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Inflectional Morphology

  • concerned with syntacitclaly driven word-formation
  • inflection deals with syntacically determined affixation processes while derivation is used to create new lexical items
  • in order to differentiate between inflection and derivation there is: obligatoriness, productivity and inflection is syntacically motivated
  • there are four morphological categories that characterise inflection: configurational (position and function), agreement (characteristic of another word/s), inherent (gender of a noun) and phrasal (entire syntactic phrase)
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Types of Inflection

  • word-formation that does not change category, does not create new lexemes
  • English has little inflection - lost a lot due to the stress system and the influence of other languages
  • inflection in English: number, case, tense, aspect, voice, regular and irregular inflection
  • inflection in other languages: number, person, possession, gender and noun class, case, tense, aspect, voice, mood and modality
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  • a matter of degree, some processes are productive whereas some are unproductive
  • subejct to the dimension of time
  • sem-productivity covers idiosyncratic affixes
  • sometimes referred to as creativity: rule-governed and rule-bending
  • blocking, caused by phonological, morphological, semantic and aesthetic factors, limit productivity due to the prior existence of another word with the same meaning
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Language Typology

  • studies the shared structural properties which languages have in common
  • study of differences between the structural patterns in languages
  • five morphological types: analytic - each morpheme as a word in isolation, no inflectional affixes (e.g. Chinese), aggluntinating - one-to-one matching of morphemes to morphs (e.g. Turkish), inflecting - several morphemes, but there is seldom a one-to-one matching of morphemes to morphs (e.g. Latin), incorporating - long words with extensive agglutination and inflection (e.g. Greenlandic Eskimo) and infixing - vowels in a root (e.g. Egyptian Arabic)
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Lexical Morphology

  • stratum 1: phonetically non-neutral, inflection and derivation, primary affixes, closer to the root, affect consonant or vowel segments or location of stress, changes shape of vowels or consonants, weak boundaries
  • stratum 2: phonetically neutral, derivation and compounding, secondary affixes, added on the outside, no phonological effect, same syllable receives the stress, base is unchanged, strong boundaries
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