Languages & Cultures of East Asia

Trad 101, Sections 18-19-20-21   Fall 2000

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Lecture Outline, 11/8/00 - Morphology

    the study of
1) the internal structure of words
2) how words are formed

Can we divide words into smaller units that still have meaning?
A: Yes --> morphemes

     un- 'not'
     unlucky, unhappy, unsatisfied
     un- has meaning, but smaller than word

Such units are called morphemes.

     look, looks, looked
     -s: present tense, 3rd person
     -ed: past tense
     -s, -ed have grammatical function

Also considered morphemes

     The smallest linguistic unit that has a meaning or a grammatical function

free morphemes
     words that are not composed of other morphemes
     walk, dog, sky
     words, but also morphemes

free morphemes: morphemes that are also words
     Can stand alone

bound morphemes
     Never exist as words themselves
     Always attached to some other morpheme
     E.g. un-, im-, -ness

Word= free morpheme + 0, 1, 2 or more bound morphemes

free morpheme= stem = base
bound morpheme = affix

prefix - attaches to beginning of word
     un-, im-

suffix - attaches to end of word
     -ness, -ly

study of the structure of word
1) How words are put together from smaller parts
2) pattern of combination
rewrite, but *rechoice, *repretty, *write-re

How many morphemes?

1. comfortable
2. reconditioned
3. thickeners
4. Massachusetts
5. unidirectional
6. rationalization
7. environmentally
8. senseless
9. unspeakably

Word formation processes
1. Affixation: free + bound
    unhappy, impossible, singing

2. Compounding: free + free
    air conditioner, girlfriend, homecoming, man-made

    stress pattern

3. Reduplication: doubling a free morpheme or part of it
    hush-hush, hocus-pocus, wishy-washy

4. Morpheme-internal changes: make modifications in the morpheme
    man-men, foot-feet

New words
     kump --> kumps
     boz --> bozes
     sutas --> sutas? sutases?


character (visual unit) = morpheme
monosyllabic: syllable = morpheme

character = morpheme = syllable

Chinese words

Difficult to know when we are dealing with a word
1. Orthography does not give a clue
2. No clear stress pattern for words

Word formation in Chinese

1. Reduplication:
Kinship term: baba, mama, gege, jiejie
vivid description:
    angpang 'chubby chubby'
    mimi 'smile'
    haha 'laugh

2. Affixation: not productive
     -zi 'child'
     duzi 'stomach'
     yizi 'chair
     qizi 'wife'

3. Compounding: most productive
     daren 'big' + 'person' --> 'adult'
     daxiao 'big' + 'small' --> size
     gaodi 'high' + 'low'--> height