Morphological structure of English word

This great topic considered the structure of English words includes many items. There are such as affixes, prefixes allomorphs etc. Morphology studies the internal structure of words. The notion of morpheme. Classification of suffixes and prefixes.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 24.01.2011
Размер файла 8,8 K

Отправить свою хорошую работу в базу знаний просто. Используйте форму, расположенную ниже

Студенты, аспиранты, молодые ученые, использующие базу знаний в своей учебе и работе, будут вам очень благодарны.

Размещено на

Министерство науки и высшего образования Российской федерации

Московский Авиационный Институ

Институт иностранных языков


на тему: Morphological structure of English word

Выполнил: Ерохин М.Д.



This great topic considered the structure of English words includes many items. There are such as affixes, prefixes allomorphs etc.

In this work I want to try to learn these important lexical meanings.

And I hope the material I gathered with help of Arnold's book and other internet material will be interested for readers and help them to understand English better.

So, fistful I want to begin from the defining the Morphology.

Morphology studies the internal structure of words

There are many words in English that are fairly obviously analyzable into smaller grammatical units. For example, the word "unacceptability" can be divided into un-, accept, abil-, and -ity (abil- being a variant of -able). Of these, at least three are minimal grammatical units, in the sense that they cannot be analyzed into yet smaller grammatical units--un-, abil-, and ity. The status of accept, from this point of view, is somewhat uncertain. Given the existence of such forms as accede and accuse, on the one hand, and of except, exceed, and excuse, on the other, one might be inclined to analyze accept into ac- (which might subsequently be recognized as a variant of ad-) and -cept. The question is left open. Minimal grammatical units like un-, abil-, and -ity are what Bloomfield called morphemes; he defined them in terms of the "partial phonetic-semantic resemblance" holding within sets of words. For example, "unacceptable," "untrue," and "ungracious" are phonetically (or, phonologically) similar as far as the first syllable is concerned and are similar in meaning in that each of them is negative by contrast with a corresponding positive adjective ("acceptable," "true," "gracious"). This "partial phonetic-semantic resemblance" is accounted for by noting that the words in question contain the same morpheme (namely, un-) and that this morpheme has a certain phonological form and a certain meaning.

Morphs that are in complementary distribution and represent the same morpheme are said to be allomorphs of that morpheme. For example, the regular plurals of English nouns are formed by adding one of three morphs on to the form of the singular: /s/, /z/, or /iz/ (in the corresponding written forms both /s/ and /z/ are written -s and /iz/ is written -es). Their distribution is determined by the following principle:

if the morph to which they are to be added ends in a "sibilant" sound (e.g., s, z, sh, ch), then the syllabic allomorph /iz/ is selected (e.g., fish-es /fis-iz/, match-es /mac-iz/);

Otherwise the nonsyllabic allomorphs are selected, the voiceless allomorph /s/ with morphs ending in a voiceless consonant (e.g., cat-s /kat-s/) and the voiced allomorph /z/ with morphs ending in a vowel or voiced consonant (e.g., flea-s /fli-z/, dog-s /dog-z/). These three allomorphs, it will be evident, are in complementary distribution, and the alternation between them is determined by the phonological structure of the preceding morph. Thus the choice is phonologically conditioned.

Morpheme morphology words english

In linguistics, the smallest grammatical unit of speech; it may be a word, like "place" or "an," or an element of a word, like re- and -ed in "reappeared." So-called isolating languages, such as Vietnamese, have a one-to-one correspondence of morphemes to words; i.e., no words contain more than one morpheme. Variants of a morpheme are called allomorphs; the ending -s, indicating plural in "cats," "dogs," the -es in "dishes," and the -en of "oxen" are all allomorphs of the plural morpheme. The word "talked" is represented by two morphemes, "talk" and the past-tense morpheme, here indicated by -ed. The study of words and morphemes is included in morphology.


Affixes, word elements attached to words, may either precede, as prefixes (do, undo; way, subway), or follow, as suffixes (do, doer; way, wayward). They may be native (overdo, waywardness), Greek (hyperbole, thesis), or Latin (supersede, pediment). Modern technologists greatly favour the neo-Hellenic prefixes macro-"long, large," micro- "small," para- "alongside," poly- "many," and the Latin mini-, with its antonym maxi-. Greek and Latin affixes have become so fully acclimatized that they can occur together in one and the same word, as, indeed, in "ac-climat-ize-d," just used, consisting of a Latin prefix plus a Greek stem plus a Greek suffix plus an English inflection. Suffixes are bound more closely than prefixes to the stems or root elements of words. Consider, for instance, the wide variety of agent suffixes in the nouns actor, artisan, dotard, engineer, financier, hireling, magistrate, merchant, scientist, secretary, songster, student, and worker. Suffixes may come to be attached to stems quite fortuitously, but, once attached, they are likely to be permanent. At the same time, one suffix can perform many functions. The suffix -er denotes the doer of the action in the words worker, driver, and hunter; the instrument in chopper, harvester, and roller; and the dweller in Icelander, Londoner. It refers to things or actions associated with the basic concept in the words breather, "pause to take breath"; diner, "dining car on a train"; and fiver, "five-pound note." In the terms disclaimer, misnomer, and rejoinder (all from French) the suffix denotes one single instance of the action expressed by the verb. Usage may prove capricious. Whereas a writer is a person, a typewriter is a machine. For some time a computer was both, but now, with the invention and extensive use of electronic apparatus, the word is no longer used of persons.


The combining from allo-from Greek allos `other' is used to denote elements of a group whose members together constitute a structural unit of the language (allophones, allomorphs). Thus, -ion/-tion/-sion/-ation/ are the positional variants of the same suffix. to show this they are taken together and separated by slight deference in sound form depending on the final phoneme of preceding stem.

An allomorphs is defined as a positional variant of a morpheme occurring in a specific environment and characterized by complementary distribution. Complementary distribution is said to take place when two linguistic variants cannot appear in the same environment. Thus, stems ending in consonants take as a rule -ation (liberation); stems ending in pt, however, take -tion (corruption) amd the final t becomes fused with the suffix.

Allomorph will also occur among prefixes. Their form then depends on the initials of the stem with which they will assimilate. A prefix such as im- occurs before bilabials (impossible), its allomorph ir- before r (irregular), il- before l (illegal). It is in- before all other consonants and vowels (indirect, inability)

In American linguistic allomorphs are treated on a purely semantic basis, so that not only [iz] in dishes, [z] in dreams and [s] in books, which are allomorphs in the sense given above, but also formally unrelated [эn] in oxen, the vowel modification in tooth:: teeth and zero suffix in many sheep are considered to be allomorphs of the same morpheme on the strength of the sameness of their grammatical meaning and become pure abstractions.


Classification of suffixes

There are different classifications of suffixes in a linguistic research. Affixes have been classified according to their origin, parts of speech they served form, frequency, productivity and other characteristics.

Within the parts of speech suffixes have been classified according to lexico-grammatical groups, and according to the types of stems they added to.

Noun-forming suffixes:

-age (bondage); -ant/-ent (disinfectant, student); -dom (kingdom, freedom);-ee (employee); er (writer); -ess (actress); -hood (manhood); -ness (tenderness); -ship (friendship) etc.

Adjective-forming suffixes:

-able/-ible/-uble (unbearable, audible, soluble); -al (formal); -ish(Irish, reddish); -ive (active); -less (useless); -like (lifelike); -ous/ious (trendous, curious); -some (tiresome) etc.

Numeral-forming suffixes:

-fold (twofold); -teen (fourteen); -th (seventh); -ty (sixty).

Verb-forming suffixes:

-ate (facilitate); -er (glimmer); -en (shorten); -ish (establish); -ize (equalize).

Adverb-forming suffixes:

-ly (coldly); -ward/-wards (upward, northwards); -wise (likewise).

A lexico-grammatical class may be defined as a class of lexical elements possessing the same lexico-grammatical meaning and a common system of forms in which the grammatical categories inherent in these units. Taking up nouns we can subdivide them into proper and common nouns. And Among common nouns we will distinguish personal names, names of other animate beings, abstract nouns and names of things.

Abstract nouns that are signaled by such suffixes as:

-age, -ance/-ence, -ancy/-ency,-dom,-hood,-ing, -ion/-tion/-ation, ism, ment,-ness,-ship, -th,-ty.

Personal nouns that are emotionally neutral occur with the following suffixes:

-an,(grammarian),-ant/-ent (servant), -arian (vegetarian); -ee (examinee); -er (porter); -ician (musician), ist (linguist); -ite (sybarite);, -or (inspector) etc.

But this classification should be accepted with caution. There may be other variants, however, whose different meaning will be signaled by a difference in distribution, and these will belong to some other lexico-grammatical class.


Derivational morphemes affixed before the stem are called prefixes. They modify the lexical meaning of stem, but in so doing they seldom effects its basic lexico-grammatical component. Therefore both the simple word and its prefixed derivative mostly belong to the same part of speech. The prefix mis-, for instance, when added to verb, conveys the meaning `wrongly', `badly', `unfavorably'; it does not suggest any other part of speech but the verb. Compare the following oppositions; behave:: misbehave, calculate:: miscalculate, inform:: misinform. These oppositions are strictly proportional semantically. There are may be other cases where the semantic relationship is slightly different, but the general the general lexico-grammatical7 meaning remains. giving:: misgiving `foreboding'

The semantic effect of a prefix may be termed adverbial because it modifies the idea suggested by the stem for manner, time, place, degree etc.

The examples below will prove it. It has been already shown that the prefix mis- is equivalent to the adverbs wrongly and badly, therefore by expressing evaluation it modifies the corresponding verbs for manner. The prefixes pre- and post- refer to time (historic:: prehistoric, pay:: prepay, view:: preview). The last word means to view a film or a play before it is submitted to the general public. Compare also: Graduate :: post graduate (about the course of study carried on after graduation). The prefix out- means `in manner that surpasses' : outlive (to live longer, outnumber (to exceed in number).

There are negative and non-negative classes of prefixes English words:

de-, dis-, in-/im-,/il/ ir-, un-.

The general idea of negation is expressed by dis-; it may mean `not', `away', `apart'. agree:: disagree (not to agree), appear:: disappear (reverse of appear). Non- is often used in abstract verbal nouns such as noninterference, nonsense, or nonresistance, and participles or former participles like noncommissioned (about an officer in the army below the rank of a commissioned officer).

Instead of conclusion

So, I tried to touch some items of great topic Morphological structure of English word. Certainly the number of material in my work is not enough to learn this item deeply in detail. But, my aim was just to run trough this topic paying attention on general in my mind points and examples. And I hope my work helped understand some items of this Great topic not only myself, but the readers and people whom I tell this `referat'. I think the beginners and maybe intermediate student may find something interesting here, that relieves them from reading very hard Arnold's book and may be help understand this book better.

Размещено на

Подобные документы

  • The morphological structure of a word. Morphemes. Types of morphemes. Allomorphs. Structural types of words. Principles of morphemic analysis. Derivational level of analysis. Stems. Types of stems. Derivational types of words.

    реферат [11,3 K], добавлен 11.01.2004

  • The structure of words and word-building. The semantic structure of words, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms. Word combinations and phraseology in modern English and Ukrainian languages. The Native Element, Borrowed Words, characteristics of the vocabulary.

    курс лекций [95,2 K], добавлен 05.12.2010

  • Study of different looks of linguists on an accentual structure in English. Analysis of nature of pressure of the English word as the phonetic phenomenon. Description of rhythmic tendency and functional aspect of types of pressure of the English word.

    курсовая работа [25,7 K], добавлен 05.01.2011

  • The concept of semasiology as a scientific discipline areas "Linguistics", its main objects of study. Identify the relationship sense with the sound forms, a concept referent, lexical meaning and the morphological structure of synonyms in English.

    реферат [22,2 K], добавлен 03.01.2011

  • The problems as the types of sentences in English, their construction, parts of the sentence. Structure of sentence, parts of the sentence. The development of transform grammar and tagmemic grammar. Semi-notional words connecting two words or clauses.

    курсовая работа [20,0 K], добавлен 07.07.2009

  • English stress is as a phenomenon. The nature of word stress and prominence. The placement of word stress. The questions of typology of accentual structure. Degrees of stress and rhythmical tendency. Practical analysis showing the types of stress.

    курсовая работа [48,8 K], добавлен 03.05.2015

  • Grammar in the Systemic Conception of Language. Morphemic Structure of the Word. Communicative Types of Sentences. Categorial Structure of the Word. Composite Sentence as a Polypredicative Construction. Grammatical Classes of Words. Sentence in the Text.

    учебное пособие [546,3 K], добавлен 03.10.2012

  • The development of Word Order. Types of syntactical relations words in the phrase, their development. The development of the composite sentence. The syntactic structure of English. New scope of syntactic distinctions and of new means of expressing them.

    лекция [22,3 K], добавлен 02.09.2011

  • The essence and distinctive features of word formation, affixation. The semantics of negative affixes and their comparative analysis. Place in the classification of morphemes, affixes and classification of negative affixes. Function of negative affixes.

    курсовая работа [34,7 K], добавлен 03.03.2011

  • Loan-words of English origin in Russian Language. Original Russian vocabulary. Borrowings in Russian language, assimilation of new words, stresses in loan-words. Loan words in English language. Periods of Russian words penetration into English language.

    курсовая работа [55,4 K], добавлен 16.04.2011

Работы в архивах красиво оформлены согласно требованиям ВУЗов и содержат рисунки, диаграммы, формулы и т.д.
PPT, PPTX и PDF-файлы представлены только в архивах.
Рекомендуем скачать работу.