
(k) The untouchables represent the lowest social group.
(l) I'm sorry, I'll have to babysit.
(m) I'll have to blow-dry my damp hair.

                     PRODUCTIVITY AND
                            [MAIN MENU] [MORPHOLOGY]

Q 50.
The productivity of word-formation rules is restricted by various factors. What general
factors prevent or appear to prevent the formation of the asterisked forms below?
(a) *door leg, but table leg, doorknob; G *Straßenmakler, but Häusermakler,
Grundstücksmakler; *psychophilatelic, but psychosomatic

(b) *izecomputer, but computerize; *selfishless, but mindless

(c) *coolth, but warmth

(d) *pickfresh, *scaldhot, but scalding hot (water), cf. G pflückfrisch, brühwarm

(e) *unthick, *unquick, *unexcellent, *untall

(f) *unill, *unsad, *unsorrowful, *unpessimistic, but unwell, unhappy, uncheerful,

(g) *(a) two-carred (man), *(a) black-shoed (lady), but (a) blue-eyed (man), (a) red
roofed (house)

(h) *legchair, *string-guitar

(i) *bitchish, *fishish, but doggish, feverish.

Q 51.
Complex words have been transformationally derived from sentences and from
propositional semantic structures.

What are the difficulties such approaches encounter with the following words?

playboy (from "the boy plays")
windmill (from "wind powers the mill") or flour mill (from "the mill grinds flour")
swimming pool (from "X swims in the pool")
revolution (from "X revolves Y"), trial (from "X tries Y")
publication as in his voluminous publications,
entrance as in the entrance to the railway station
undertaker as in He almost invariably wears black suits because he is an undertaker.

Q 52.
In his Grammar of English nominalizations (1960) R.B. Lees proposed that all types of
nominalizations be derived from sentences.

(a) In what respect does the agent noun reader(s) semantically differ in the following

The reader of the book is reminded not to skip a chapter.
We have received many letters on this subject from our readers. (in a newspaper)
She attained the position of a reader in French in her late thirties.
You should buy that poetry reader.
(b) For which of the sentences above is a syntactic derivation of reader from "X reads Y"
fully justified? (Cf. He is a staunch believer in free enterprise, He was a mere flouter of
petty regulations)

(c) One can distinguish between three kinds of nominalization, illustrated by (John's)
refusal (of the offer) (= derived /action nominal), (John's) refusing (the offer) (=
gerundive / factive nominal), and (John's) refusing (of the offer) (= gerundive nominal,
mixed form). For which of these three types does N. Chomsky in his "Remarks on
nominalization" (1970) still postulate a syntactic derivation in line with Lees's approach?

Q 53.
Indicate which of the italicized expressions is an idiomatic complex word, a phrase
idiom, or a literal expression. Please justify your decisions.
(a) They have published a very readable introduction to computer linguistics.

(b) It is obtainable from all bookstores.

(c) They submitted the typescript to the editor in machine-readable form.

(d) We parked our car in the blazing sun, and on our return the plastic covering on its hot
seats had almost melted away.
(e) In the Ministry of Education he has always been on a hot seat.

(f) They could not meet the deadline because the red tape of the planning regulations
took up so much time.

(g) It's all the same, you can use the blue or the red tape.

(h) She looks good in that hair style because she has a long face.

(i) Whenever she is disappointed she puts on a long face.

(j) Don't think you can blackmail me.

(k) We baited the rattrag with cheese but didn't catch anything.

(l) The hotel is a rattrap, but it's the only one in town.

(m) Moss can grow on bare rock.

(n) The new clothing styles will grow on you.

(o) She held up her left arm.

(p) The criminal was accused of three hold-ups.

(q) He burned the candle at both ends because he wanted a lot of wax.

(r) He burned the candle at both ends by spending every night at discotheques.


                            [MAIN MENU] [MORPHOLOGY]

Q 54.
English suffixes can be grouped into three categories according as to how they influence
the placement of stress in derivations. Using the data below, compare the stress
placement in each word with the position of the stress in its morphological base and place
the suffixes in three categories.
picturesque, Kafkaesque; journalese, officialese; perishable, detachable; personhood,
unlikelihood; symbolic, surrealistic; nervousness, compactness; kitchenette, leatherette,
usherette; modernity, absurdity, nationality; trainee, payee, escapee; racism,
materialism; Mongolian, episcopalian.

Q 55.
In derivations involving the adjective suffix -al, the stress is either on the penult (i.e. the
second-to-last syllable) or it falls on the antepenult (i.e. the third-to-last syllable) or it
falls on the antepenult (i.e. the third-to-last syllable) depending on the type of syllable the
suffix attaches to.

(a) State the rule for the stressing of derivations in -al on the basis of the following data.
This rule also holds as a "general" stress rule for very many simplex, i.e. non-derived,
words (cf. oasis, curriculum).

personal, professional, cultural, doctoral, statistical, political architectural, anecdotal,
homicidal, parental, ornamental, triumphal.
(b) Does this rule also explain the stressing in adjectival, suffixal, and affixal?

Q 56.
A subsection of phonology deals with the question of how we make systematic use of
phonological oppositions in the formation of words (morphology). It describes, for
instance, the alternation of /f/ and /v/ in such morphologically related forms as knife ~
knives, life ~ lives, wolf ~ wolves, and grief ~ (to) grieve, half ~ (to) halve, calf ~ (to)
calve. This field has been variously called morphophonemics, morphonemics, or
morpho(pho)nology. The macro-unit in morphophonemics is the morphophoneme. This is
a highly abstract concept. On the analogy of the phoneme-allophone distinction, a
morphophoneme has been defined as a class of phonemes that systematically alternate in
morphological paradigms. Thus the phonemes /f/ ~ /v/ constitute the morphophoneme
italicizing the alternation above. Morphophonemes can be consonants, vowels or
Identify the alternating phonemes in the following morphologically related words and
name the distinctive features involved in the alternation. Please take only the italicized
letters (= sounds) into account.

(a) house ~ houses                    /s/ ~ /z/          [-voice] ~

(b) house ~ (to) house,

     use ~ (to) use, advice ~

     advise, peace ~ appease

(c) teeth ~ (to) teethe, bath ~

     bathe, breath ~ breathe,

     wreath ~ wreathe

(d) face ~ facial, grace ~

     gracious, Greece ~ Grecian,

     confess ~ confession, press ~


(e) seize ~ seizure, compose ~

     composure, confuse ~ confusion

(f) moist ~ moisture, fact ~
   factual, president ~ presidential

(g) permit ~ permissive, constant ~

   constancy, democrat ~ democracy

(h) commit ~ commission, act ~

   action, delegate ~ delegation

(i) eccentric ~ eccentricity, opaque ~

   opacity, volcanic ~ volcanicity

(j) electric ~ electricity ~


(k) bomb ~ bombard, crumb ~

   crumble, lamb ~ lambic

(l) receive ~ reception, succeed ~

   succession, zeal ~ zealous,

   supreme ~ supremacy

(m) divine ~ divinity, line ~

   linear, vice ~ vicious,

   finite ~ infinite, deride ~

NOTE: Other morphological phenomena of English that have often been described by
morphophonemic rules include the alternations involved in the regular endings of the
plural, genitive, the 3rd person singular present, the past tense and the past participle
forms. Typical morphological phenomena of German amenable to morphophonemic
analysis are so-called Auslautverhärtung, the vowel gradation (Ablaut) of strong verbs
like greifen-griff-gegriffen, binden-band-gebunden, and vowel mutation (Umlaut) as in
Land-Länder, sprechen

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