The study of the structure and formation of words and their component parts, "morphemes".

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stem classes and the terms “fusional” / “inflectional”

I have seen both the word "fusional" and the words "inflectional"/"flectional" used as the counterparts of "agglutinative" when describing a morphological process. 1) Is there a distinction between ...
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13 views

Antonym of 'helper'? [migrated]

This is my question. If 'helper' means 'someone who helps', then what is 'someone who got helped'? Whom does the helper help? Is there any term to define it? Thanks!
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76 views

Assuming that passives need verbal morphology, which languages commonly said to have a passive do not actually count?

Among others, I recently read the passive definition by Martin Haspelmath (from THE GRAMMATICIZATION OF PASSIVE MORPHOLOGY, 1990), which states (page 26/27 of the book, the second/third page of the ...
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4answers
117 views

Are there languages that form noun singulars by adding suffixes to plurals, rather than vice versa?

In languages that express grammatical number in nouns with suffixes, usually there is either a suffix added to an unsuffixed singular to form the plural (cat—cats), or the suffix (or inflectional ...
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1answer
56 views

In languages with robust case systems, such as Latin, Russian, and Finnish, is there a case in which appositives commonly occur?

In English appositive constructions, noun phrases can be juxtaposed to convey the fact that they are co-referential. "I, Don Quixote," "John, the baker," "the art-object, a bronzed umbrella," and ...
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55 views

Constraints for the -er affix

I was doing my homework and got stuck with questions iii and iv. The book doesn't contain information regarding these two questions and I don't know what applies here. To me, it seems like: iii) ...
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1answer
69 views

Is “cran” still a cranberry morpheme, given Cran-Apple, crantini, etc.?

"Cran-" is the eponymous and archetypal "cranberry morpheme", which Wikipedia describes as "a type of bound morpheme that cannot be assigned an independent meaning or grammatical function, but ...
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24 views

are words more independent from syntax in non-analytical languages? Does this affect language processing?

When we think about the morphology and syntax, the debate arises. Even if they are protagonist parts of linguistic debates, and even if they are usually address separately, the importance of each ...
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98 views

Are there languages whose nouns have multiple cases but whose determiners and adjectives do not agree with the nouns in case?

In many languages that feature multiple cases for nouns, the determiners and attributive adjectives agree with their associated nouns for case, among other things. You can find examples of adjective ...
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49 views

Word classes reliant on phonological form?

1) Are there any documented languages in which a certain word class corresponds to a particular phonological structure? A. CVC(VC) = Noun In Polish, the word kot 'cat' (CVC) corresponds to a ...
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1answer
66 views

Can the prefix re- be added to nouns?

I am a little confused about what affix to add first to the stem "elect". The word is re-election. If I add the suffix -ion first, then it turns the verb into a noun. The affix 're-' attaches best to ...
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58 views

Is it common to analyze grammatically motivated vowel alternation as an occurence of discontinuous morphemes?

For example, are the triconsonantal roots in Arabic (like k-t-b --write) considered to be discontinuous morphemes? How about the English roots (s-ng -- sing, sang, sung, song) and (beg-n -- begin, ...
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1answer
143 views

What is the morpheme that marks a question called?

When languages have a morpheme attached to the word that makes it a question, such as a suffix, is this called a question suffix, an interrogative, suffix, etc? I don't have much experience in ...
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5answers
173 views

Can present tense be more marked?

Are there languages that overtly mark present tense, rather than future/past? In other words, is the present ever more marked? There doesn't seem to be a way to search for it in WALS, unfortunately.
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75 views

How many bases does a compound word have?

How many bases does the word girlfriends have? Let's take this word apart. girl -- root friend -- root s -- affix that denotes plural form Base may be identical with the word root but can also ...
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4answers
98 views

Any world languages having multiple-letter-based or single-ideogram-based syllables where three or more consecutive syllables of any word repeat?

My question is related to this interesting question, but instead of looking for letters within words which happen to appear repeated three or more times in a row, I'm looking for consecutive identical ...
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175 views

Are different “aspects” of a Polish verb the same lexeme or different lexemes?

Polish verbs have two "aspects", imperfective and perfective, which means you use a different word depending on whether the activity you're describing is ongoing or habitual, or if it's definite or ...
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1answer
104 views

Can every language express any lexical aspect?

Wikipedia tells about the difference and relation between lexical aspect and grammatical aspect. Whereas the lexical aspect is a specific way to put focus onto how to observe an event on a semantic ...
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3answers
121 views

What is an affix called that is interlocked?

Wikipedia mentions 4 subgroups of affixes: prefix, the affix is in front of the word suffix, the affix is behind the word infix, the affix is within the word circumfix, the afix is separated into ...
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1answer
107 views

L1 acquisition of morphology in heavily inflected languages

It is very common to hear two- and three-year-olds in English saying "I falled down," "She gived me it," etc. And the frequency of a verb form is inversely related to the age at which one is likely to ...
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0answers
95 views

What is the difference between case marking particles and adpositions?

Apparently there is some relevant book which claims, more or less: Case marking particles and adpositions are not identical, one is a morphological, one a syntactic unit. This claim was heard ...
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2answers
105 views

How many levels to approach language exist in linguistics?

I know only a few,like semantic level to approach its very meaning, the morphology level to understand how single words are build, syntax level to understand the inner structure of sentences. I ...
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1answer
160 views

Order of derivational and inflectional affixes

I saw the following formula on Wikipedia: morpheme + derivational morphemes + desinence (inflectional morphemes) followed immediately by the comment not not necessarily in this order. But all the ...
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226 views

why do in japanese phonetically and morphologically simple words like ついつい express semantically complex concepts like “unintentionally”? [closed]

in order to express an idea like "against one 's better judgement" one would have to use, for instance in English or German more complicated words with respect to their phonetic and morphology: ...
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368 views

Why do neuter nominative and accusative always agree in IE languages?

The question that I have is a simple one. Of every neuter noun, pronoun, or adjective, in any IE language (as far as I know), the nominative and accusative cases agree in all numbers. Why is this? ...
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218 views

NLP conversion between parts of speech and pertainyms?

I would like to write a program that can automatically group e.g. 'happiness', 'happily', 'happy' into 'happy': What do I need to read to get a handle on this subject? What is it called? What is the ...
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1answer
91 views

Is there an estimate for the typical number of morphemes in natural language?

Martinet's "double articulation of language": With phonemes we build morphemes, and with morphemes, words. I'd like to get a sense of how productive are these combinations: With only a few phonemes ...
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1answer
138 views

Can a language have both nominative/accusative and ergative/absolutive syntactic systems in its syntactic structure?

These examples are from Kui, a Trans New Guinean language spoken on Alor island, Indonesia. (1) nya yai umasingin u=ga=sam u=ga=bur=i. 1pl.Sub v. n. ...
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2answers
137 views

Word elements relating to ancient deities [closed]

Are there word elements, including suffixes, from Old English or other languages that have been linked to their ancient deities and the people that served them, to which these elements are still in ...
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1answer
160 views

Nouns and Interrogative Complements

In English, there are many different verbs which can combine with clausal complements. These verbs can be further sub-categorised as to whether they embed a propositional that-clause, or an embedded ...
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1answer
80 views

Looking for a Morphology Database

This is my first StackExchange post, so please let me know if I need to add additional information. I am looking for a comprehensive database that has words broken down by their morphology. For ...
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40 views

What's the term for N-PP expressions such as “lady-in-waiting”?

Does anyone know or can suggest a term for the following expressions: lady-in-waiting brother-in-law sergent-at-arms bride-to-be etc. Expressions like those above are special for (at ...
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3answers
974 views

The suffix -er in English: Why is this derivational?

A typical charactersitic of inflectional suffixes is that they are productive (can occur on many words) and obligatory (are required by virtue of certain grammatical constraints). Simplistic though ...
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2answers
94 views

Is this nominal suffix more inflectional or derivational?

So, I'm working on this conlang as part of my work and the deliverable is a simple grammar. To facilitate reference, I've divided up the suffixes between inflectional and derivational forms. But of ...
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1answer
139 views

What sort of morpheme is this suffix meaning ‘about'?

Some background: This is a conlang that I'm developing as part of my job. It's a difficult task, but I want to make it as realistic as possible. I have to make a detailed grammar so that other ...
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125 views

What to call the content of pronouns

English and most Indo-European languages have gender-based pronouns, it can be seen he (3SG: +masculine) or she (3SG: +feminine) in English. Some other languages do not have gender-based pronouns but ...
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149 views

Is there any fusional language where pronouns and nouns share the same declension?

Some analytic languages sometimes use the same prepositions for nouns and pronouns,e.g. 'I'm proud OF him' vs. 'I'm proud OF his book'. Agglutinative languages may use the same affix for nouns and ...
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1answer
109 views

Evidentiality: Aspect or Modality?

I was curious about evidentiality. In Turkish, evidentiality can be seen as {-mIş} suffix, but English does not have any suffix to express. Take a look at this sentence: Babası ona yeni ayakkabı ...
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1answer
392 views

Is it possible for a language to have both left-headed and right-headed compounds?

Is it possible for a language to have both left-headed and right-headed compounds? And can one please explain this with examples and with the use of linguistic reasoning based on morphology?
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1answer
62 views

Anomalous forms of Hebrew roots with final y

Hebrew triliteral roots whose final consonant is y have an anomalous conjugation in most templates. Why is this? Specifically: It is only in the passive participle template CaCuC, as far as I can ...
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175 views

What is known or believed about the origin of Semitic-type root-and-template morphology?

How does nonconcatenative morphology of the Semitic type (consonantal roots, vocalic templates + affixes) arise diachronically? It's pretty easy to see how a nonconcatenative inflectional system ...
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142 views

Plural formation in Bulgarian

How could you analyze the formation of the plural below? Singular - Plural teatər - teatri - theater bobər - bobri - beaver pesen - pesni - song psalom - psalmi - psalm bancik - bancigi - ...
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3answers
167 views

non-concatenative morphology in written arabic?

How could you explain or analyze these written Arabic from the non-concatenative morphology point of view? These verbs are derived from nouns. bakkala (to buckle) bukla (buckle) tilifu:n ...
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3answers
189 views

Across agglutinative languages are there tendencies for morphemes to occur in certain orders?

In agglutinative languages there are normally roots for nouns and/or verbs that can have multiple morphemes attached as affixes, following certain rules, to add information such as tense, aspect, ...
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Is feminine ending in -a a native feature of Semitic languages?

It seems to me that many Arabic female names are ending in -a: Fatima, Yamina, Aisha, Aziza. Is this a modern innovation imported from Indo-European languages or a native feature? Also I wonder about ...
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774 views

How does Morphology apply to reading and teaching English Language Learners how to read?

I am not sure if I am answering the question correctly can anyone please comment. Morphology is the study of words. It deals with understanding of word parts (morphemes). To facilitate student’s ...
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1answer
119 views

Does the classification of languages “agglutinating” concern itself with inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, or both?

I had always thought that the terms "agglutinative" and "agglutination" referred to the typology of the inflection in a language. But on another question here there seem to be a number of comments ...
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1answer
66 views

Do any natural languages have phrase-coordinators that surround their coordinands?

For those who came in late, there are such things as discontinuous morphemes, i.e. single morphemes that are interrupted by other morphemes. Note this example from this SIL link: ...
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Across languages that have adjectives, what are the most common grammatical inflections for adjectives?

Not all languages have adjectives; some use adjectival nouns ("red.one" instead of "red") and/or stative verbs ("be.red" instead of "red"). Among languages that have adjectives, not all allow ...
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2answers
219 views

What's the difference between suppletion and irregular inflection?

I've been using the two terms interchangeably. One of my assignments is asking me to identify cases of both suppletion and irregular inflection. I've been going over course notes/google to no ...