Questions tagged [morphology]

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

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“Romanticism” in different languages

I noticed that "Romanticism" in French is "romantisme," contrary to my guess of "romanticisme." I was curious how other the word was spelled in other European languages. Similar to English ("icism") ...
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Is the use of the present participle verb form as adjectives or subjects or objects an example of conversion (a.k.a. zero-derivation)?

This is a pretty straight forward question. But here are some examples: Baking is my hobby. (used as a subject thing, or as some would call it, a gerund or verbal noun) I will be a contestant ...
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What is the name for a placename that contains what the thing is in a different language?

For example Mount Maunganui. In Māori maunganui means "large mountain" and thus when literally translated into English it means "Mount Large Mountain". Another example would be the river Avon. In ...
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How can we call a word that matches a few criteria in the question?

What fits the criteria: ah, okay, good, better, best, green, child, children, student, to study, slow What does not fit the criteria: greener, greenest, students, studying, studied, slow down Why: ...
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How definitive are “patterns” in grammar across languages?

So when you learn a new language from English like Spanish in school, they make it seem like "hey there's these clear patterns and rules once learned you'll master spanish". So you learn the verb ...
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Is there a database of literal linguistic glosses across languages or per language?

I would like to compare different sentence structures and would like to look up sentence glosses quickly. Are there any databases out there, either for all languages or for individual languages? In ...
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How do languages express multiple simultaneous applicatives?

Some languages use an applicative voice construction exclusively for certain meanings. Applicatives may also be the only way of expressing such roles, as in the Bantu Chaga languages, where ...
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Can I form a morphological condition like this?

I am pretty new to this site. I have a question about setting up a morphological condition. eg. In a language, we see a pattern that consonant-ending as well as ə-ending words are pluralized with a ...
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What's the difference between lexeme and lexical item?

While studying An Introduction to English Morphology by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, came across this fragment. Section 2.1 pointed out that we tend to think of words as possessing two ...
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492 views

Is the concept of grammatical function related to inflexion?

Studying the book Understanding Morphology by Martin Haspelmath, arrived at this fragment. The importance of the latter part of the definition is seen in paradigms like insula. Although there are ...
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Lexeme phonological form

I am self-studying morphology and came across this paragraph in Martin Haspelmath book "Understanding Morphology". Although we must assign names to lexemes to be able to talk about them, lexemes ...
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Why is the word “idiot” so similar between multiple languages?

Weird question, granted, but I was just looking around on Google Translate and I noticed that the word "idiot" is basically the same across quite a few languages, here are a few examples: Italian: ...
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Is there a modification of Bloomfield's (1926) definition of a word that would include function words?

Bloomfield (1926) defined a word as the following: A form which may be uttered alone (with meaning) but cannot be analyzed into parts that may (all of them) be uttered alone (with meaning) (p. 156) ...
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Grammatical category definition

Can anyone provide a good formal definition of the notion of grammatical category? I am primarily referring to morphological categories, such as case, tense, gender etc., rather than to syntactical ...
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Grammatical case vs semantic case

I'm not sure what these terms mean. In my lecture notes I wrote that grammatical case is used to show the syntactic functions of a nominal syntagm, depending on its relation to the verb. Semantic case,...
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morphology and ill-formed sentences

Can we say that ungrammatical strings are still part of the English language? Like for example Joe sleep not last night.
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146 views

Is there such thing as a 'half-plural'?

If yes, does any language have this feature? By 'half-plural' I mean, somewhere between singular and plural, but not dual, trial, or quadral.
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At what point did the feminine ending fall silent in Semitic languages?

Hebrew and Arabic both mark feminine nouns with a final consonant in writing, which is pronounced /t/ in certain sandhi-conditioned environments (and is otherwise silent). From what little I know of ...
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What natural symbolic representations could be used for Mathematical constants?

We know mathematics is a language by itself. But to evoke any constants or any arbitrary values as such to solve anything, prior knowledge of a particular symbol and its usage must be understood. ...
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Do reborrowings and neologisms statistically help the communicative function of the languages or do the cause more confusion?

Rephrasing do reborrowings and neologisms help or bedim the communications? I am making the distinction of instantaneous or contemporary communications(especialy for scientific use and social) and ...
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Do other languages have an “irreversible aspect”?

Like many languages, Lingála combines tense, aspect, and mood into a single TAM marking. Three of these TAMs pertain to the past: a-kɛnd-ákí "he left earlier today" (hodiernal/recent past) a-kɛnd-áká ...
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Does Jespersen's Cycle apply to languages without negative concord?

In this comment, Rethliopuks mentioned something I'd never really connected in my head before. [Negative concord] is standard in plenty of languages around the world, incl[uding] most Romance ...
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Criteria for judging allomorphs and different morphemes?

I read in Crystal, D. (2008) that “Some morphemes...are realized by more than one morph according to their position in a word or sentence, such alternative morphs [are] called allomorphs” (p.313), and ...
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Historical morphology of Italian nouns from Latin 3rd declension

Italian is commonly analysed as inheriting the nominative forms of nouns from Vulgar Latin, instead of the accusative ones. But what happened to 3rd declension nouns? It looks like for the majority ...
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232 views

Dissatisfaction

I am having a difficult time drawing the chart for the word "dissatisfaction". "Action" is not a suffix, so if you would combine satisf(y) + action to get "satisfaction", you would have two roots. ...
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Is morphology always attributable to phonological processes?

I am wondering if you can justify the development of most/all morphemes to regular phonological processes if you argue that diachronically those environments existed and have just been lost in modern ...
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Theories that can predict the spelling and pronunciation of complex words

Are there theories that can predict, at least for modern English, how a complex word will be realised phonologically and graphically i.e. how it will be pronounced and spelled, given the spelling and ...
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60 views

Statistic for root-efficiency in languages

In Esperanto you can construct many new words from a relatively low number of root-word. Example, with from arbo (tree) and aro (set) you can build arbaro (forest). My question is three folded: What ...
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Is *grandmother* a compound?

"Grand is used in a specialized sense in kin terms like grandmother or grandson to indicate a further degree of lineal distance beyond that expressed in the head. Such forms can themselves be modified ...
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How do I gloss a Semitic verb?

"Standard" glossing (following the Leipzig rules) uses a linear model of breaking down words into morphemes. In other words, it assumes you can draw lines between all the morphemes to separate them. ...
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What does 3MPL refer to?

" b. Ha-yeladim kul-am zarku ʔavanim. the children all-3MPL threw stones ‘The children all threw stones." In this example, what does '3MPL' mean?
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Is Haitian Creole morphology fusional?

There are conflicting views regarding how Haitian Creole is classified in relation to its lexifier--French. I am trying to give a good description of Haitian Creole in terms of its morphology. Is ...
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How to record differences in irregular morphemes

Sometimes the spelling of a morpheme changes depending on how it's inflected. For example in English, hat sometimes needs an extra "t", and hate sometimes needs its "e" removed. Inflections of hat (...
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Why is “index” as a noun pluralized as “indices” while the present tense verb is “indexes”? [closed]

What is the reason behind this? Do the noun and the verb have different derivations?
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What’s the standard way to gloss a morpheme that provides subject, object and tense?

If there a Leipzig standard to gloss a suffix like “1st person subject, second person object, past tense” My best guess is 1.S.2.O.Past And then what if it’s first person exclusive 1.EXCL.S....
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50 views

Synthetic fusional morphology

Are there other languages, apart from those in the indo-european and semitic language families, that have synthetic-fusional morphologies? It seems that the synthetic-agglutinative morphologies are ...
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Identify the status of the word-final -s

I don't understand this question, but we have to classify if each word-final -s or -er is not a suffix or if it is an inflectional or derivational suffix. I specifically don't understand the wording "...
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Examples of words that are monomorphemic in English, but polymorphemic in other languages

I'm looking for words that are monomorphemic in English – preferably basic words describing things in nature such as star, water, tree, grass, etc. – but polymorphemic in other languages. It would be ...
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Are the hebrew prefix letters (משה וכלב) considered a form of agglutination?

An example of this letters can be seen in the word וכשלהתמרמרויותינו where the וכש at start mean "and during to" (the entire word means "and during to our grumblings).
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Morphology to generate hyponyms or hypernyms

Is there a natural/constructed language which allows us to express hyponyms from hypernyms or hypernyms to hyponyms. For example, pigeon to bird or bird to pigeon, both don't have any relation to them ...
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How common is the “elliptical dual” (or plural) cross-linguistically?

This question on Latin.SE asks about the "elliptical dual", a construction where the dual number doesn't mean "two X" but instead "X and one other". For example, in the Iliad, Aíant-e Ajax-DUAL means ...
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Morphophonology of changing adjectives to nouns

I’m a freshman who is taking Introduction to Language classes at my college. I’m struggling to answer a question but my mind gets confused. My question is: When the word “secret” becomes another word ...
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123 views

In what ways did the Insular Indic languages morphologically diverge from Maharashthri Prakrit?

Maharashtri Prakrit is the antecedent southern zone language to all insular Indic languages. What are some characteristics, morphologically speaking, which differentiate these insular languages from ...
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Language where negation is the default

I was wondering how in English we say "I can" and "I can not" the negative is the longer one, in terms of morphemes, but is there any language where the negative is the default and the positive is ...
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Are there any languages which inflect the noun for morphosyntactic categories normally reserved for verbs (e.g. tense, aspect, etc.)?

In English (for example), we say "I go/went/was going/etc.", inflecting the verb for tense and aspect while leaving the subject of the sentence unchanged. But are there any languages that would ...
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Algorithm for identifying “secondary roots”

In machine learning on text data (aka natural language processing), it's common to apply a stemming or lemmatization algorithm to the text. However, sometimes you want to go a step further. For ...
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Example of language with lots of agglutination/fusion/inflection without a lot of regularity

Wondering what a good example language is where, when you combine "prefixes" or "suffixes" to a base, it (a) changes the phonetic form of the word in certain places, and (b) this specific pattern only ...
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Other languages like English whose orthography is “not quite” phonetic

Most languages it seems are pretty much phonetic. (I'm only focusing on alphabet languages, so not Chinese for example). From what I've seen, Spanish is phonetic, Cherokee too, Finnish, Inuktitut, and ...
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Languages without orthographic stress marks that still have words that differ based on stress

Wondering about languages with stress that don't mark it orthographically. For example, the only two languages I know of that actually mark stress are Ancient Greek and Spanish. It seems that marking ...
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References to languages lacking morphology in scientific literature

Are there any references of natural languages lacking morphology in the scientific literature? I suppose there should be, given the topic's importance and the popular opinion on this, but so far all I'...