Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Constituent Structure and Category Changing in English Root and Pattern Morphology

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Constituent Structure and Category Changing in English Root and Pattern Morphology

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The basic view, adopted by Chomsky and Halle (1968), that the lexicon is a hst of single morphemes only and that these units are subject to lexical insertion, has been convincingly dismissed by Halle (1973), Jackendoff (1975), and Aronoff (1976). In their views, the lexicon is composed of words rather than morphemes

"Morphology is one component of grammar which analyzes the word formation. Morphology is the level of linguistics which is concerned with the internal structure of words, whether these be simple or complex, whether they contain grammatical information or have a purely lexical status. There are various units which are used on this level and they can be seen as parallel to the distinctions which have already been introduced in connection with phonology" (Hickey, 1983 :1-3). Morphology is often referred to as grammar, the set of rules governing words in a language. Traditionally, grammars were based on the models of classical Latin and Greek, languages which contained a large number of endings. Because of the cultural prestige of the classical languages the divisions made by their grammarians have persisted to this day. But it remains a few problems. On a formal level, many of the categories of classical grammar do not exist today. For instance, it makes little sense to talk of accusative and dative, in a formal sense, in present-day English as these cases are not marked on nouns and there is only one combined form for pronouns, i.e. her, him, us, them, etc.

Morphology is the level of linguistics which is concerned with the internal structure of words, whether these be simple or complex, whether they contain grammatical information or have a purely lexical content. The plural morpheme {S},naturally has a number of realisations, just consider the words cat, dog and horse which in the plural are hats /hæt+s/, dolls / d>l+z/ and forses /fo:s+iz/ respectively. Allomorphs which are non-distinctive realisations of a morpheme just as allophones are non-distinctive realisations of phonemes. Allomorphs are a feature of the morphology of all languages.

Sapir (1921:58) maintains that a word has a real psychological entity and is processed in the conscious part of the mind. Mthesius (1991:3) defines morphology as "a subfield of linguistics which studies the forms of words in different structures".

Word classes are types of words grouped on the basis of their functions in sentences. They differ in their position and in the relations they may have with other words. Basically there are two categories of classes, the first carries lexical meaning and the second carries grammatical meaning. Those word classes with lexical meaning refer to concepts outside of language and the extralinguistic world, e.g. number and natural gender with nouns or person, number and tense with verbs.

Morphology is concerned with the study of word forms. A word can best be defined in terms of internal stability (is it further divisible?) and external mobility (can it be moved to a different position in a sentence?).

Morphology based on morpheme analysis has three basic assumptions:

1. Baudoin's single morpheme hypothesis: in this situation, roots and affixes are similar.

2. Bloomfield's hypothesis on the morphemic features of the base: Since morphemes have binary features, they can be studied phnologically and semantically.

3.Bloomfield's Semantic morpheme hypothesis: morphemes, affixes, and roots are stored in dictionary entries.

In Bllomfield's view, morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit without having meaning on its own, but Hockett beheves that morphemes are meaningful elements but they aren't unit. He just suggested plural morphemes; s-, en-, ren.

2. Item and Arrangement Morphology

In the word "successfully", the morphemes are"success, ful, and ly".the root is "success" and other morphemes are derivational. The root in the word "girls" is "girl" and "s" is an inflectional morpheme. …

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