An introduction to English morphology: words and their by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the fundamental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the results of those various techniques to phrases in English. He explains a few of the ways that phrases are regarding each other, and indicates how the heritage of the English language has affected note constitution. subject matters contain: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a note and its components (roots and affixes); a notice and its varieties (inflection); a be aware and its family members (derivation); compound phrases; be aware constitution; productiveness; and the ancient resources of English observe formation.

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Example text

However, the suffixes -s and -ed are dependent on the grammatical context in a way that the suffix -ance is not. In (1), the reason why the verb perform has an -s suffix is that the subject of the verb (the noun phrase denoting the person doing the performing) is singular (this pianist), not plural (these pianists). ) It is easy for a native speaker to check that (4) and (5) ‘feel wrong’: (4) *This pianist perform in the local hall every week. (5) *These pianists performs in the local hall every week.

Just as cat and cats are the two forms (singular and plural) of the lexeme , it makes sense to regard performance and performances as the two forms of a lexeme . This tells us something about the relationship between perform and performance: it is a relationship not between word forms but rather between lexemes. ) Thus derivational morphology is concerned with one kind of relationship between lexemes. 44 02 pages 001-152 18/10/01 3:43 pm Page 45 A WORD AND ITS RELATIVES : DERIVATION 45 There are many ways in which lexemes can be related.

I mention it here in order to alert readers to be careful, when reading any text in which the term ‘morpheme’ is used, to make sure they understand how the author is using it: whether in a more concrete sense, oriented towards pronunciation (in terms of which -s, -en, -ae and -i represent different morphemes), or a more abstract sense, oriented towards meaning or grammatical function (in terms of which -s, -en, -ae and -i are all allomorphs of one morpheme). A good way to avoid any confusion is to use terms such as ‘root’, ‘suffix’ and ‘prefix’, wherever possible, rather than ‘morpheme’.

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