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ENG 402 Structure of English

JHONATHAN S. CADAVIDO January 30, 2016


PhD in English FELIXBERTO MERCADO, PhD

MORPHOLOGY
(Exercises)

1. List the morphemes that make up the following Spanish words, and assign a
meaning to each morpheme. (For example, the meaning of {re} in rewrite and
reenter might be perform an action again.)

Spanish English Morpheme Meaning


tio uncle -o masculine
muchacha girl -a feminine
abuela grandmother -a feminine
nieto grandson -o masculine
hermana sister -a feminine
hermano brother -o masculine
abuelo grandfather -o masculine
nieta granddaughter -a feminine
tia aunt -a feminine
muchacho boy -o masculine

2. Divide the following words into morphemes. For each morpheme, identify the
type (lexical or grammatical, free or bound, prefix or suffix, inflectional or
derivational), where applicable.

Lexical or Free or Prefix or Inflectional or


Grammatical Bound Suffix Derivational
(a) restate re- (bound)
lexical prefix derivational
state (free)
(b) strongest strong (free)
lexical suffix inflectional
-est (bound)
(c) actively act (free)
lexical -ive- (bound) suffix derivational
-ly (bound
(d) precede pre- (bound)
lexical prefix inflectional
cede (free)

3. Give an example (other than one in this chapter) which illustrates the principle
that in English the plural inflection attaches to nouns and the possessive
inflection attaches to noun phrase. (Hint: You will need an NP containing a head
N such that the boundaries of the NP and the N are not the same.)
4. State the morphological principle that each of the following forms violates.

(a) cupsful for cupfuls Cupsful is considered erroneous as it is a


violation of the principle governing the
order of suffixes. The proper order should
have been:

{cup} + {ful} + {PLU} = cupfuls

Instead of

{cup} + {PLU} + {ful} = cupsful


(b) loveding for loved or loving It violates the principle of the number of
allowable affixes as no more than one
inflectional morpheme can be affixed to a
particular syntactic category. Meaning,
{PAST PART} and {PRES PART} cannot
go together in a particular free morpheme
{LOVE}; thus, making loveding erroneous
as it both contains two inflectional
morphemes which must be separated as
in:

{love} + {PAST PART} = loved

and

{love} + {PRES PART} = loving


(c) photographser for photographers It also violates the principle governing the
order of suffixes. The proper order should
have been:

{photograph} + {er} + {PLU} =


photographers

Instead of

{photograph} + {PLU} + {er} =


photographser
(d) two coffee blacks for two coffees black This violates the principle of pluralizing the
head N. As in this case, the head N is
coffee, so this N should be the one to be
pluralized as in:

{two} + {coffee} + {PLU} + {black} for two


coffees black

Instead of

{two} + {coffee} + {black} + {PLU} for two


coffee blacks

5. What kind of evidence could be used to argue that action and package each
contain two morphemes: {act} + {ion} and {pack} + {age}? (Hint: A morpheme can
appear independently in other words.)

In this context, action and package are two words which both composed of two
morphemes for each construction. Meaning, action is composed of {act} + {ion}.
Act (something done) as a morpheme can have its own meaning while ion (group
of atoms) can also have a meaning of its own.

In addition, package is also composed of two morphemes such as {pack} + {age}.


Pack (a container) as a morpheme has a meaning of its own while age (length of
existence) has also its independent.

In the given contexts, when those morphemes are combined they create new set
of words with its own distinct meaning which carries or relates to the meanings of
the first words.

6. What kind of evidence could be used to argue that {age} in package is a


derivational morpheme?

Age in package is a derivational morpheme. The suffix {age} attaches to a noun


and turns into the corresponding noun as in package. It also does not suffice the
categories of inflectional morpheme (as in plural, possessive, comparative,
superlative, present, past, past participle and present participle). The category of
age as in package is an example of derivational morpheme. It also turns to
produce another meaning due to the attachment of age to pack leading to
package.