Linguistics Forum
LINGUISTICS Forum Index » Morphology Forum » Morphology Tree help!!!
The time now is Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:18 pm

Reply to topic

 
View previous topic :: View next topic
Author Message
sarah_ol



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: de
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:32 pm
Post subject: Morphology Tree help!!!
Reply with quote

Hi there,

I have got a question: I have to build a morphology tree for the following wird: inconceivability

I indicated "conceive" as the root. And I also know which morphemes are bound and which of them are free. But I recognized that there are two ways to arrange the knots.
I have to give an answer in a take home task, so is it possible to paint two trees??
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
lx
Chomsky


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 2705
Location: UK
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:22 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

When you have multiple bound derivational morphemes, and they can combine freely to create existing words in English there is almost always a different amount of ways to make the tree.

I've just been practicing an exam paper and one of the questions was about "unmanliness", and in there I indicated two possible trees, because there are two bound morphemes (un / ness) which are both bound.

So "manly" is the root, and can attach "ness" to create "manliness" (which exists) and then add the negative bound morpheme "un" to the front to make "unmanliness" (which exists).

However "many" can also combine with the negative prefix "un" first to create the adjective "unmanly" and then combine with the derivational suffix "ness" to create the overall noun "unmanliness".

Your word (inconceivability) consists of:

in (bound)
conceive (free)
able (bound)
ity (bound)

So first of all let's play around and see what can be combined with what:

inconceive <- No.
conceivity <- No.
conceivable <- Yes

So "conceive" and "able" have to connect first.
Then let's test from this stage onwards.

In + conceivable = inconceivable <- Yes.
conceivable + ity = conceivability <- Yes.

So now the tree can add "ity" to "inconceivable" to make "inconceivability"
It can also "in" to "conceivability" to make "inconceivability"

So there are two possible ways to make the tree:

[noun [adj [affix in] [adj [verb conceive] [affix able]]] [affix ity]]

img:http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/9254/syntaxtree8.png

OR:

[noun [affix in] [noun [adj [verb conceive] [affix able]] [affix ity]]]

img:http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/3639/syntaxtree9.png

Is that clear?

As you can see, like I said before, "conceive" and "able" have to connect first, so they are the same in both examples, the only difference between them is what order "ity" and "in" connect to the rest of the tree structure, they can be added in both ways and at all times you have a correctly formed word of English.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
sarah_ol



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: de
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:35 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

hey,
thank you so much for your answer!!! I do really understand what you mean. After working a while on it today, I deliberated if the word "conceive" can also be splitted. So that the word "con" is treated as a prefix and the word "ceive" as a bound root, because there do exist other words like "perceive" or "deceive" or "receive". Is it possible?

in con ceive able ity

And I also thought that "able" is a free morpheme... isn't it an adjective we can freely use?

I haven't understood everything in class. I'm an english student from Germany Smile Hope you can help me.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
lx
Chomsky


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 2705
Location: UK
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:53 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Quote: After working a while on it today, I deliberated if the word "conceive" can also be splitted. So that the word "con" is treated as a prefix and the word "ceive" as a bound root, because there do exist other words like "perceive" or "deceive" or "receive". Is it possible?


This is true of a lot of Latin loans into English.
As English speakers don't (generally) have a working knowledge of what these parts mean (i.e. con) they aren't considered to consist of two morphemes, only one.

Maybe when in Latin the speakers knew what 'con' meant and how it related to 'conceive', it's possible it was two morphemes then, but words get reanalysed and this is now one morpheme in English.

I'll try to think of an example with German.
Ok I've got one.

In Linguistics we often talk about a sprachbund which (as you know) is a German word. It is of German origin but as it's a very well known term it's also now an English word (i.e. a word used by English speakers, not belonging exclusively to German).

"Sprachbund" is one morpheme in English.
English speakers (that don't know German) don't know how to break this word down into a smaller word while still having something that makes sense. However, in German it is two morphemes, "Sprach" (language) and "bund" (bundle/grouping), so one word doesn't have the same status across languages.

This is the reason why Latin words, that are formed with multiple Latin morphemes, aren't normally seen as being able to split up. So "condemn" is one word, "con" (i.e. prefix usage) is not something that makes sense by itself, and neither is "demn".

The same is true of words like repeat, although people know what re- means, peat isn't a word by itself so this word is one morpheme. However in "regain" it's two morphemes because "re" is an understandable morpheme (i.e. again) and "gain" makes sense, too.

Perceive, deceive and receive are all one morpheme in English.

Quote: And I also thought that "able" is a free morpheme... isn't it an adjective we can freely use?


'Able' (adjective) meaning 'capable' etc, is a very different word from the morpheme 'able' that is on the end of words like 'vulnerable', 'watchable'.

They aren't the same, they are just spelled and pronounced the same (very confusing I know). It's like 'bank' (financial institution) and 'bank' (at the side of the river). They have the same pronunciation and the same spelling, but they are two very different words.

The same (as I've already mentioned in this post) goes for 'con', in the sense of a trick "i.e. to con someone", this is spelled and pronounced the same as the bound morpheme of Latin origin. Two different words.

Sometimes words are lost from a language, and one version becomes fossilised. For example, in English we have the word ruthless (rücksichtslos, I think). "less" is productive in English because if we look at:

Hairless

We can see that it consists of "hair" and "less" and is two morphemes. However we no longer have the word "ruth" in our language, it was originally spelled "reuth" and had another counterpart "ruthful" (opposite of 'ruthless') but only the -less version remains. This means even though we can see and understand what "less" means as a morpheme, to split it up would mean to have "ruth" by itself, which is not a meaningful unit in English anymore so the whole word "ruthless" cannot be shortened and is one morpheme.

Some people call these "Cranberry" morphemes, because "berry" makes sense, but nobody knows what "cran" means, so it is one morpheme.

If you've got any more questions, just ask.

p.s the past participle of split is ... split, not splitted Cool
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
sarah_ol



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: de
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:28 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Awesome!! Thank you so much for your help and the time you took to reply to my questions!!
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
sarah_ol



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: de
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:28 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

and here comes another question.

I have to find out which of the morphs are allomorphs. I think that "abil" is an allomorph of "able". Now some students from my group say that "in" and "ity" are also allomorphs. Why? They say, because "ity" changes the wordclass and "in" changes the whole wordmeaning.
I don't understand the meaning of an allomorph even more. Isn't an allomorph a variation of a morpheme? (so aren't then the whole words like "inconceivable" and "conceivability" and "inconceivabilty" the allomorphs?")

Another question, In the case "produce" and "production": is the whole word "production" an allomorph of produce or ist just a smaller part of the word an allomorph? Same case with "take" and "took". Is "took" the whole allomorph or only the vowels "oo" ?
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
lx
Chomsky


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 2705
Location: UK
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:08 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

An allomorph is a variant of a morpheme, so before you start looking for allomorphs, you need to have a clear idea in your head of what the function of the morpheme is.

So, with the idea of "making past tense", there is one morpheme in English. This morpheme has many variants, so that [t] at the end of a word makes it past tense, [d] at the end of other verbs makes it past tense, [SCHWA + d] at the end of other verbs makes past tense.

These all make past tense, but they make it in predictable ways, if the end of the verb is a sibilant, then you add SCHWA + d, if it's not a sibilant but voiceless, you add [t], and if it's not a sibilant but voiced, then you add [d].

These are 3 allomorphs of the same morpheme.
The "morpheme" is "make past tense".

These are the easier examples, and in a word like "took" it's less easy to understand, but not too difficult. "took" has two morphemes, "take" + past tense ending, but the past tense ending has changed the other morpheme, so the meaningful units (morphemes) are that it is the verb "take", and it is in the past tense. These morphemes aren't really something you can write out, because it's more to see an effect they have on some strong verbs.

So if you look at the morpheme "able", first you need to get its function, which is to create an adjective from the first part of the stem to make it an adjective that means "possible to do something", then before "ity", which is a different morpheme, it comes up in a new form "abil", which is very predictable.

"In" by itself is not an allomorph, you need to state its function, because I don't know what you're talking about by just using 'in'.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
sarah_ol



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: de
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:55 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

so if "able" is an allomorph of changing the word conceive to an adjective, and "ity" is an allomorph of changing the word to a noun: is "in" then an allomorph of changing the wordmeaning into its negative form?

I'm afraid that I haven't really got yet what an allomorph is.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
lx
Chomsky


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 2705
Location: UK
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:19 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Quote: is "in" then an allomorph of changing the wordmeaning into its negative form?


Ohh you were talking about the prefix 'in', the negative prefix.
Okay, I think we should try and think of a different example.

Let's think of a language that doesn't exist, we'll call it Martian (the language they speak on Mars). On Mars they have nouns but nouns can end in 4 sounds, [k], [p], [s] and [v].

So you have:

Kyrtk (dog)
Gfghp (cat)
Hjehrs (pig)
Iobhv (horse)

Right, so what happens when you want to say there is 2 of them? And what happens when you want to say there is 5 of them.

2 morphemes (which are defined by meaning).

1) to add an affix to show there are 2 of them (aka, apa, asa, ava)
2) to add an affix to show there are 5 of them (uku, upu, usu, uvu)

Ok so there are 2 morphemes here.
But in Martian, you don't apply the same affix to all of the words, so if you don't have this for all of them, and we want to say 2 <animal> "i.e. 2 dogs, 2 cats), it's not the same for all of them

Kyrtkaka (2 dogs) CORRECT
Gfghpaka (2 cats) WRONG
Hjehrsaka (2 pigs) WRONG
Iobhvaka (2 horses) WRONG

So the morpheme is "specify 2", that's what it is, but it comes in 4 forms, depending on the ending of the word. So you can't say that "aka" is a dual morpheme (to make 2 of each animal), because there is also 'apa', 'asa' and 'ava'.

To do it correctly it'd be:

Kyrtkaka (2 dogs) CORRECT
Gfghpapa (2 cats) CORRECT
Hjehrsasa (2 pigs) CORRECT
Iobhvava (2 horses) CORRECT

Do you see?

There is a morpheme which is a function, and there are different ways of making the same function, these are all different words but they do exactly the same thing. This is what an allomorph is.

I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but here's an example from German. In English we have one morpheme to say that something is 'definite', we add the one morpheme "the" in front of a word.

Dog
Cat
Horse
Pig

The dog
The cat
The horse
The pig

We only use one word here, so one morpheme, no multiple allomorphs. German however, has one morpheme (to make something 'definite') and it has multiple morphemes.

Hund
Pferd
Katze
Schwein

And to make the above nouns definite in German, you use:

der Hund
das Pferd
die Katze
das Schwein

The words in red mean exactly the same thing.
Their function is the same, but there are different forms of it.

These words in red are all allomorphs, because they do & mean the same thing.
They are just variations of the same function, because of the gender of the word.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Pestolazzi
Top-Notch Linguist


Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:20 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

[quote="Alxmrphi"]
Quote: As English speakers don't (generally) have a working knowledge of what these parts mean (i.e. con) they aren't considered to consist of two morphemes, only one.


Actually, it's not entirely true. Look at the following, for example:

deceive - deception
receive - reception
perceive - perception
deduce - deduction
produce - production
reduce - reduction

Any speaker of English can replicate these phonological-morphological processes, even with a non-existent words, such as:

enceive - enception
enduce - enduction

although they don't have a clue about the meaning of /-duce/ or /-ceive/.
That fact shows they have some mental representation of those meaningless morphemes, exactly as there is a mental representation for the morpheme "apple".
In the case of "sprachbund", on the contrary, there is only one morpheme, since there is no traceable morphological transformation.

To strengthen my argument, I'm going to use some psycholinguistics. It was shown by Forster and Azuma (2000) that word pairs like permit/submit massively primed each other. That is, if you show me the word "permit", and a few milliseconds later the word "submit", it would take me less time to identify the word "submit". Obviously, it shows that even meaningless morphemes are represented.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailMSN Messenger
lx
Chomsky


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 2705
Location: UK
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:36 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Your examples don't contradict what I said.
Those examples can easily be seen as two morphemes by English speakers.

When I say "generally", you can't really reply that it's not "entirely" true, that was implied by my "generally".

What we were talking about was an active breakdown of "de" and "duce" / "pro" and "duce", which no English speaker breaks down into a meaningful sub-unit. The priming effect can be observed on semantically linked as well as phonologically linked words, this is backed up by many many psycholinguistic studies, phonological similarities explains why these sort of words are primed, not because speakers break down the words into meaningful sub-units, i.e. morphemes.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Pestolazzi
Top-Notch Linguist


Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:11 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Well, I didn´t try to assert that English speakers consider /-duce/ a meaningful unit (morpheme). I simply emphasize they *do* have a distinct mental category for it.

The literature shows that upon learning English, one certainly doesn't encode "produce" the same way she encodes "George". Phonological patterns do stretch beyond a single word.

But I guess you're right after all - if it's not meaningful it's really not a morpheme.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailMSN Messenger
julia44



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:30 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

I need help drawing a word tree for the following words:

astonishments
international

Thanks!

Last edited by julia44 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
MalFet
Chomsky


Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 2778
Location: Kathmandu / NYC
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:08 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

julia44 wrote: I need help drawing a word tree for the following words:

astonishments
international

Thanks!


Show us what you've got so far and we'll lend a hand.
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Display posts from previous:   

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Reply to topic

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum