I'm new to Distributive Morphology and cannot find any resources of how to construct formative lists for morphemes. I know they're meant to be the feature bundles of the morphemes, but I don't really know anything else.

Anyway, what I'm trying to work out are the formative lists for the suffix "-ian" and "-ism". Some examples of words formed are:

magic > magician, Canada > Canadian

race > racism, manner > mannerism

One thing that I already know are that, "-ism" is a category selecting affix (it attaches to nouns in general) while "-ian" is a root selecting morpheme.

For "-ian", I question whether it even has feature bundles when it doesn't have a set rule for the kinds of things it attaches to and has a kind of idiosyncratic meaning. For "-ism", I struggle with what are the possible kinds of features I could be considering.

I don't want the answers, but I would really appreciate some hints to point me in the right direction.

  • 1
    This is pretty clearly a question about a theoretical analysis in DM, not an English Language learner's question. Not being a DM guy, I don't know the answer, but this is clearly on-topic.\ – user6726 Sep 27 '17 at 4:48
  • @user6726 Was this marked as off-topic before? – Cici Sep 27 '17 at 13:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.