An Introduction to English Morphology: Words and Their Structure (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language)

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the elemental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the consequences of those varied techniques to phrases in English. He explains a number of the ways that phrases are regarding each other, and exhibits how the heritage of the English language has affected be aware structure.Topics comprise: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a be aware and its components (roots and affixes); a be aware and its types (inflection); a notice and its relations (derivation); compound phrases; note constitution; productiveness; and the old resources of English notice formation.

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In reality, all should be infrequent other than those who speedy turn into trendy. So, no matter if we won't without delay establish neologisms, an alternate that's either applicable and possible is to spot phrases which are tremendous infrequent, in particular those who look just once within the entire corpus: so-called hapax legomena (singular hapax legomenon), a Greek expression borrowed from classical stories, which means ‘said (only) once’. we will now specialise in the morphological methods which are utilized in hapax legomena (and different very infrequent words), and evaluate them with tactics which are utilized in extra often taking place phrases. Such stories shed attention-grabbing new mild at the courting among the familar pair -ity and -ness. within the Cobuild corpus of approximately eighteen million English word-tokens (based at Birmingham collage and utilized by the dictionary writer Collins), the variety of word-types displaying -ity (roughly four hundred) isn't tremendously below the quantity displaying -ness (roughly 500). despite the fact that, lots of the -ity phrases are of universal incidence (more technically, their token-frequency is high), whereas many 02 pages 001-152 18/10/01 3:43 pm web page ninety seven productiveness ninety seven extra of the categories showing -ness have low token frequency, together with hapax legomena. that's, even though by way of one degree -ness seems now not even more effective than -ity is, it truly is way more most probably than -ity for use within the production of neologisms. The suffix -ness charges excessive either within the variety of phrases that include it (words as kinds, that's, no longer tokens), and in its availability for neologisms. The suffix -ity ranks excessive by way of the first degree yet low by means of the second one. may well an affix rank low through the first degree and excessive via the second one? the answer's definite. The Cobuild corpus comprises quite few word-types with the suffix -ian (as in Canadian, Wagnerian), but a truly excessive percentage of those are of low token-frequency. relatively unusually, consequently, for an affix to be appropriate to be used in a new note, it doesn't need to seem in plenty of latest phrases. there's way more which may be stated concerning the ways that stories of very huge corpora can make clear note formation in English. to appreciate it in larger intensity presupposes a few wisdom of statistical strategies, even though. For current reasons, it really is sufficient to bear in mind that such statistical experiences are being conducted, and they move a substantial method in the direction of firming up the notions of generality and formal regularity which I defined in an unquantified type previous within the bankruptcy. eight. 7 end: ‘productivity’ in syntax i am hoping to have made it transparent either why productiveness is a idea that needs to be approached carefully, and the way it really is attainable to untangle its quite a few points. crucial findings to keep in mind are . First, a method will be officially ordinary with no being semantically standard, as is illustrated through the suffixation of -ion to supply nouns from verbs with the basis -mit. Secondly, semantically typical relationships among lexemes (that is semantic relationships that experience roughly frequent parallels related to different lexemes) can subsist with out morphological aid, as is illustrated by way of the phrases for family animals at (2).

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