Open class word and closed class word

Chapter 3 Morphology (P31)
 Morphology refers to the study of the internal
structure of words and the rules by which words
are formed.
 E.g. Purify,amplify,simplify,electrify,falsify
 Rule: adjective+-ify--verb
Types of Morphonology
 Two types of morphonology:inflectional morphology and
lexical/derivational morphology..
 the former studies the inflections
 ---- the manisfestation of grammatical relationships through
the addition of inflectional affixes, such as number, person,
finiteness, aspect, and case, which does not change the
grammatical class of the items to which they are attached
 e.g. table---tables talk----talks, talking, talked boy---boy’s
 The latter studies the rules for word-formation
Open class word and closed class word
 Open class words----content words of a language to
which we can regularly add new words, such as
nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, e.g. beatnik(a
member of the Beat Generation), hacker, email,
internet, “做秀,时装秀…” in Chinese.
 Closed class words----grammatical or functional
words, such as conjunction, articles, preposition and
Morpheme--the minimal unit of meaning
---Words are the smallest free form in language that can appear in
isolation. Words have an internal structure which consists of
smaller units called morphemes.
-----morpheme: the smallest unit of language that carries
information about meaning or function.e.g “ reader”consists of
two morphemes:read and –er.
----morpheme is the combination of meaning and a stretch of is arbitrary by nature(no natural connection between
sound and meaning).
Words may consist of one morpheme(simple words) e.g boy,
desire or more morphemes(complex words), e.g,boy+ish,
desir(e)+ble ,boy+ish+ness, desir(e)+bl(e)+ity
Morph and allomorph
 Morph(语素): refers to the sound of a morpheme.
 E.g. The English plural and possessive morphemes share
a single morph,the suffix /-s/
 Allomorph: the variant forms of a morpheme are called its
 E.g. The variation of plural forms of nouns:-s, -es,.-en, -ce,
 Books bags judges (whereas the plural suffix
-s is pronounced /s/ in the first case, it is /z/ in the second,
and /iz/ in the third.
Types of morphemes
1. free morpheme:those morphemes which are
independent units of meanign and can be used freely all
by themselves such as “help, rely, care, assist”. It
includes both lexical morphems(open class words) and
functional morphemes(closed class words).
2. bound morphme: the morphemes which can’t be uses
independently, but have to be combined with other
morphemes such as “-s” in “dogs”, “-al” in “national”. It
includes derivational morphmes (e.g. –er, -ness, -ly) and
inflectional morphemes (e.g. –ed, -s, -ing)
Bound morpheme is also called affix.
Prefix ---- occur at the beginning of a word. Most of the prefixes modify the
meaning of the stem, but usually do not change the part of speech of the
original worde.g. un-, dis, anti-, ir-, etc.
( exception: be-, en-, such as “belittle, enlarge, enrich”)
Suffix ----occur at the end of a word. Most of them modify the meaning of the
original word and in many cases change its part of speech.
E.g. noun-forming suffixes---tion, er;
adjective-forming suffixes---al,ful;
verb-forming suffixes—ise, ize;
adverb-forming suffixes---ly
Infix-----morpheme that is inserted into other morhpemes.
 In Tagalog( a language spoken in the Philippines), -um-is a infix which
means that a verb is in the past tense: “sulat (to write)---sumulat (to wrote)”
Derivational morpheme & inflectional morpheme
 Derivational morphemes---- the morphemes which change the category, or
grammatical class of words, e.g. modern---modernize, length---lengthen,
fool---foolish, etc.
 Inflectional morphemes---- the morphemes which are for the most part
purely grammatical markers, signifying such concepts as tense, number,
case and so on; they never change their syntactic category, never add any
lexical meaning, e.g.
a) number: tables apples cars
b) person, finiteness and aspect: talk/talks/talking/talked
c) case: John/John’s
Question: what are the inflectional morphemes in English?
Some other terms
 Root
 Stem
 A root is that part of the word left when all the affixes
(inflectional & derivational) are removed, e.g. “desire”
in “desirable”, “care” in “carefully”, “nation” in
“internationalism”, “believe” in “unbeliev(e)able”…
 A stem is any morpheme or combination of morphemes to
which an affix can be added. It may be the same as , and
in other cases, different from, a root.
 For example, in the word “friends” , “friend” is both the root
and the stem, but in the word “friendships”, “friendship” is
its stem, “friend” is its root. Some words (i. e., compounds )
have more than one root ,e. g., “mailman” , “girlfriend” ,ect.
Morphological rules
 The rules that govern which affix can be added to what
type of stem to form a new word. e.g. the “un- + ----”
rule.(productive rule)
unfair unthinkable unacceptable…
notes: different words may require different affixes to
create the same meaning change. So in applying the
morphological rules, one should govern against the
tendency of overgeneralization.
Question: can you give more morphological rules in
Derivation is a very important way to form new words.
 Compounding is another way to form new words, e.g.
landlady rainbow undertake…
 Noun compounds
daybreak (N+V) playboy (V+N) haircut (N+V)
callgirl (V+N) windmill (N+N)
 Verb compounds
brainwash (N+V) lipread (N+V) babysit(N+V)
 Adjective compounds
maneating (N+Ving) heartfelt (N+Ved)
dutyfree (N+adj.)
 Preposition compounds
into (P+P)
throughout (P+P)
Some points about compounds
--orthographically, a compound can be written as one word with
or without a hyphen in between, or as two separate words
• ---syntactically, the part of speech of the compound is generally
determined by the part of speech of the second or final element.
E.g. head-strong(adj.) greenhouse(n.) but there are many
exceptions, especially with those compounds ending with a verb
or an adverb or a preposition. E.g. follow-up(n.) snowfall(n.)
• ---semantically, the meanign of a compound is often idiomatic,
not always being the sum total of the meanings of its
components. E.g. greenhouse( not a house that is green)
hotdog(not a dog that is hot)
• ---phonetically, the stress of a compound always falls on the first
element, while the second element receives secondary stress.
E.g.’runningdog( metaphorically refers to a person who follows
another person obediently in his wrong doing) running dog( a
phrase----a dog that is running)
Use “B” to mark out all the bound morphemes and “F” to mark out
all the free morphemes in the following words. Be they English or
Mandarin Chinese.
Lamp pens untie disbelief restart walked quietly pavement
careful thickest predefine misprint
帽子 石头 第三 非暴力 温度 花儿
each of the following derivational rules attaches a suffix to a word
of a specific lexical category to create a word of a different lexical
category. An example has been given in each case. Supply three
more examples for each.
1) NOUN + -FUL ADJECTIVE doubt doubtful
2)ADJECTIVE+ -EN VERB dark darken
3)VERB+ -ER NOUN speak speaker
• 1) list the bound morphemes in these words:
fearlessly, misleads, previewer, shortened,
 in which of the following examples should the “a”
be treated as a bound morpheme? A boy, apple,
atypical , AWOL
• What are the inflectional morphemes in these
 It’s raining; the cow jumped over the moon; the
newest style; the singer’s new songs
 Bontoc spoken in the Philippines is a language that has
infixes, study the following words:
 Nouns/adjectives
 Fikas “strong”
fumikas “to be strong”
 Kilad “red”
kumilad “to be red”
 Fusul “enemy”
fumusul “to be an enemy”
 Questions: what is the infix used in the above language
 What is the verb form in Bontoc for “to be poor”, given that
“pusi”means “poor”?
 In some languages, a new word can be formed by reduplication--through the repetition of part or all of a word. The following examples
from Samoan exemplify this kind of morphological rule.
 Matua “he is old” matutua “they are old”
 Malosi “he is strong” malolosi “they are strong”
 Punou “he bends”
punonou “they bend”
 Atamaki “he is wise” atamamaki “they are wise”
 Savali “he travels”
pepese “they sing”
 Questions: what is the Samoan for: (a) “they travel”, (b) he
 Formulate a morphological rule regarding how to form the plural verb
form from the singular verb form in Samoan.
The End
Thank you!