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Morphological Processes


Compiled by:
Bening Anggadita Didit Kurniadi Luqman Hakim Andi Rizki Khairi

Introduction When we are having conversation with others we will get difficulties in accepting the feautures of word. If it is in question form we will question and answer necessarily. We will not pay attention of the words formation. It is because there will be the obstacle in relating with the sound, environment and the sound formation. Learning about language is like learning about science. It is because many linguists supposed that language as living organism. It can be breaking down into small pieces. We can take an example for the study of morphology. It is proven by the process of morphology which has been studied for a long time before saussure period. They take seriously attention to the formation of words. Here there is the story inside: "The term 'morphology' has been taken over from biology where it is used to denote the study of the forms of plants and animals. . . . It was first used for linguistic purposes in 1859 by the German linguist August Schleicher (Salmon 2000), to refer to the study of the form of words. In present-day linguistics, the term 'morphology' refers to the study of the internal structure of words, and of the systematic form-meaning correspondences between words.

"The notion 'systematic' in the definition of morphology given above is important. For instance, we might observe a form difference and a corresponding meaning difference between the English noun ear and the verb hear. However, this pattern is not systematic: there are no similar word pairs, and we cannot form new English verbs by adding h- to a noun." So based on the explanation above we can infer thatmorphology is one of the branch of linguistics (and one of the major components of grammar) that studies word structures, especially in terms of morphemes.

Word Classes Words are fundamental units in every sentence, so we will begin by looking at these. Consider the words in the following sentence:

my father rides a fast bycicle

We can tell almost instinctively that father and bycicle are the same type of word, and also that father and rides are different types of words. By this we mean that father and bycicle belong to

the same word class. Similarly, when we recognise that father and rides are different types, we mean that they belong to different word classes. We recognise seven MAJOR word classes:

Verb Noun Determiner Adjective Adverb Preposition

be, drive, grow, sing, think brother, car, David, house, London a, an, my, some, the big, foolish, happy, talented, tidy happily, recently, soon, then, there at, in, of, over, with

Conjunction and, because, but, if, or

You may find that other grammars recognise different word classes from the ones listed here. They may also define the boundaries between the classes in different ways. In some grammars, for instance, pronouns are treated as a separate word class, whereas we treat them as a subclass of nouns. A difference like this should not cause confusion. Instead, it highlights an important principle in grammar, known as gradience. This refers to the fact that the boundaries between the word classes are not absolutely fixed. Many word classes share characteristics with others, and there is considerable overlap between some of the classes. In other words, the boundaries are "fuzzy", so different grammars draw them in different places. We will discuss each of the major word classes in turn. Then we will look briefly at some minor word classes. But first, let us consider how we distinguish between word classes in general.

Criteria for Word Classes We began by grouping words more or less on the basis of our instincts about English. We somehow "feel" that brother and car belong to the same class, and that brother and drives belong to different classes. However, in order to conduct an informed study of grammar, we need a much more reliable and more systematic method than this for distinguishing between word classes.

We use a combination of three criteria for determining the word class of a word:

1. The meaning of the word 2. The form or `shape' of the word 3. The position or `environment' of the word in a sentence

1. Meaning Using this criterion, we generalize about the kind of meanings that words convey. For example, we could group together the words brother and car, as well as David, house, and London, on the basis that they all refer to people, places, or things. In fact, this has traditionally been a popular approach to determining members of the class of nouns. It has also been applied to verbs, by saying that they denote some kind of "action", like cook, drive, eat, run, shout, walk. This approach has certain merits, since it allows us to determine word classes by replacing words in a sentence with words of "similar" meaning. For instance, in the sentence My son cooks dinner every Sunday, we can replace the verb cooks with other "action" words:

My son cooks dinner every Sunday My son prepares dinner every Sunday My son eats dinner every Sunday My son misses dinner every Sunday

On the basis of this replacement test, we can conclude that all of these words belong to the same class, that of "action" words, or verbs. However, this approach also has some serious limitations. The definition of a noun as a word denoting a person, place, or thing, is wholly inadequate, since it excludes abstract nouns such as time, imagination, repetition, wisdom, and chance. Similarly, to say that verbs are "action" words excludes a verb like be, as in I want to be happy. What "action" does be refer to here? So although this criterion has a certain validity when applied to some words, we need other, more stringent criteria as well.

2. The form or `shape' of a word Some words can be assigned to a word class on the basis of their form or `shape'. For example, many nouns have a characteristic -tion ending:

action, condition, contemplation, demonstration, organization, repetition Similarly, many adjectives end in -able or -ible:

acceptable, credible, miserable, responsible, suitable, terrible Many words also take what are called inflections, that is, regular changes in their form under certain conditions. For example, nouns can take a plural inflection, usually by adding an -s at the end:

car -- cars dinner -- dinners book -- books

Verbs also take inflections: walk -- walks -- walked -- walking

3. The position or `environment' of a word in a sentence This criterion refers to where words typically occur in a sentence, and the kinds of words which typically occur near to them. We can illustrate the use of this criterion using a simple example. Compare the following:

[1] I cook dinner every Sunday [2] The cook is on holiday

In [1], cook is a verb, but in [2], it is a noun. We can see that it is a verb in [1] because it takes the inflections which are typical of verbs: And we can see that cook is a noun in [2] because it takes the plural -s inflection.

Notice that we can replace verbs with verbs, and nouns with nouns, but we cannot replace verbs with nouns or nouns with verbs:

*I chef dinner every Sunday *The eat is on holiday

It should be clear from this discussion that there is no one-to-one relation between words and their classes. Cook can be a verb or a noun -- it all depends on how the word is used. In fact, many words can belong to more than one word class.

Lexical word The branch of linguistics that studies the stock of words (the lexicon) in a given language.

Some word classes are open, that is, new words can be added to the class as the need arises. The class of nouns, for instance, is potentially infinite, since it is continually being expanded as new scientific discoveries are made, new products are developed, and new ideas are explored Lexicology and Syntax. Here are the examples of lexical words; are nouns, lexical verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Having a look at the explanation below; Noun is The part of speech (or word class) that is used to name or identify a person, place, thing, quality, or action. Most nouns have both a singular and plural form, can be preceded by an article and/or one or more adjectives, and can serve as the head of a noun phrase. Verb is the part of speech (or word class) that describes an action or occurrence or indicates a state of being. There are two main classes of verbs: (1) the large open class of lexical verbs (also known as main verbs or full verbs--that is, verbs that aren't dependent on other verbs); and (2) the small closed class of auxiliary verbs (also called helping verbs). The two subtypes of auxiliaries are the primary auxiliaries (be, have, and do), which can also act as lexical verbs, and the modal auxiliaries (can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would). Verbs and verb phrases usually function as

predicates. They can display differences in tense, mood, aspect, number, person, and voice Adjective is The part of speech (or word class) that modifies a noun or a pronoun. Adjective: adjectival. In addition to their basic (or positive) forms, most descriptive adjectives have two other forms: comparative and superlative. Adverbs is The part of speech (or word class) that is primarily used to modify a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Adverbs can also modify prepositional phrases, subordinate clauses, and complete sentences. Adjective: adverbial. Adverbs typically add information about time (rarely, frequently, tomorrow), manner (slowly, quickly, willingly), or place (here, there, everywhere). Many adverbs--especially adverbs of manner--are formed from adjectives by the addition of the ending -ly (easily, dependably). But many common adverbs (just, still, almost, not) do not end in -ly, and not all words that end in -ly (friendly, neighborly) are adverbs

Function word A word that expresses a grammatical relationship. Also known as a grammatical word. Function words include determiners, conjunctions, and prepositions. Contrast with content word.

Function words are like thumbtacks. We don't notice thumbtacks; we look at the calendar or the poster they are holding up. If we were to take the tacks away, the calendar and the poster would fall down. Likewise, if we took the function words out of speech, it would be hard to figure out what was going on

The the function words include pronouns (you, them), modal verbs (could, must), determiners (a, the), prepositions (of, in), and conjunctions (and, but). New members of these classes are not added to the language very often. Instead they tend to gradually evolve from lexical words in a process called grammaticalization. For example, the lexical verb go means 'to move (toward a goal).' But its progressive form be going (to) has evolved into a grammaticalized prospective (future) marker, as in She's going to love her gift. The 'movement' meaning of go has been bleached out of the grammaticalized version and so the going in be going to can be considered to be a function word, rather than a content word.

The closed classes represent a more restricted range of meanings, and the meanings of closed class words tend to be less detailed and less referential than open-class words.

Prepositions have gradually expanded their membership somewhat by admitting participles such as including, concerning, but the remaining classes are very resistant to the introduction of new items. This has been noticeable in recent years when attempts have been made to find gender-neutral pronouns.

Morphological Processes 'Morphology is the study of the rules governing the formation of words.' Morphological processes can be by affixation or other words formation. Affixation can be inflection or derivation while other words formation can be compound, reduplication, suppletion, internal chage, clipping, conversion.

A. AFFIXATION Affixation is the process in which free morphome (root) is added with bound morphemes (affixes). There are two kinds of affixation, they are inflection and derivation. I. INFLECTION

Inflection is word formation process that changes the morphological form of a word to fit a syntactic context. Example: walk vs. walked cat vs. cats There are some characteristics of inflection: inflection does not change the grammatical category of the base; inflection does not affect the meaning of the word; inflectional processes take place after derivational ones; Example neighborhoods vs. *neighborshood inflectional affixes have few exceptions (they are almost fully productive), while derivational affixes usually attach to a limited class of words; English inflectional affixes are all suffixes.

Example - plural -s: cat - cats - possessive/genitive s: Johns - 3rd person sg. non-past -s: sing-sings - progressive -ing: sing-singing - past tense -ed: talk-talked - past participle -en/-ed: eat-eaten/study-studied - comparative -er: happy-happier - superlative -est: happy-happiest There are two types of inflection. They are: regular inflection = rule-based; walk-walked irregular inflection = stored in the lexicon; come-came;goose-geese

Evidence for distinction - for irregular verbs, response time is linked to the frequency of the verb - for regular verb, no such difference is found since the past tense is formed by a regular rule



Derivational affixes are affixes (suffixes) which change the meaning of the base in some important ways, or change it into a different word class. They turn nouns into adjectives, adjectives into verbs, nouns of one type into nouns to the other type, and so on. They add new meanings to the base. They are readily followed by inflectional suffixes, and in many cases more than one derivational suffix can be found in the some word. For instance, let us start with the verb Establish in its rather specialized meaning of grant special state privileges to a church. We can derive the verb disestablish, meaning take away special privileges. Then we can form the noun disestablishment meaning the act of taking away privileges, then the noun disestablishmentarian meaning one who advocates disestablishment, then the noun disestablishmentarianism meaning the doctrine of disestablishment, and finally

antidisestablishmentarianism, meaning opposite to the disestablishing the church. The latter word is often cited as the longest word in English Language Brockman (1971: 8) Some derivational affixes of English Nature of change in meaning Noun: nonPrefix 'non-' Noun, adjective Negation/opposi te starter Adj.: nonpartisan electric/electr Suffix '-ity' Adjective Changes to noun icity o bese/ob esity tie/untie, Verb Adjective Reverses action opposite quality fasten/unfast en clear/unclear, safe/unsafe Changes to adjective fame/famous, glamor/glam orous tie/retie, write/rewrite print/printabl e, drink/drinka Examples


Class(es) of word to which affix applies

Prefix 'un-'

Suffix '-ous'


Prefix 're-'


Repeat action

Changes to Suffix '-able' Verb adjective; means 'can

undergo action of verb'


Derivational Suffixes Abstract noun makers -age = frontage eer = engineer Concrete noun makers Nouns from verbs -age = wastage -dom = kingdom er = teenager al = refusal -ery = slavery ess = waitress ant = inform ant -ful = spoonful let = booklet -ation = education -hood = brotherhood ing = farming ism = idealism ocracy = aristocrac y -ing = clothing -ment = equipment -ite = Luddite ster = gangster ling = duckling -ee = commitee -er = writer -ist= socialist -an = republican -ese = Chinese Adjective-noun makers -ness = kindness -ity = falsity Nouns from adjectives

ship = friendship

-or = actor


Verb makers

Adjectives from nouns

Adjectives from verbs -able= drinkable -ive= attractive

-ly=quickly -ward(s)= onwards

-ate= orchestrate -en= ripen

-ed= pointed -esque= burlesque

-wise= clockwise

-ify= certify

-ful= successful

-ize/ise= advertise

-(i)al= accidental -ic= atomic -ish= foolish -less= careless -ly= friendly -ous= ambitious -y= hairy





ion, tion, sion


- ation, - ition


-ence, - ance


- ty, - ity






Nouns for People SUFFIX - er, -or, - ress Drive Edit Wait ist Tour Science - ant , - ent Assist Study ROOT DRIV-ER EDIT-OR WAIT-RESS TOUR-IST SCIENT-IST ASSIST-ANT STUD-ENT WORD

-an, - ian

Republic Electric


- ee

Employ Examine Address

Forming Adjectives y added to the names of common substances, objects and things that are Rock = ROCKY (full of rocks, like rocks) Noise = NOISY ( producing noise) Day = DAILY Week= WEEKLY Man = MANLY Use = USEFUL Skill = SKILFUL

experienced ly Added to time words and to certain words ful Added when it indicates in a positive way the presence of a quality or ability less Negatively suggests the family/personal


absence of a quality or ability - al Added to certain nouns of Latin origin ending in ion, -ic(s) and -ure

Addition = ADDITIONAL Music = MUSICAL Ethics = ETHICAL Nature = NATURAL

Words can often be divided into morphemes. Words can have prefixes, infixes, suffixes, show inflectional or derivational morphology, and much more...

'Morphology is the study of the rules governing the formation of words.'

B. OTHER WORD FORMATION 1-Compounding A compound word contains at least two bases which are both words ,or at any rate , root morphemes. examples :n+n))(Tea) +( pot ) => teapot Hair) + (dress) + er => hairdresser(n+v) Blue) + (bird) => bluebird (a+n) Over) + (lord) => overlord (pre+n) 2-Conversion Conversion is a process that assigns an already existing word to a new syntactic category. Examples :=>V derived from n e.g button (the shirt) =>N derived from v (a long) walk =>V derived from A Open (a door) 3-Clipping

Clipping is a process that shortens a polysyllabic word by deleting one or more syllables. It is especially popular among students. Examples:Prof => for professor

Poli sci => for political science Zoo for => zoological garden

4-Blends Blends are words that created from non-morhpemic parts of two already existing items. A blend is usually formed from the first part of one word and the the final part of the second one. Examples:brunch =>from breakfast and lunch Smog => from smoke and fog. Spam => from spiced and ham. 5-Internal change Internal change is a process that substitutes' one non-morphemic segment for another . Examples:sing(present) =>sang(past) Sink(present) =>sank(past) Foot (singular) => feet(plural) Goose(singular) => geese(plural)

6-Suppletion Suppletion is a morphological process whereby a root morpheme is replaced by a phonologically unrelated form in order to indicate a grammatical contrast. Examples:have => had Go => went good=> better 7. Acronym They are formed from the initial letters of a set of other words. They are usually pronounced as single words (e.g. NATO, PIN, etc.) Or as a set of letters (e.g. CD, VIP, etc.) 8. Back Formation A word of one type (usually a noun) is reduced to a word of a different type (usually a verb) through widespread use. to donate from donation to opt from option Other examples: pronunciate (< pronunciation), resurrect (< resurrection), enthuse (< enthusiasm), 9. Borrowing Taking over words from other languages. Examples from Italian pasta


10. Coinage Coinage is the invention of totally new terms. Often a brand name becomes the name for the item or process associated with the brand name Examples: hoover Kleenex Xerox Kodak

References Kusumawardhani, Ratna., Prabowo., Fani, Entika. 2008. A Handbook of Lexical Studies 1. Semarang: IKIP PGRI SMG press

Ardini, Sukma Nur. 2008. English Morphology. Semarang: IKIP PGRI SMG Press