I) The minimal meaningful units of language:

I) The minimal meaningful units of language:
The traditional term for the minimal meaningful units is sign. A more common term in linguistics is morpheme – it has
2 forms: free = can constitute a word by itself; bound = must be attached to another element.
II) Word structure:
Smallest meaningful constituents of linguistic expressions: morphemes. Monomorphemic word: can’t be segmented
into several morphemes ‘morphological atoms’ morphemes are ultimate elements of morphological analysis.
Morphemes have a gr’l function.
Morphological structure:
Complex word: analysable into a sequence of smaller units (e.g.: father-figure, fatherly).
Simple word: not analysable - “- (e.g.: father)
Base: part of a word that an affix is attached to/~ of a morphologically complex word is the element to which a
morphological operation applies (reader, readable, reread).
Stem: in inflected word forms it’s the base; also used for bases of derived lexemes.
Root: a base that can’t be analysed any further into morphemes (readability  read = root, base for ‘readable’,
‘readable’ = base for ‘readability’)
Bound roots: meaning & form, special property of occurring only in compounds: bio-, -crat. ↕ ?
Bound bases: not words, but same role as free bases; borrowed from Lat., Fr., etc. (durable, aggressive A special case:
combining forms (anglo∙phobe, aster∙oid, pseudo∙science) => have origin in 1 of the classical lg.-es, usually Greek.
Affixes: short morphemes with an abstract meaning that distinguishes 1 word from another.
Suffix: aff. that follows the main part of the word (=base) (e.g.: eventful)
Prefix: - “ – that precedes – “ – (unhappy)
Infix: occurs inside base e.g. absobloodylutely
Circumfix: occurs on both sides of base (German: gegeben)
Immediate Constituents: [un[[[gentle][man]]ly]], [[dis[[interest][ed]]ness]]
Compound base: ICs are themselves bases (gentleman)
Derivative base: an affix is an IC (gentlemanly, ungentlemanly)
Simple base: not divisible into smaller morphological constituents (gentle; man)
Lexical base: not part of a larger base, formed by a process of word-formation
Allomorph: morpheme alternant. Morphemes may have different shapes under different circumstances.
cats [s]—voiceless
Allomorphs of plural morpheme
E.g.: plural morpheme [s]
dogs [z]—voiced
are in complementary distribution
faces [əz]—sibilant
Roots & stems may also have different allomorphs: sleep [i:]—slept [e], keep—kept, etc.
III) Conversion (creativity):
Productive rules allow speakers of a lg. to form new words unconsciously & unintentionally. Creative neologisms are
always intentional, follow an unproductive pattern. (e.g.: mèntalése). Perhaps the term ‘creativity’ is most appropriate
when applied to violations of ordinary lg. norms by poets.
It’s possible for words to be formed from another without an affix. Conversion or zero derivation is probably the most
frequent single method of forming words in English (esp. in the speech of children). It creates a new word without the
use of affixation by simply assigning an already existing word to a new syntactic category. E.g. butter- to butter
IV) Derivational and functional affixes:
Affixation: process of forming a new base by the addition of an affix. Widely used in derivational & inflectional
Derivation: a new word is formed from a base by adding an affix. It changes either the lexical category and/or the
meaning of the base. E.g. fix (V) -> fixable (Adj); quiet (adj) ->quietly (adv).
Multiple derivation: 2 or more affixes are attached to the base. E.g. organ-iz-ation-al
Compounding: is the combination of 2 free morphemes ( already existing words)The second member of the compound
always acts as a head, whereas the first is only a modifier, namely the dependent. The compound never has more than 2
Compounding and derivation may also feed each other: load-ing dock. Sometimes the compounds are written in one
word or with a hyphen, and even more times in separate words, therefore stressing helps us to distinguish between a
compound and a non- compound (wet súit –C; wét suit – NC). Usually the 2nd member determines the lexical
category of the compound. Most frequently used N+N, but there are V+N, Adj + N as well.
Acronyms: a word, formed by taking the initial letters of some or all of the words in a phrase or title and pronouncing
them as words: NASA, NATO..etc.
Case: a category that encodes info. about the syntactic role of a N. In Mod.E., this is expressed largely through word
order & the use of prepositions. Nominative case: indicates the subject of the sentence; Accusative: the direct object;
Dative: the indirect object or recipient; Genitive: the possessor. The Locative marks place or location; Ablative: marks
direction away from.