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					    Morphology, Part 2:
Inflections and Derivations

        January 28, 2009
          One Announcement
• Friday will be a “discussion” section…
   • We will go over a set of morphology problems
   together in class.
   • There will be no quick write.
          Quick Write Thoughts
• Is it realistic to portray Mr. Burns as having a dictionary
inside his head?
Interesting Thoughts
Interesting Thoughts
Unique Thoughts
The Last Word
• Concepts we’ve looked at so far:
• Words vs. morphemes (meaningful “word parts”)
• Simple and complex words
• Free vs. bound morphemes
• Affixes, roots, bases/stems
• Lexical categories
• Word-formation rules
            Picky, Picky (again)
• Remember that affixes have restrictions on which lexical
categories they can attach to.
   • And they create words of specific categories, too.
• /-able/ attaches to verbs and creates adjectives
   • scratchable, stoppable, huggable
• /re-/ attaches to verbs and creates verbs
   • re-consider, re-apply, recount
• In the formation of the word “reusable”, which affix must
attach first?
        Building the Perfect Beasts
• To accurately capture all of the facts of word formation…
      • tree structures should represent the lexical categories
      of all constituents at each node in the tree.
             Noun                          Adj

      Verb                          Verb

Aff      Verb Aff             Aff      Verb      Aff
[re-]    [cycle] [-ing]       [re-]    [use] [-able]
                    Test Case
• What should the tree diagram for “representational”
look like?
                     Adj                  4. representational

             Noun                         3. representation

      Verb                                2. represent

Aff     Verb         Aff          Aff
[re-]   [present]    [-ation]     [-al]   1. present
             Another Test Case
• How about “undesirability”?
             Noun                        4. undesirability

       Adj                               3. undesirable

             Adj                         2. desirable
Aff   Verb          Aff         Aff
[un-] [desire]      [-able]     [-ity]   1. desire
               One Last One
• A question from someone’s last quick write:
   • What about “ruthlessishness”?
• Some complex words can have more than one
• Different derivations can result in different interpretations
• Example: “unlockable”

                                       Note: [un-] can
                                       attach to both
                                       adjectives and verbs
               Unlockable, part 1


       Aff           Verb           Aff
       [un-]         [lock]         [-able]
• = not able to be locked
              Unlockable, part 2


      Aff            Verb     Aff
      [un-]          [lock]   [-able]
• = able to be unlocked
     Inflections vs. Derivations
•   Linguists draw another distinction among affixes:
1.  Inflectional affixes:
   • mark grammatical properties
      • (person, number, gender, tense, aspect)
   • don’t change other aspects of meaning
   • are required by rules of sentence structure
   • create a new “word form”
2. Derivational affixes:
   • change meaning
   • create a new word
   • (typically) have clear semantic content
   • may change the lexical category of the word
               Inflectional Affixes
•   There are precisely eight inflectional affixes in English:
1. -s          3rd person          wait --> waits
2. -ing        progressive         wait --> waiting
3. -ed         past tense          wait --> waited
4. -en         past participle     eat --> eaten
5. -s          plural              card --> cards
6. -’s         possessive          dad --> dad’s
7. -er         comparative         tall --> taller
8. -est        superlative         weak --> weakest
•   All of these are suffixes.
             Inflectional Affixes
• Other languages can have a lot more inflectional affixes.
• Examples from French: parler “to speak”
• 1st person, plural: parlons     “We speak”
• 2nd person, plural: parlez      “You guys speak”
• Past tense:
• 1st person, singular: parlais   “I spoke”
• 1st person, plural: parlions    “We spoke”
• 2nd person, plural: parliez     “You guys spoke”
• Plus many, many more.
• Note: Volapük. (
              Derivational Affixes
• In contrast to inflectional affixes, derivational affixes:
   • Create new words when they’re attached to roots
• Examples:
   • re-      cycle --> recycle
   • de-      code --> decode
   • -y       fish --> fishy
   • -ize     vandal --> vandalize
• Also: English has far more derivational affixes than
inflectional affixes.
• For fairness’ sake:
         Picky, Picky (last time)
• Inflectional affixes are always going to attach to a root
with a particular part of speech.
• Plural noun = singular noun + “s”
   • birds = bird + s        dogs = dog + s
• Past tense verb = present tense verb + “ed”
   • waited = wait + ed      talked = talk + ed
• Comparative adjective = adjective + “er”
   • taller = tall + er      shorter = short + er
• Q: if both a derivational and an inflectional affix attach to
a root, which will attach first?
                 The Relationship
• A: Derivational affixes will always attach before
inflectional affixes do.
• Remember: derivational affixes create new words;
      • Inflectional affixes just create new word forms.
• Examples: blackened, governments, *neighborshood
              Verb                          Noun

       Verb                          Noun

Adj      DAff.       IAff.    Verb      DAff.      IAff.
black -en            -ed      govern -ment          -s
              The Class System
•   In English, there are two types of derivational affixes:
1. Class 1      (or Level 1)
    •   Often cause phonological changes in the root
    •   Also cause more profound semantic changes to
        the root
    •   Can combine with bound roots, too.
    •   Ex: -ity, -y, -ion
•   For instance:
    •   Electric  electricity; stupid  stupidity
    •   democrat  democracy; nation
               The Class System
• Class 2 (or Level 2)
   • Don’t cause phonological changes in root.
   • Less of a semantic effect, too.
   • Ex: -ness, -less, -er, -ish
• Normally, Class 1 affixes attach to the root before Class
2 affixes.
• relational          -ion (1), -al (1)
• divisiveness        -ive (1), -ness (2)
• *fearlessity        -less (2), -ity (1)
• fearlessness        -less (2), -ness (2)

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