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English Word Structure

This is used in an "Introduction to Linguistics" course on Canvas: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/886316
by

Patrick Farrell

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of English Word Structure

send
-ing
re-
prefix
root
word
affixes
morphemes
resending
suffix
email
I'm going to be the
word
mail
e-
prefix
root
the building blocks
of sentences
rewriting article
uprooting rosebushes
overusing F-word
regoogling keywords
roots
the building blocks
of words
The Building Blocks of Language
The Structure of English Words
Affixation
The process of attaching word parts to each other to form new words
Generally the most common word formation process and the most easily recognized, but also the most complex.
Affixation starts with a 'base' word, called a
root
, and adds other morphemes, called
affixes
, to it
Affixes
are different in terms of:
Where they are added to the root or stem (before, after, around, inside)
The effect they have on the word
change the meaning (
mis-, un-, re-
)
change the part of speech (
-ion, -ly, -able
)
Roots
are different in terms of:
Whether they have significant semantic content or not
Whether they can stand alone as words or must appear with affixes
Affixes are added to words
morphemes
Affix type
Derivational
vs.
inflectional
Derivational affixes
create words that are listed as dictionary entries, separate from the root or stem that they go on.
happy + un-
happy + -ness
Three separate dictionary entries:
happy, unhappy, happiness
Inflectional affixes

supply grammatical information
They don't create new dictionary entries and don't change the part of speech of the word they go on. They yield different forms of the same word.
There are, in fact, only a few inflectional affixes in English, and they are all suffixes
to
derive

other words from them, or
to
inflect
them
The pieces of language go together in
patterns constrained

by
the conventions that we call
GRAMMAR
Words and Morphemes
roots
affixes
free
bound
can stand alone as words
just like
cannot
derivational
inflectional
I've got to
be a
noun
I can be a
verb
, if I end in
-ing
From my Introduction to Linguistics on the Newhive and Canvas
listen
read
watch
learn
think
share
collaborate
create
Their presence may be demanded by other words or the structure of the sentence they're in.
The verb
WALK
has the following forms:
walk
walk
ed
walk
ing
walks
They to school all the time.
walk
walk
s
She to school all the time.

walk
s
ungrammatical
*
walk
*
I haven't been

________

very much.
Only I go after forms of the verb
BE
walk
s
fix
-ation
a-
prefix
root
suffix
I'm a
ROOT
morpheme
meaning
'attach'
.
I'm neither a morpheme nor a root. I'm a
WORD
(spelled
affix
) meaning
'attach
to
'
and I'm a
STEM
to which another affix may attach.
I'm the
WORD

affixation
meaning
'act of attaching to'
and

I contain three
MORPHEMES
: two
AFFIXES
and a
ROOT
.
Full transcript