1. The structure of English words and its specific features.

2. Different types of words.

3. Various ways of word-building in English.

4. Conversion as a non-affixed word-building device.

If we define a word as an autonomous unit of language in which a given meaning is associated with a given sound complex which is susceptible of a given grammatical employment and able to form a sentence by itself we’ll have the possibility to distinguish it from the оther fundamental language unit — the morpheme.

The morpheme is also an association of a given meaning with a given sound pattern. But unlike a word it is not autonomous. Morphemes occur in speech only as constituent parts of words, not independently. Morphemes are not divisible into smaller meaningful units. That’s why the morpheme may be defined as the minimum meaningful language unit. According to the role, morphemes may play in constructing words, they are subdivided into roots and affixes.

The morpheme which bears the main lexical meaning of the word is called a root morpheme. If we take such groups of words as end, ending, endless, unending, endlessness, endlessly or boy, boyhood, boyish, the morphemes which are the lexical nuclei of the words are end and boy.

Alongside with root morphemes there exist affixational morphemes or affixes which are subdivided into suffixes and prefixes.

According to their function and meaning affixes are further subdivided into derivational аnd inflexious which carry only grammatical meaning and are used for the formation of word-forms.

We must distinguish a root from a stem. A root together with derivational affixes makes up a stem.

e.g. Pave – ment — s

pavements root derivational form-changing

The stem оf the word “smaller” is “small”, “gives” – “give”.

Roots and derivational affixes are easily distinguished and the difference between them is clearly felt.

It should be noted that in different positions some morphemes may take different phonetic shapes. Thus, for instance, -ion/ tion/ sion / ation / — are the positional variants of the same affix. They don’t differ in meaning or function but show a slight difference in sound form depending on the final phoneme of the preceding stem. They are considered as variants of one and the same morpheme and are called its allomorphs. Thus stems ending in consonants take as a rule – ation (dictate – dictation) but in pt – tion (corrupt – corruption, the final i becomes fused with the suffix ).

Allomorphs also occur among prefixes. Their form then depends on the initials of the word with which they assimilate.

e.g. in — before labials gives im: impossible, immediate

before r gives ir: irregular

before 1 — il: illegal

In all other cases and vowels it is in -: indirect, inability.

In American descriptive linguistics allomorphs are treated on a purely semantic basis, so that not only / Iz / in “dishes”, / z / in «dreams»; and / s / in “books” which are allomorphs in the sense explained above, but also formerly unrelated / en / in «oxen»; and zero suffix in «many sheep»; are considered to be allomorphs on the ground of the sameness of their grammatical meaning. This needs a serious re-thinking as within that kind of approach morphemes cease to be linguistic units combining the two fundamental aspects of form and meaning and become pure abstractions. The name «morpheme»-form turns into misnomer because all connection with form is lost.

As to their morphemic structure words are subdivided into monomorphic and polymorphic.

Monomorphic or root-words consist of only one root-morpheme.

e.g. dog, small, make, give, boy.

All polymorphic words fall into 2 subgroups: derived words and compound words.

Derived words are composed of one root-morpheme and one or more derivational morpheme: disagreeable, driver, notable, etc.

Compound words contain at least two root morphemes: school-master, blackboard, weekend, looking-glass, kind-hearted, good-natured etc.

Among compound words we distinguish compounds proper and derived compounds.

e.g. 1) to tip-toe, to white-wash, a fountain-pen

2) two-seater, week-ender, blue-eyed

The suffixes in these words refer to the whole compound, not to its last element.

Comparing the role each of these structural types of words plays in the language, we can easily perceive that they are not of equal impor­tance. It was counted that derived words in different parts of speech comprise the largest part of the English vocabulary. But if we consider the frequency value of these words in actual speech, we shall see that root-words occupy a predominant place.

In English according to the recent frequency counts, about 60% of the total number of adjectives in current use are root-words that constitute the foundation and the backbone of the vocabulary and are of the paramount importance in speech. It should also be mentioned that root-words are characterized by a high-degree of collacability and they usually are polysemantic.

The specific features of the structure of English words depend on the grammar system (structure) of the language.

The root in English is very often homonymous with the word. The influence of the analytical structure of the language is obvious.

An English word does not necessarily contain formatives indicating to what part of speech it belongs. This holds true even with respect to inflective parts of speech, e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives; change, talk, walk, rest, back — 5 parts of speech.

The number of affixes in English is far fewer than in Russian. We often see that lexical meanings expressed in Russian by means of affixation are rendered in English analytically:

людці — petty people

садочок — a little garden

домище – a big house

Definition of terms native, borrowing, translation loan, semantic loan.

Native word is a word which belongs to the original English stock, as known from the earliest available manuscripts of the Old English period.

Borrowing is a word taken over from another language and modified in phonemic shape, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of English language.

Borrowings may be direct or indirect, i.e through another language.

Translation loans (translation borrowings) are words and expressions formed from the material already existing in the English language but acc to patterns taken from another l-ge by way of literal morpheme-for-morpheme translation (calque). Ex: wall newspaper – стенная газета

Semantic loan is the development of an English word of a new meaning under the influence of a related word in another l-ge. Ex: pioneer meant explorer and who is among the first in new fields of activity- пионерto mean a member of the young pioneers’ organization.

Assimilation of borrowings. Types and degrees of assimilation.

Assimilation is the process of changing the adopted word. The process of assimilation of borrowings includes changes in sound form of morphological structure, grammar characteristics, meaning and usage.

Phonetic assimilation comprises changes in sound form and stress. Sounds that were alien to the English language were fitted into its scheme of sounds, e.g.

such words as «table», «plate» borrowed from French in the 8th — 11th centuries can be considered fully assimilated, later Parisian borrowings (15th c.) such as regime, valise, cafe» are still pronounced in a French manner.

Grammatical adaption is usually a less lasting process, because in order to function adequately in the recipient language a borrowing must completely change its paradigm. Though there are some well-known exceptions as plural forms of the English Renaissance borrowings — datum pl. data, criterion — pl. criteria and others.

The process of semantic assimilation has many forms: narrowing of meanings (usually polysemantic words are borrowed in one of the meanings); specialisation or generalisation of meanings, acquiring new meanings in the recipient language, shifting a primary meaning to the position of a secondary meaning.

Completely assimilated borrowings are the words, which have undergone all types of assimilation. Such words are frequently used and are stylistically neutral, they may occur as dominant words in a synonymic group. They take an active part in word-formation.

Partially assimilated borrowings are the words which lack one of the types of assimilation. They are subdivided into the groups:

1) Borrowings not assimilated semantically (e.g. shah, rajah). Such words usually denote objects and notions peculiar to the country from which they came.

2) Loan words not assimilated grammatically, e.g. nouns borrowed from Latin or Greek which keep their original plural forms (datum — data, phenomenon — phenomena).

3)Loan words not completely assimilated phonetically. These words contain peculiarities in stress, combinations of sounds that are not standard for English (machine, camouflage, tobacco).

4) Loan words not completely assimilated graphically (e.g. ballet, cafe, cliche).

Barbarisms(unassimilated borrowings) are words from other languages used by the English people in conversation or in writing but not assimilated in any way, and for which there are corresponding English equivalents e.g. ciao Italian — good-bye English,

3. The morpheme. The principles of morphemic analysis. Types of morphemes. Structural types of words: simple, derived, compound words.

The morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of form. Morphemes occur in speech only as constituent parts of words but not independently.

Morphemes are subdivided into root — morphemes and non-root morphemes.

The root morpheme is the lexical center of the word. It is the semantic nucleus of a word with which no grammatical properties of the word are connected. Non-root morphemes include inflections and derivational affixes.

Inflection is an affixal morpheme which carries only grammatical meaning thus relevant only for the formation of word-forms (books, opened, strong-er).

Derivational morpheme is an affixal morpheme which modifies the lexical meaning of the root and forms a new word. In many cases it adds the part-of-speech meaning to the root (manage-ment, en-courage, fruit-ful).

Morphemes which may occur in isolation and function as independent words are called free morphemes (pay, sum, form). Morphemes which are not found in isolation are called bound morphemes (-er, un-, -less).

The segmentation of words is generally carried out according to the method of Immediate and Ultimate Constituents. This method is based upon the binary principle, i.e. each stage of procedure involves two components the word immediately breaks into. At each stage these two components are referred to as the Immediate Constituents (IC). Each IC at the next stage of analysis is in turn broken into smaller meaningful elements. The analysis is completed when we arrive at constituents incapable of further division, i.e. morphemes. These are referred to as Ultimate Constituents (UC). The analysis of word-structure on the morphemic level must naturally proceed to the stage of UC-s. Acc to IC and UC the division is based to 2 principles: 1)affix princp.,2)root principle.

Allomorphes are the phonemic variants of the given morpheme e.g. il-, im-, ir-, are the allomorphes of the prefix in- (illiterate, important, irregular, inconstant).

Monomorphic are root-words consisting of only one root-morpheme i.e. simple words (dry, grow, boss, sell).

Polymorphic are words consisting of at least one root-morpheme and a number of derivational affixes, i.e. derivatives, compounds (customer, payee, body-building, shipping).

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Derived words are those composed of one root-morpheme and one more derivational morphemes (consignment, outgoing, publicity). Compound words contain at least two root-morphemes (warehouse, camera-man),

Date: ; view:

The segmentation of words is generally carried out according to the method of Immediate and Ultimate Constituents. This method is based upon the binary principle, e.g. each stage of procedure involves two components the word immediately breaks into. At each stage these two components are referred to as the Immediate Constituents (IC). Each IC at the next stage of analysis is in turn broken into smaller meaningful elements. The analysis is completed when we arrive at constituents incapable of further division, i.e. morphemes. These are referred to as Ultimate Constituents (UC). The analysis of word-structure on the morphemic level must naturally proceed to the stage of UC-s.

Allomorphs are the phonemic variants of the given morpheme e.g. il-, im-, ir-, are the allomorphs of the prefix in- (illiterate, important, irregular, inconstant).

Derived words are those composed of one root-morpheme and one more derivational morpheme (consignment, outgoing, publicity).

Compound words contain at least two root-morphemes (warehouse, camera­man).

Productivity is the ability to form new words after existing patterns which are readily understood by the speakers of a language. Synchronilly the most important and the most productive ways of word-formation are affixation, conversion, word-composition and abbreviation (contraction). In the course of time the productivity of this or that way of word-formation may change. Sound interchangeor gradation (blood — to bleed, to abide — abode, to strike — stroke) was a productive way of word building in old English and is important for a diachronic study of the English language. It has lost its productivity in Modern English and no new word can be coined by means of sound gradation. Affixation on the contrary was productive in Old English and is still one of the most productive ways of word building in Modern English.

Affixation is the formation of new words with the help of derivational affixes. Suffixation is more productive than prefixation. In Modern English sufflxation is typical of verb formation (incoming, principal, promotion).

uninterested — disinterested

distrust — mistrust

Word-composition is another type of word-building which is highly productive. That is when new words are produced by combining two or more stems.

Stem is that part of a word which remains unchanged throughout its paradigm and to which grammatical inflexions and affixes are added. The bulk of compound words is motivated and the semantic relations between the two components are transparent.

Compound words proper are formed by joining together stems of words already available in the language. Compound proper is a word, the two Immediate Constituents of which are stems of notional words, e.g. ice-cold (N+A), ill-luck (A+N).

Derivational compound is a word formed by a simultaneous process of composition and derivation. Derivational compound is formed by composing a new stem that does not exist outside this pattern and to which suffix is added. Derivational compound is a word consisting of two Immediate Constituents, only one of which is a compound stem of notional words, the other being a derivational affix, e.g. blue-eyed — (A+N)+ed. In coordinative compounds neither of the components dominates the other; both are structurally and semantically independent and constitute two structural and semantic centers, e.g. breath-taking, self-discipline, word-formation.

Conversion is a highly productive way of coining new words in Modern English. Conversion is sometimes referred to as an affixless way of word-building, a process of making a new word from some existing root word by changing the category of a part of speech without changing the morphemic shape of the original root-word. The transposition of word from one part of speech into another brings about changes of the paradigm.

Conversion is not only highly productive but also a particularly English way of word-building. It is explained by the analytical structure of Modern English and by the simplicity of paradigms of English parts of speech. A great number of one-syllable words is another factor that facilitates conversion.

Typical semantic relations within a converted pair

I. Verbs converted from noun (denominal verbs) denote:

1. action characteristic of the object ape (n) — to ape (v)

butcher (n) — to butcher (v)

2. instrumental use of the object screw (n) — to screw (v) whip (n) — to whip (v)

3. acquisition or addition of the object fish (n) — to fish (v)

II. Nouns converted from verbs (deverbal nouns) denote:

1. instance of the action to jump (v) -jump (n) to move (v) — move (n)

2. agent of the action to help (v) — help (n)

to switch (v) — switch (n)

3. place of action

to drive (v) — drive (n) to walk (v) — walk (n)

4. object or result of the action to peel (v) -peel (n)

to find (v) —find (n)

The shortening of words involves the shortening of both words and word-groups. Distinction should be made between shortening of a word in written speech (graphical abbreviation) and in the sphere of oral intercourse (lexical abbreviation). Lexical abbreviations may be used both in written and in oral speech. Lexical abbreviation is the process of forming a word out of the initial elements (letters, morphemes) of a word combination by a simultaneous operation of shortening and compounding.

Clipping consists in cutting off two or more syllables of a word. Words that have been shortened at the end are called apocope (doc — doctor, vet — veterinary). Words that have been shortened at the beginning are called aphaeresis (phone-telephone). Words in which some syllables or sounds have been omitted from the middle are called syncope (ma ‘m — madam, specs — spectacles). Sometimes a combination of these types is observed (tec — detective, frig — refrigerator).

Blendings (blends, fusions or portmanteau words) may be defined as formation that combine two words that include the letters or sounds they have in common as a connecting element (slimnastics = slim+gymnastics; mimsy= miserable+flimsy). The process of formation is also called telescoping. The analysis into immediate constituents is helpful in so far as it permits the definition of a blend as a word with the first constituent represented by a stem whose final part may be missing, and the second constituent by a stem of which the initial part is missing. The second constituent when used in a series of similar blends may turn into a suffix. A new suffix -on; is, for instance, well under way in such terms as nylon, rayon, silon, formed from the final element of cotton. This process seems to be very active in present-day English word-formation numerous new words have been coined recently: Reaganomics, Irangate, blackploitation, workaholic.

Sentence-condensation is the formation of new words by substantivizing the whole locutions (forget-me-not, merry-go-round).

1. The morpheme as the important component of word structure.

2. Types of morphemes. Allomorphs.

3. Types of affixes.

4. Immediate Constituents Analysis.

The word is the fundamental unit of language having a form and content. Words have an internal structure consisting of smaller units organized with respect to each other in a particular way. The most important component of word structure is the morpheme – the smallest unit of language that carries information about meaning or function. The word builder, for example, consists of 2 morphemes: build (with the meaning of “construct”) and -er (which indicates that the entire word functions as a noun with the meaning “one who builds”). Similarly, the word houses is made up of the morphemes house (with the meaning of “dwelling”) and -s (with the meaning of “more than one”).

A word may consist of one, two or more morphemes:

if, and, live;

driv-er, history-ic, ethnic-al-ly;

act, act-ive, act-iv-ate, re-act-iv-ate.

A morpheme is neither a meaning nor a stretch of sound, but a meaning and a stretch of sound joined together. Morphemes are the smallest indivisible two-facet language units. They are always used as parts of words.

A morpheme that can be a word by itself is called a free morpheme whereas a morpheme that must be attached to another element is said to be a bound morpheme. The morpheme boy, for example, is free, since it can be used as a word on its own; plural -s, on the other hand, is bound. Thus, structurally morphemes fall into free morphemes and bound morphemes. A free morpheme coincides with the stem or a word-form. A bound morpheme occurs only as a constituent part of a word (bound morphemes often signify borrowings). Affixes are bound morphemes, for they always make part of a word.

Morphemes do not always have an invariant form. Morphemes in various texts can have different phonemic shapes. All the representatives of the given morpheme are called allomorphs (from Greek allos «other») of that morpheme. The morpheme used to express indefiniteness in English, for instance, has two forms —a before a word that begins with a consonant and an before a word that begins with a vowel (an orange, an accent, a car). The variant forms of a morpheme are its allomorphs.

Thus, an allomorph is a positional variant of that or this morpheme occurring in a specific environment

In order to represent the morphological structure of words, it is necessary to identify each of the component morphemes. Words that can have two or more parts: a core called a root and one or more parts added to it. The parts are called affixes — «something fixed or attached to something else.» The root is the morpheme that expresses the lexical meaning of the word, for example: teach — teacher — teaching. Affixes are morphemes that modify the meaning of the root. An affix added before the root is called a prefix; an affix added after the root is called a suffix. A word may have one or more affixes of either kind, or several of both kinds:

Complex words typically consist of a root morpheme and one or more affixes. A root constitutes the core of the word and carries the major component of its meaning. To find the root, you have to remove any affix there may be, for example, the root -morph-, meaning «form», remains after we remove the affixes a- and -ous from amorphous. Roots have more specific and definite meaning than prefixes or suffixes, for example Latin root -aqua- means «water» (aquarium), -cent- means «hundred» (centennial), Greek -neo- means «new» (neologism), etc.

Roots belong to a lexical category, such as noun (N), verb (V), adjective (A), or preposition (P). Nouns typically refer to concrete and abstract things (door, intelligence); verbs tend to denote actions (stop, read); adjectives usually name properties (kind, blue); and prepositions encode spatial relations (in, near). Unlike roots, affixes do not belong to a lexical category and are always bound morphemes. For example, the affix -er is a bound morpheme that combines with a verb such as teach, giving a noun with the meaning «one who teaches».

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A base is the form to which an affix is added. In many cases, the base is also the root. In books, for example, the element to which the affix -s is added corresponds to the word’s root. In other cases, however, the base can be larger than a root. This happens in words such as blackened, in which the past tense affix -ed is added to the verbal base blacken — a unit consisting of the root morpheme black and the suffix -en. Black is not only the root for the entire word but also the base for -en. The unit blacken, on the other hand, is simply the base for -ed.

One should distinguish between suffixes and inflections in English. Suffixes can form a new part of speech, e.g.: beauty — beauti/ful/. They can also change the meaning of the root, e.g.: black — blackish. Inflections are morphemes used to change grammar forms of the word, e.g.: work — works’ — worked—working. English is not a highly inflected language (other point of view).

Depending on the morphemes used in the word there are four structural types of words in English:

1) simple (root) words consist of one root morpheme and an inflexion (boy, warm, law, tables, tenth);

2) derived words consist of one root morpheme, one or several affixes and an inflexion (unmanageable, lawful);

3) compound words consist of two or more root morphemes and an inflexion (boyfriend, outlaw);

4) compound-derived words consist of two or more root morphemes, one or more affixes and an inflexion (left-handed, warm-hearted, blue-eyed).

In conformity with structural types of words we distinguish two main types of word-formation: word-derivation (encouragement, irresistible, worker) and word-composition (blackboard, daydream, weekend).

Within these types further distinction may be made between the ways of forming words:

The basic ways of forming words in word-derivation are affixation (feminist, pseudonym) and conversion (water — to water, to run — a run, slim — to slim).

The theory of Immediate Constituents (I.C.) was originally set forth by L. Bloomfield as an attempt to determine the ways in which lexical units are related to one another. This kind of analysis is used in lexicology mainly to discover the derivational structure of lexical units.

Immediate constituents are any of the two meaningful parts of a word. The main constituents are an affix and a stem. For example, L. Bloomfield analyzed the word ungentlemanly. It consists of a negative prefix un— + an adjective stem. First we separate a free and a bound forms: un— + gentlemanly and gentleman + -ly. Then we break the word gentleman: gentle + man. At any level we obtain only two ICs, one of which is a stem, and, as a result, we get the formula: un + (gentle + man) + ly.

The adjective eatable consists of two ICs eat + able and may be described as a suffixal derivative, the adjective uneatable however possesses a different structure: the two ICs are un + eatable which shows that this adjective is a prefixal derivative though the unit has both a prefix and a suffix.

S. S. Khidekel describes numerous cases when identical morphemic structure of different words may be insufficient proof of their identical pattern of word formation structure, which can be revealed only by I.C. analysis. Thus, comparing snow-covered and blue-eyed we observe that both words contain two root morphemes and one derivational morpheme. I.C. analysis shows that whereas snow-covered may be considered a compound consisting of two stems snow + covered, blue-eyed is a suffixal derivative as the underlying structure is different: (blue + eye) + ed.

Thus I.C. analysis is used in lexicological investigations to discover the word-formation structure.

Morpheme – the smallest bit of language that has its own meaning, either a word or a part of a word,

free – not in a fixed position or not joined to anything vs bound tied with,

root (of a word) – is its most basic form, to which other parts, such as affixes, can be added,

affix – a letter or group of letters which are added to the beginning or end of a word to make a new word.




The Branch of Lexicology which

studies the Derivative Structure and the Patterns on which the Language builds new words

Is the System of derivative types of words and the process of creating new words after certain structural and semantic formulas and patterns

The process of forming words by combining root and affixal morphemes according to certain patterns specific for the language

The System of derivative types of words and the process of creating new words from material available from the language

Обеспечивающая построение и понимание его словоформ

Изучающий закономерности функционирования и развития

Морфемный строй языка, раздел языкознания, изучающий типы и структуру морфем

Is the study of Word – Formation and internal organization of words

Deals with the internal structure of word forms

But unlike words not autonomous, independent.

Is the smallest indivisible two-facet language unit

Is a set of morphs, which have the same meaning and are characterized by complementary distribution

The smallest set of phonemes

) regularly reproduced in utterances

)is a physical form

Allomorphs (positional variants of the same morpheme) – realize the same morpheme: -ion/-sion/ -tion/-ation (complementary distribution): liberation, corruption.

Im-, ir-, In, Il-:(impossible,irregular, indirect,illegal) are allomorphs of the morpheme –in.

Ex: the plural morpheme

BranchÆ вЂ“ branches

Datum – data

Analysis – analyses

Piano — pianos

Different morphemes are characterized by contrastive distribution: -able (measurable “capable of being –ed”):-ed (measured “ marked by due proportion”)

The word is not the smallest unit of the language. It consists of morphemes. The morpheme may be defined as the smallest meaningful unit which has a sound form and meaning and which occurs in speech only as a part of a word.

The main function of suffixes in Modern English is

To form one part of speech from another,

To change the lexical meaning of the same part of speech.

(e.g. В«educateВ» v., В«educateeВ» n.,

В«musicВ» n., В«musicdomВ» n.).

There are different classifications of suffixes:

a) noun-forming suffixes:

— er (criticizer), — dom (officialdom),

— ism (ageism),

b) adjective-forming suffixes:

— able (breathable), — less (symptomless), — ous (prestigious),

c) verb-forming suffixes:

— ize (computerize), — ify (micrify),

d ) adverb-forming suffixes:

-ly (singly), — ward (tableward),

e) numeral-forming suffixes:

— teen (sixteen), -ty (seventy).

Suffixes changing the lexical meaning of the stem can be subdivided into groups, e.g. noun-forming suffixes can denote:

a ) the agent of the action:

e.g. -er (experimenter), -ist (taxist), -ent (student),

-ian (Russian), -ese (Japanese), -ish (English),

-dom (moviedom), -ry (peasantry,

-ship (readership), -ati (literati),

-ie (horsie), -let (booklet),

-ling (gooseling), -ette (kitchenette),

3. Lexico-grammatical character of the stem.

Suffixes which can be added to certain groups of stems are subdivided into:

a) suffixes added to verbal stems:

-er (commuter), -ing (suffering), — able (flyable), -ment (involvement), -ation (computerization),

b) suffixes added to noun stems:

-less (smogless), ful (roomful), -ism (adventurism), -ster (pollster), -nik (filmnik), -ish (childish),

c) suffixes added to adjective stems:

-en (weaken), -ly (pinkly), -ish (longish), -ness (clannishness).

Origin of suffixes.

a ) native (Germanic):

-er,-ful, -less, -ly.

-tion, -ment, -able, -eer.

-ist, -ism, -ize.

-er, -ize, —ly, -ness.

-eer, -ette, -ward.

-ard (drunkard), -th (length).

В· doer of the action expressed by the stem (speaker),

В· occupation (teacher),

В· a device,

A tool (transmitter).

compound suffixes: added to the stem at the same time:

-ibly, (terribly, reasonably),

-ation (adaptation from adapt).

(a suffix or a root morpheme in the structure of a word) or semi-suffixes, and words with such suffixes can be classified either as derived words or as compound words:

-aholic (workaholic) etc.

Word formation is the creation of new words from elements already existing in the language. Every language has its own structural patterns of word formation.

Morphemes are subdivided into root — morphemes and affixational morphemes.

Affixational morphemes include inflections and derivational affixes.

Productivity is the ability to form new words after existing patterns which are readily understood by the speakers of a language. Synchronically the most important and the most productive ways of word-formation are affixation, conversion, word-composition and abbreviation (contraction). In the course of time the productivity of this or that way of word-formation may change. Sound interchange or gradation (blood — to bleed, to abide -abode, to strike — stroke) was a productive way of word building in old English and is important for a diachronic study of the English language. It has lost its productivity in Modern English and no new word can be coined by means of sound gradation. Affixation on the contrary was productive in Old English and is still one of the most productive ways of word building in Modern English.

Affixation is the formation of new words with the help of derivational affixes. Suffixation is more productive than prefixation. In Modern English suffixation is characteristic of noun and adjective formation, while prefixation is typical of verb formation (incoming, trainee, principal, promotion).

Affixes are usually divided into living and dead affixes. Living affixes are easily separated from the stem (care-ful). Dead affixes have become fully merged with the stem and can be singled out by a diachronic analysis of the development of the word (admit — L.- ad + mittere). Living affixes are in their turn divided into productive and non-productive affixes. In many cases the choice of the affixes is a means of differentiating meaning:

uninterested — disinterested distrust — mistrust

Prefixation is the formation of words by means of adding a prefix to the stem. In English it is characteristic for forming verbs. Prefixes are more independent than suffixes.

Prefixes can be classified according to the nature of words in which they are used:

prefixes used in notional words and prefixes used in functional words. Prefixes used in notional words are proper prefixes which are bound morphemes, e.g. un- (unhappy). Prefixes used in functional words are semi-bound morphemes because they are met in the language as words, e.g. over- (overhead) (cf over the table).

The main function of prefixes in English is to change the lexical meaning of the same part of speech. But the recent research showed that about twenty-five prefixes in Modern English form one part of speech from another (bebutton, interfamily, postcollege etc).

Prefixes can be classified according to different principles:

1. Semantic classification:

a) prefixes of negative meaning:

in- (invaluable), non- (nonformals), un- (unfree) etc,

b) denoting repetition or reversal actions:

de- (decolonize), re- (revegetation), dis- (disconnect),

c) denoting time, space, degree relations:

inter- (interplanetary), hyper- (hypertension), ex- (ex-student), pre- (pre-election), over- (overdrugging) etc.

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2. Origin of prefixes:

a) native (Germanic: un-, over-, under- etc.

b) Romanic: in-, de-, ex-, re- etc.

c) Greek: sym-, hyper — etc.

the root of the word (verb, company),

ad-, ac- prefixes though they were never used as prefixes to form new words in English and were borrowed from Romanic languages together with words. In such cases we can treat them as derived words. But some scientists treat them as simple words. Another group of words with a disputable structure:

contain, retain, detain and conceive, receive, deceive;

re-, de-, con- act as prefixes

— tain, -ceive as roots. These combinations of sounds have no lexical meaning and are called pseudo-morphemes.

e.g. after -: afternoon.

10.1. The morphological structure of English words.

10.2. Definition of word-formation. Synchronic and diachronic approaches to word formation.

10.3. Main units of word-formation. Derivational analysis.

10.4. Ways of word-formation.

10.5. Functional approach to word-formation.

10.6. The communicative aspect of word-formation.

10.1. Structurally, words are divisible into smaller units which are called morphemes. Morphemes are the smallest indivisible two-facet (significant) units. A morpheme exists only as a constituent part of the word.

One morpheme may have different phonemic shapes, i.e. it is represented by allomorphs (its variants),

Semantically, all morphemes are classified into roots and affixes. The root is the lexical centre of the word, its basic part; it has an individual lexical meaning,

e.g. in help, helper, helpful, helpless, helping, unhelpful — help- is the root.

e.g. prefixes: re -think, mis -take, dis -cover, over -eat, ex -wife;

suffixes: danger- ous, familiar- ize, kind- ness, swea- ty etc.

Structurally, morphemes fall into: free morphemes, bound morphemes, semi-bound (semi-free) morphemes.

A free morpheme is one that coincides with a stem or a word-form. A great many root-morphemes are free,

e.g. in friendship the root -friend — is free as it coincides with a word-form of the noun friend.

A bound morpheme occurs only as a part of a word. All affixes are bound morphemes because they always make part of a word,

e.g. in friendship the suffix -ship is a bound morpheme.

Some root morphemes are also bound as they always occur in combination with other roots and/or affixes,

e.g. in conceive, receive, perceive — ceive — is a bound root.

To this group belong so-called combining forms, root morphemes of Greek and Latin origin,

e.g. tele -, mega, — logy, micro -, — phone: telephone, microphone, telegraph, etc.

Semi-bound morphemes are those that can function both as a free root morpheme and as an affix (sometimes with a change of sound form and/or meaning),

e.g. proof, a. » giving or having protection against smth harmful or unwanted» (a free root morpheme): proof against weather;

-proof (in adjectives) » treated or made so as not to be harmed by or so as to give protection against» (a semi-bound morpheme): bulletproof, ovenproof, dustproof, etc.

Morphemic analysis aims at determining the morphemic (morphological) structure of a word, i.e. the aim is to split the word into morphemes and state their number, types and the pattern of arrangement. The basic unit of morphemic analysis is the morpheme.

In segmenting words into morphemes, we use the method of Immediate and Unltimate Constituents. At each stage of the analysis, a word is broken down into two meaningful parts (ICs, i.e. Immediate Constituents). At the next stage, each IC is broken down into two smaller meaningful elements. The analysis is completed when we get indivisible constituents, i.e. Ultimate Constituents, or morphs, which represent morphemes in concrete words,

Friend-, -ly, -ness are indivisible into smaller meaningful units, so they are Ultimate Constituents (morphs) and the word friendliness consists of 3 morphemes: friend-+-li+-ness.

There are two structural types of words at the morphemic level of analysis: monomorphic (non-segmentable, indivisible) and polymorphic words (segmentable, divisible). The former consist only of a root morpheme, e.g. cat, give, soon, blue, oh, three. The latter consist of two or more morphemes, e.g. disagreeableness is a polymorphic word which consists of four morphemes, one root and three affixes: dis- + -agree- + -able + -ness. The morphemic structure is Pr + R + Sf1 + Sf2.

10.2. Word-Formation (W-F) is building words from available linguistic material after certain structural and semantic patterns. It is also a branch of lexicology that studies the process of building words as well as the derivative structure of words, the patterns on which they are built and derivational relations between words.

Synchronically, linguists study the system of W-F at a given time; diachronically, they are concerned with the history of W-F, and the history of building concrete words. The results of the synchronic and the diachronic analysis may not always coincide,

10.3. The aim of derivational analysis is to determine the derivational structure of a word, i.e. to state the derivational pattern after which it is built and the derivational base (the source of derivation).

Traditionally, the basic units of derivational analysis are: the derived word (the derivative), the derivational base, the derivational pattern, the derivational affix.

The derivational base is the source of a derived word, i.e. a stem, a word-form, a word-group (sometimes even a sentence) which motivates the derivative semantically and on which the latter is based structurally,

e.g. in dutifully the base is dutiful-, which is a stem;

in unsmiling it is the word-form smiling (participle I);

in blue-eyed it is the word-group blue eye.

In affixation, derivational affixes are added to derivational bases to build new words, i.e. derivatives. They repattern the bases, changing them structurally and semantically. They also mark derivational relations between words,

e.g. in encouragement en- and -ment are derivational affixes: a prefix and a suffix; they are used to build the word encouragement: (en- + courage) + -ment.

They also mark the derivational relations between courage and encourage, encourage and encouragement.

A derivational pattern is a scheme (a formula) describing the structure of derived words already existing in the language and after which new words may be built,

Each derived word is characterized by a certain derivational structure. In traditional linguistics, the derivational structure is viewed as a binary entity, reflecting the relationship between derivational bases and derivatives and consisting of a stem and a derivational affix,

e.g. the structure of nationalization is nationaliz- + -ation

But there is a different point of view. In modern W-F, the derivational structure of a word is defined as a finite set of derivational steps necessary to produce (build) the derived word,

To describe derivational structures and derivational relations, it is convenient to use the relator language and a system of oriented graphs. In this language, a word is generated by joining relators to the amorphous root O. Thus, R1O describes the structure of a simple verb (cut, permiate); R2O shows the structure of a simple noun (friend, nation); R3O is a simple adjective (small, gregarious) and R4O is a simple adverb (then, late).

In oriented graphs, a branch slanting left and down » /» correspond to R1; a vertical branch » I» corresponds to R2; a branch slanting right and down » » to R3, and a horizontal right branch to R4.

Thus we can show the derivational structure of unemployment like this:

and dutifulness like this:

Words whose derivational structures can be described by one R-formula are called monostructural, e.g. dutifulness, encouragement; words whose derivational structures can be described by two (or more) R-formulas are polystructural,

e.g. disagreement R2R2R1O / R2R1R1O

There are complex units of word-formation. They are derivational clusters and derivational sets.

A derivational cluster is a group of words that have the same root and are derivationally related. The structure of a cluster can be shown with the help of a graph,

readership ∙ unreadable

A derivational set is a group of words that are built after the same derivational pattern,


affixation, compounding, conversion, shortening, blending, back-formation. Sound interchange, sound imitation, distinctive stress, lexicalization, coinage certainly do not belong to word-formation as no derivational patterns are used.

Affixation is formation of words by adding derivational affixes to derivational bases. Affixation is devided into prefixation and suffixation,

Compounding is building words by combining two (or more) derivational bases (stems or word-forms),

e.g. big -ticket (= expensive), fifty-fifty, laid-back, statesman.

Among compounds, we distinguish derivational compounds, formed by adding a derivational affix (usu. a suffix) to a word group,

e.g. heart-shaped (= shaped like a heart), stone-cutter (= one who cuts stone).

e.g. a drink, a do, a go, a swim: Have another try.

to face, to nose, to paper, to mother, to ape;

to cool, to pale, to rough, to black, to yellow, etc.

Nouns and verbs can be converted from other parts of speech, too, for example, adverbs: to down, to out, to up; ifs and buts.

Shortening consists in substituting a part for a whole. Shortening may result in building new lexical items (i.e. lexical shortenings) and so-called graphic abbreviations, which are not words but signs representing words in written speech; in reading, they are substituted by the words they stand for,

e.g. Dr = doctor, St = street, saint, Oct = 0ctober, etc.

Lexical shortenings are produced in two ways:

(1) clipping, i.e. a new word is made from a syllable (or two syllables) of the original word,

Blending is building new words, called blends, fusions, telescopic words, or portmanteau words, by merging (usu.irregular) fragments of two existing words,

Back-formation is derivation of new words by subtracting a real or supposed affix (usu. a suffix) from existing words (on analogy with existing derivational pairs),

Sound interchange and distinctive stress are not ways of word-formation. They are ways of distinguishing words or word forms,

e.g. food -feed, speech — speak, life — live;

‘ insult, n. — in ‘ sult, v., ‘ perfect, a. — per ‘ fect, v.

Sound interchange may be combined with affixation and/or the shift of stress,

e.g. strong — strength, wide — width.

10.5. Productivity and activity of derivational ways and means.

Productivity and activity in W-F are close but not identical. By productivity of derivational ways/types/patterns/means we mean ability to derive new words,

By activity we mean the number of words derived with the help of a certain derivational means or after a derivational pattern,

e.g. — er is found in hundreds of words so it is active.

Sometimes productivity and activity go together, but they may not always do.

In modern English, the most productive way of W-P is affixation (suffixation more so than prefixation), then comes compounding, shortening takes third place, with conversion coming fourth.

Productivity may change historically. Some derivational means / patterns may be non-productive for centuries or decades, then become productive, then decline again,

e.g. In the late 19th c. US -ine was a popular feminine suffix on the analogy of heroine, forming such words as actorine, doctorine, speakerine. It is not productive or active now.

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