Download e-book for kindle: An Introduction to English Morphology (Edinburgh Textbooks by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

ISBN-10: 0748613277

ISBN-13: 9780748613274

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 results of those assorted techniques to phrases in English. He explains a few of the ways that phrases are concerning each other, and exhibits how the historical past of the English language has affected notice constitution. issues contain: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a notice and its components (roots and affixes); a observe and its kinds (inflection); a notice and its family (derivation); compound phrases; observe constitution; productiveness; and the old resources of English observe formation.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to English Morphology (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language)

Sample text

How are the plurals of most English nouns formed? If one compares cats, dogs and horses with cat, dog and horse respectively, the obvious answer is: ‘by adding -s’. But English spelling is notoriously unreliable as a guide to pronunciation. In fact, this -s suffix has three allomorphs: [s] (as in cats or lamps), [z] (as in dogs or days), and [z] or [əz] (as in horses or judges). Is it, then, that everyone learning English, whether natively or as a second language, must learn individually for each noun which of the three allomorphs is used in its plural form?

But does it follow that all the word forms of a lexeme must always share the same root morpheme? Does it ever happen that two word forms that behave grammatically like forms of one lexeme look so dissimilar that they seem to have no root morpheme in common (at least if ‘morpheme’ is given its more concrete sense)? The answer is yes, but seldom (at least in English). Consider the lexeme . Because it is a verb, we expect it to have a past tense form, and this expectation is not disappointed. Surprisingly, however, what functions as the past tense form, namely went, is phonologically quite dissimilar to the verb’s other forms go, goes, going and gone.

Equally, told in (2) is the past tense form of the verb , and pianists in (9) is the plural form of the lexeme . Being abstract in this sense, a lexeme is not strictly speaking something that can be uttered or pronounced; only the word forms that belong to it can be. ) The most straightforward way to define the term word form is to tie it so closely to pronunciation that pronunciation is its sole criterion: two 02 pages 001-152 18/10/01 3:43 pm Page 31 A WORD AND ITS FORMS : INFLECTION 31 word forms are the same if and only if they are pronounced the same, or are homophonous.

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An Introduction to English Morphology (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language) by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

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